30 Under 30 San Diego County Leader No. 30: Michael Bodman

Michael Bodman

A man whose dream is to ensure the dreams of children come true is enough to make Patch’s 30 Under 30 cut.

Michael Bodman, who is the city of Carlsbad’s recreation supervisor, said his job is “perfect” for what he’s always wanted to do.

“It is my dream to make a difference in the lives of youth and teens,” said the 28-year-old. “I wanted to create a safe place for them to come where they could learn about themselves, others and the community; feel good about themselves and their accomplishments; and begin to think about and create dreams for the future. I wanted to create a place where they are given the tools to make a difference in themselves and the community plus assist them to develop skills to make some of their dreams come true.”

Bodman said his future goals are to expand the city’s L.I.T.E. (Leadership in Training & Education) program where children learn leadership and which offers community service and a place to make new friends. He said his work will continue with the inspiration he receives from his son and from the children he has helped.

“Every day I’m surrounded by teens that need advice, guidance, somewhere to go after school, someone to play games with, or simply just someone in need of a friend that is there to listen,” he said. “We should be there to support their dreams, not there to say why they can’t achieve them.”

Advice for young people:

“I always try to relay the message to the youth in my programs to never settle for something because you don’t feel you have the ability to achieve more.  Sometimes as adults we forget that we are only bound by the limitation that we set for ourselves. You need to be open to new ideas and changes because if you don’t, you will get left in the past along with your way of thinking.”