Youth Spotlight: Bennett Maloley is free, confident, humble and happy |

Youth Spotlight: Bennett Maloley is free, confident, humble and happy

Sandy Schroeder
Special to the Daily
Bennett Maloley
Courtesy photo

Discover your FLOW.

Sitting across the room from Bennett Maloley at a recent Valley’s Voice event, I was struck by his ability to show himself, his enthusiasm and his soul as he listened to the band Trees Don’t Move. His presence was magnetic. Every individual, youth and adult alike, needs to feel how Bennett felt that night. Free, confident, humble and happy. I saw his FLOW; let’s all find ours, too. 

F stands for “Find a place where it is hard to not be happy.” Sounds doable, right? For Bennett, this means exploring passion, creating identity not by working hard to make others happy, but by making yourself happy. Sometimes people develop their identities based on what others think and they are not happy. Investing in personal development yields a better return on investment. 

L stands for “Lyrics, poetry and song,” which catalyze Bennett’s FLOW. It is the way he can “Convey feelings through song.” While he loves all types of music, we might have our own preferences. Bennett reads and writes a ton. Then, his head connects to his heart. Why not attempt to share our feelings through writing? Bennett will challenge you the same way he did me.  

O stands for “Out of the Woods,” which is Bennett’s own, favorite poem/song that he has written. He shares his values through his lyrics. Protecting an image is not nearly as valuable as knowing yourself. There is strength to be found through the slow process of learning where to fit in, experiencing new things, and being vulnerable. What key message will your masterpiece convey?

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W stands for “Working with someone is better than being taught by someone.” Bennett has worked with so many different people. His teachers at Zealous Schools are coaches as they work alongside their proteges. His parents coach professionals in leadership and business development, and they have coached Bennett, too. Last summer, when he discovered musical theater, he worked with his parents and friends to hone his singing and acting skills. Who is your coach? Need one? Find one.

Bennett Maloley taught me something. When people find their FLOW, they are happy. Bennett is. His radiant smile, extraordinary presence, and independent thinking at the age of 12 show me FLOW can be developed at any age, any time, and with or without help. It’s all up to us. Let’s learn from Bennett.

Sandy Schroeder is Mountain Youth’s director of community engagement. Email her at

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