For many of us who mentor young adults, our payment is watching the students we assist achieve their dreams. Their success stories validate our interaction and time with them. We began this book knowing our accomplishments in youth training could be replicated to change the lives of a young person, a family, and a community.
Virginia has been in the field of youth development, volunteer management, and leadership training since the 80s. Her desire is to make a positive difference in the lives of young people for decades to come. Throughout the years, Virginia has witnessed the transformations of hundreds of young people who have become servant leaders in their communities. Equally as important, she has seen how the leadership youth development sessions have changed individuals, families, and communities for the better across the nation.
Cuong was one of many students Virginia had mentored in the 80s. She has worked with Cuong to create his nonprofit, Enlightened Initiative (EI), to empower and invest in refugee and immigrant youth, especially those coming from low-wealth households across the nation including Puerto Rico. Cuong exemplifies the best example of the power of youth development leadership training. The chapters in this book outline how a youth advisor/mentor can set a youth or a student on the path to adult success by utilizing impactful leadership training and principles of effective youth development.
We have dedicated our lives to putting each young person on the path to enrich someone’s life, strengthen his/her own life, and not add to the failure of anyone else. We hope that the readers open their minds, hearts, and spirits to work with young people who can change the world now and forever.
All proceeds from this book will go towards the Virginia Nonaca Chavez and Tom McCandless Scholarship Fund to support refugee and immigrant youth, especially those coming from low-wealth and marginalized backgrounds to attend the leadership camps based in Washington, D.C.
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