When I was a kid, I used to want to be an artist. While that dream fell by the wayside as I pursued music, I’m glad that my parents always pushed me to follow my passions. I wouldn’t be anywhere close to where I am today if my parents didn’t support the paths I chose. This is why I love Joe Whale’s story!

9-year-old Joe Whale, aka “The Doodle Boy,” got in trouble in school for doodling. Instead of shutting it down though, his parents decided to give him the creative space to share his art.  Joe’s parents enrolled him in an after school art class where his teacher quickly recognized his exceptional talent.  Joe’s art was not only recognized by his teacher but also a local restaurant, “Number 4” in Shrewsbury, England who asked Joe to doodle on their main dining room wall. It took Joe 12 hours to finish the doodle wall.  Joe’s father Greg gave some advice to parents saying, “I would advise parents to encourage their children to always follow their passion and dreams — research local workshops or groups within your local community.”

Does your career involve something you used to get in trouble for in school? Tell your story.

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