By Eric and Stephanie Stradford
AMWS March 23, 2013, Atlanta -- Sam Logan and Reginald Johnson were two of four men at today’s parking lot summit. The two were quick to identify themselves as parents of young boys and as professionals in the American workforce. In another place at another time, an observer might have been threatened by their presence, and surely put off by the range of concerns being addressed at their parking lot summit.
More than a handful of concerned parents and caring adults weathered early morning showers to engage historically disadvantaged boys as “Leadership Fellows.” Logan and Johnson are part of a parent support group for Fulton County’s Youth Leadership Academy for Boys. The program seeks to empower young males to become effective leaders.
Youth Achievers USA Institute National Director, Yvonne Griswold, an economist for the federal government, is connecting local efforts such as the Leadership Academy to economic opportunities. Her team develops partnerships with local organizations and institutions to access economic resources available to American communities. She learned about the Leadership Academy through a friend who expressed “interest” in her Money-n-the-Bank goals.
Griswold’s lifelong fellowship with YouthUSA empowers her to provide economic leadership where she believes the need is greatest. Her own “interest” in South Fulton County youth draws immediate regional and national attention to economic security needs of local youth.
“Every YouthUSA beneficiary counts as a community asset where he or she lives, learns, works and worships,” said Griswold. “Economically, asset building should be just a matter of targeting investments to developing assets. The day we begin to economically value our youth is the day we begin to economically secure America’s future.”
Youth Achievers USA Institute is a national 501c3 public charity that promotes Positive Youth Development through asset building. The YouthUSA mission is to build capacity around youth ages 7-24 empowering them to believe and achieve THEIR spiritual, physical, social, financial, educational, professional and recreational goals.
YouthUSA’s proprietary programs provide opportunities for caring adults to engage youth 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.