Friday, August 10, 2012
In It To Win It!
YouthUSA winners offered positive alternative to negative values
by Stephanie and Eric Stradford
AMWS, August 10, 2012, Virtual -- The rapidly eroding race for President of the United States, fueled by negativity, banked by conflicting ideals and evinced by high cost advertising, pitting America against America has taken its toll on America’s future.
Two name-calling, back-biting rich guys, fighting over occupancy of a public housing project, brings shame and dishonor to that which WE THE PEOPLE envision as One Nation Under God. It needs to stop…NOW!
Somewhere in the quantification of yesterday’s national negative political debate, there’s a negative $15.9 trillion national debt. Unless someone can spin positive value from negative political campaigning, that practice impedes the process of making America work. It needs to stop…NOW!
Youth Achievers USA Institute, a 501c3 public charity, promotes an inclusive "vision of the future" for citizens in America's economy. The bottom line is clear to leaders with enough common sense to pay attention. Some youth have access to inheritance, endowments, or trust funds that offer a hand up in pursuing their American dream. Others still perceive theirs to be a dream deferred. YouthUSA hopes to demonstrate, on a small scale, that an inheritance can be developed for historically disadvantaged as well as mainstream Americans. The demonstration engages youth beneficiaries as “assets for independence.”
The Federal Assets for Independence (AFI) program provides five-year grants to nonprofit organizations and government agencies that empower low-income families to become economically self-sufficient for the long-term. Grantees provide financial education training on money management issues, and they assist participants with saving earned income in special matched savings accounts called Individual Development Accounts (IDAs). Participants use the IDAs to accumulate funds with the goal of acquiring a first home, post-secondary education, or starting up or expanding a small business.
Economist Yvonne Griswold provides leadership to caring adults interested in managing community assets where they live, learn, work and worship. Her own testimony as a YouthUSA beneficiary adds substance to hope for “believing I can achieve.” The 2007 graduate of Southern University of Baton Rouge holds a masters degree in economics and serves as an economist for the U.S. Government. As Task Force Chair for THE ANNUAL YOUTH ACHIEVEMENT AWARDS, Griswold provides executive counsel on ways and means for sustaining “the whole village.”
YouthUSA economic development programs seek to engage local communities in developing youth as future “community assets.” Financial incentives encourage measurable Positive Youth Development by matching community investments in qualifying beneficiaries with program funds from the sponsoring 501c3 public charity.
The Interagency Working Group on Youth Programs, a collaboration of twelve federal departments and agencies that support youth, has created a definition of positive youth development: Positive youth development is an intentional, pro-social approach that engages youth within their communities, schools, organizations, peer groups, and families in a manner that is productive and constructive; recognizes, utilizes, and enhances youths' strengths; and promotes positive outcomes for young people by providing opportunities, fostering positive relationships, and furnishing the support needed to build on their leadership strengths.
New applicants to THE ANNUAL YOUTH ACHIEVEMENT AWARDS and their caring adult supporters are being invited to join Griswold’s Task Force as part of a YouthUSA board leadership program. The Task Force will also discuss YouthUSA fellowships as part of a $5 million development fund.
“I’m so excited to be a part of a community of people who are excited about our youth,” said Griswold. Griswold’s enthusiastic interest demonstrates community reinvestment and challenges future leaders to “pay attention” when somebody wants to invest in you.
JOIN US NOW -- America's Future Begins Today at YouthUSA