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KASSON, Minn. — On September 11 twelve years ago, some lost their friends and relatives in the terror attacks, and others have lost those closest to them while fighting overseas.
While it is a day to remember, others are using it to teach and shape future generations. That is exactly how a Navy SEAL is spent his day in Kasson. He is delivering his message to the youth through the sky.
The weather was perfect.
“Conditions couldn’t be better, amazing view down there, it was so cool to be able to see all the kids lined up,” said Larry Yatch, former Navy SEAL and owner of Sealed Mindset.
And the crowd was even better.
For Yatch, presenting some key life lessons to hundreds of Kasson-Mantorville middle school students on September 11 has special meaning
“Both of us have lost a number of very close friends, people that we depended on to keep us alive within the conflicts that we’ve been involved in and being able to honor them and being able to pass our knowledge on to the next generation is really important to us,” Yatch said.
He is skydiving in part to grab the attention of the kids, but this jump is just the beginning. They have started a program to teach and develop leadership skills in these children which he hopes will be a four year program someday.
His key lessons include courage, respect and responsibility, something he is sharing with students in the 5th grade all the way up to adults.
“When it comes to leading, it’s a universal message, there’s potential in every person to be able to be a good leader. All we’re doing is we’re giving them the knowledge and the experience to optimize that potential,” Yatch said.
Kasson-Mantorville is helping Yatch and those at Sealed Mindset get this program going for the first time.
“Larry’s been trained to be a leader, he’s been trained to teach other people how to be a leader and this is a tremendous opportunity to help us put this in our curriculum,” said Kasson-Mantorville Middle School Principal, Al Hodge.
The original idea was to make the presentation a one-day event, but school leaders decided that was not enough time.
Now they will be doing workshops two days a month for the school year and they hope the program helps their students become better leaders over the years.
“Not so much in running around telling the people what to do, but doing the right things, making themselves stronger, we think this will spill over into every aspect of school life,” Hodge said.
Sealed Mindset is a self-defense studio located in New Hope, Minnesota. It is home to martial arts studios and fitness classes as well as firing ranges and live-scenario rooms.
They are now working on their video series that just kicked off at Kasson-Mantorville for other schools.