Can anyone be a thought leader? Thought leaders see things that others miss, they draw our attention to what is going on, for better or worse, and connect ideas together in new ways. They also have a way of sharing thoughts and ideas that reaches into our hearts and minds, resounding with the biggest audiences.
One definite quality of leadership is the ability to make an impact on others, and it can be expressed in being an advocate for others, pushing for positive change, and giving a voice and platform to worthy causes. This is what Karen Comba is best known for, and this speaker, advocate and bestselling author shares, “There are many ways to be lead, to be of service to humanity; I am just someone who follows my passion. I believe in standing up for others, especially children. This is one of the causes that I am most passionate about because of the way I grew up with my own mother’s mental health issues overshadowing my childhood.” In this interview, Karen shares with us some of the causes and projects that she is passionate about and why.
Early childhood adversity has been studied and documented for over twenty years. The mental, emotional, and physical effects on a child as they grow into an adult have been quantified, yet there is little change in how children are supported through adversity. One proposed focus is to create systems and environments that support and build resiliency, like an armor against the destruction and despair of childhood trauma.
Karen Comba has become a powerful child advocate for childhood adversity when a child is exposed to the mental health issues of their parent. Karen’s book, The Snipers We Couldn’t See: A memoir of growing up with my mother’s schizophrenia, is a deep dive into the bewildering landscape a child must navigate when raised by a parent dealing with mental health challenges. Karen brings her own unique perspective along with her sensitivity, and compassionate expertise to this topic, and others, when advocating for children.
Karen understands that children who suffer abuse at the hands of their parents can experience repression or suppression of feelings. She understands that children with mentally ill parents need help. She is an unwavering advocate for children’s rights and bringing awareness to the ways we can support these children and one another. She is a strong proponent for children being given the information and tools to help them navigate their situations.
In addition to this, Comba knows that many adults are still suffering from traumatic events and experiences from childhood. “It’s not as though these experiences magically stop affecting people when they become an adult. Many of us have baggage or wounds we have had to heal from or are still trying to do so.”
It seems that Comba’s own adversity growing up has created within her a deep love of connecting to people of any age, from all walks of life. This is the overarching theme of everything that she puts her heart into. “I’ve always loved meeting as many people as I can. I genuinely have a love for others, and I know everyone has an important path in life. My passion has propelled me into the spotlight, and it’s wonderful to make connections and see change unfolding. As I keep looking for bigger ways to make an impact on others, the opportunities have shown up.”
Karen’s journey over the past few years has allowed her to touch an ever-growing number of lives. Being regularly featured across many platforms, Karen is involved with the National Alliance for Mental Health, (NAMI) and has done everything from being interviewed on radio shows such as GET UNSTUCK Radio with Jason Hopcus, to numerous podcasts, to the Artist and Author Show with Toni Lontis on the Everyday Women’s Network. In addition, Comba has spoken at many schools and universities, one of which was with the Community Alliance for Youth Success (CAYS) “Discover Your Purpose” conference, where she shared the stage with Stedman Graham, and Bobby DePorter. Karen says, “This CAYS program that Graham and DePorter developed is really special, and I was honored to a be a part of that event. I find the students want solutions and they are ready to have these discussions. The adults need to keep stepping up to implement changes like this.” Karen also spoke to thousands of students and participated in service projects abroad during a major international speaking tour, the Kenya Keynote Tour.
Karen seems to be someone who not only commands attention when speaking, but also someone able to get people to pay attention. With all this media and experience in touching lives and bringing awareness to big causes, Karen is now gearing up for an even greater impact with her latest role as a television show host. Says Comba, “This show, Best Reads, will be for news junkies and news haters alike. I’m personally curating the content to be sure that the best of the best doesn’t go unnoticed.”
With such a fascinating host, we wanted to give readers more of a sneak peek into the Best Reads show, that’s being brought to you by LA Tribune TV. Karen reports, “I want to get your wheels turning, and make you ponder the grander questions. I’m going to be talking about new books, old books, articles, headlines, movies and more! We will be highlighting the best stories, interesting writers or their angles, and generally bringing attention to important topics. . . So maybe it’s something controversial but raises big questions.”
There’s a popular expression that the quality of our lives depends upon the quality of questions we ask. This is the opposite of the mindless scrolling many adults engage in nowadays. Comba, known as a thought-leader in many circles, thinks we can all do better, saying “I want people to think, and I’m excited because I know this will be something that people will enjoy and get a lot out of. Knowledge is everywhere nowadays, and information is flooding in constantly. People don’t have time to filter through all of it, so knowledge alone isn’t useful. But this will be like variety on a mission! I’m going to share what deserves your time and attention, and why. Then you decide.”
“I have a lot to do, and I’m just getting started! I’m going to keep pursuing my passion for helping,” Karen shares. “I love what the Los Angeles Tribune stands for and it’s been a blast to collaborate on this new television show. It’s a powerful platform, and a thrilling way to connect with people: connecting them to the best of what they should be consuming.”
It would seem that growing up in such a tough environment did not cause Karen to give up on humanity, but quite the opposite. She still believes we can help one another, inspire each other and even help to heal one another. “It’s never too late to improve, pay more attention to the best parts of the world around you, and have more joy in your life. We can all make a difference with our passion. I love people; I love helping and celebrating others, so I stay open to opportunities and let my passion lead me, and that’s where I make the most impact.”
Keep up with Karen Comba and learn more at: https://www.karencomba.com/
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