September 10, 2014

Not Your Sterotypical Etiquette Teacher

Genea RhodesWhen many people hear the word “etiquette” they automatically have an image in their head of a person that is prim and proper.

Recently, we had the chance to catch up with one of our graduates, Sergeant First Class Genea Rhodes. Ms. Rhodes attended our 5-Day Children’s Etiquette Certification and 5-Day Corporate Etiquette Certification. Ms. Rhodes will retire from the US Army at the end of October after serving as an instructor for twenty years.  In our certification classes, she was nicknamed Miss Congeniality, due to her warm personality and outgoing nature.  Ms. Rhodes is taking a specific approach and plans to help troubled and impoverished youth.

Growing up, she has seen both sides of the track and has spent much time and dedication to become a successful instructor serving our country. At first she said she tried to reinvent herself over and over to fit in with her idea of the stereotypical etiquette teacher, until she realized that the best approach was to take her background coupled with her new etiquette training and use this as a way to connect with students on a straight forward level.

In targeting the troubled and impoverished youth she wants to directly influence them and show them why they deserve to be successful and why they deserve a chance at having a life sans trouble.  While in the Army, she has traveled the world being exposed to many different cultures and backgrounds; the one common trait from everyone she has seen is that people want respect.

“People in poverty are seeking to emulate something. Everyone wants structure and wants respect.”  Rhodes is going to incorporate her etiquette training skills, US Army experiences along with her down to earth side in hopes of speaking to the youth in a way that is relatable.  She wants to be a role model to her students and someone that they can aspire to be like.

Ms. Rhodes believes that her experiences growing up, time in the US Army, and certification from The American School of Protocol will allow her to connect to the youth in a way that other people cannot. Her goal is to provide these students with the tools for setting themselves up for success in their future endeavors.

While speaking with her, she talked about her struggle with creating a name for the class.  She wanted to incorporate something along the structure of “From {blank } to {blank},” until her son stopped her and told her that you do not want to remind people about hard struggles they have had but rather show them what they are deserving and capable of. Her son helped her to create the name “Jeans & Gems” which embodies all of her beliefs.

Ms. Rhodes is proof that the stereotype of etiquette is false. Etiquette is not strictly about dining and formal wear; it is so much more in depth than that. The purpose of etiquette today is to make etiquette fun, empowering and most importantly relatable.

Article written by admin

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