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Shane Manier, Advisor for PFO, on finding your true narrative

People of Charlotte, please meet Shane Manier! Shane has taken on an advisor role at the nonprofit organization, Playing for Others (PFO). Shane's experience with PFO shines a light on how important it is for teens to be in a supportive environment where they can grow into their own selves while growing beyond their own selves.

Now, let's get to know Shane's story!

How is PFO impacting younger generations in Charlotte?

PFO is such an amazing organization—I’ve seen so much growth in the teens while experiencing growth in my own life due to the values they uphold through their mission. It’s not just about getting to know the people and the nonprofits that we honor through our work with the teens (which is a whole other level of learning to give back and be in gratitude), it’s also about personal development skills learned through PFO’s life talks that impact lives.

Playing for Others (PFO) provides a space for teens to explore and answer the questions, “Who Am I?” and “How will I give of that?” through programming in Personal Development, Service, and the Arts.

PFO's teaching style focuses a lot on the application of ideas. Can you give us an example?

Through every program and aspect of PFO, you learn tools that allow you to be a compassionate human being with direction; the direction is the important part! You might be compassionate, but how do you give of that while arriving at acceptance of one’s self and who you are.

How does PFO affect the core of each member?

I feel like the work that PFO does is so essential because it heals and gives at the same time. What this world needs is more healed human beings who aren’t afraid to shine their light and make this world a brighter place through compassion.

Oftentimes, we are blind to our own narratives. How did PFO open your eyes?

There have been so many moments that have brought tears to my eyes when a teen or an advisor (even myself) had that clicking moment, where you can tell they’ve been touched by something within the organization. One moment for me was when we learned about story vs fact and how not to take things personally. That one personal development tool is so huge because so many of us create narratives in our heads prompted by fear or anxiety.

How does pausing to finding gratitude help ourselves and, at the same time, help others?

When people learn how to stop the narrative and be in a place of gratitude and self-acceptance, then we can stop lashing out and reacting to situations that only escalate a problem or even cause further depression. PFO is full of these tools and they’ve improved my personal life in such a drastic way. I can literally look back on how I felt before PFO to how I now feel in situations and see the growth because I find more peace, clarity, and overall love instead of panic, hurt and anger.

It shows that you are indeed in a place of gratitude. Any closing remarks on how that affects us from the individual, to communities, and to others organizations?

When I first started working for PFO, I’ll never forget when another advisor, Jessicah, and I were walking to our cars after a meeting with tears in our eyes saying, “I feel like I just got a year’s worth of personal development therapy in two hours.” And that was just a staff meeting...It’s that powerful. I truly believe that on every level, PFO is saving lives—teens and adults are learning tools that actually work! At the same time, we are also learning how to give back and be aware of the needs in our communities which honors and fuels hardworking nonprofits to keep going when they don’t get the gratitude they often deserve.

Through the core values—Attitude of Gratitude, Acceptance, Accountability, and Action—teens learn to become effective leaders of self and others. These core operating values influence the culture and public image of PFO as a transformational program for teenagers.

Shane pictured with Davita Galloway, PFO Advisor

Learn more about Playing for Others, a Charlotte nonprofit, by visiting their website. There are many ways for you and others to get involved!

Thank you, Shane, for sharing your story!


People of Charlotte publishes stories about everyday Charlotteans, Carolinians, and beyond. We celebrate YOUR story because YOU matter. It is our mission to promote inclusiveness, unity, understanding, community, diversity, empathy, inspiration, and compassion.

Stories have power—they teach, inspire, motivate, and challenge us.

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The views expressed here are solely those of the individual featured and do not in any way represent the views of People of Charlotte, CLT. Information on this site may contain errors or inaccuracies; we do not make warranty as to the correctness or reliability of the site’s content.

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