Tuesday, April 30, 2013
By Eric and Stephanie Stradford
AMWS April 29, 2013, Atlanta -- At the Ray of Hope Christian Center, Michael and Cassandra Curtis mapped a pathway for betroved brides and brethren to a destination they dubbed, “Wally World.” Cassandra brings to a winners’ knowledge base an earned Bachelor's degree in Applied Behavioral Science from National Louis University. The couple adds value to nine weeks of counseling with time-tested methods and models for successful marriage.
Ray of Hope Pastor Reverend Dr. Cynthia L. Hale, ministers her Decataur, GA congregation to "impact and transform this present world into the Kingdom of God." Ray of Hope is well known for its Housing, Healthcare and Education Initiatives. The ministry is recognized in the book, Excellent Protestant Congregations: Guide to Best Places and Practices.
Among the believers in Dr. Hale's flock is an emerging leader, distinguished by her written vision of her own future. Yvonne R. Griswold, a 2007 winner at THE ANNUAL YOUTH ACHIEVEMENT AWARDS, is nationally recognized as a community asset where she chooses to live, learn, work and worship. Lifelong Mentors characterize her starting point for a preconceived destination as “Money-n-the-Bank.” Griswold’s claim as “a winner” is backed by Youth Achievers USA Institute, the national 501c3 public charity sponsor of economic security strategies and Positive Youth Development programs.
Yvonne is one of 88 Americans valued in a corporate vision of the future. That vision builds on the past and sets an economic value for America’s future. The Interagency Working Group on Youth Programs (IWGYP), a collaboration of twelve federal departments and agencies that support youth, refer to the common vision as “positive youth development, 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.”
Griswold’s professional service on the YouthUSA national board of directors and as an economist for the U.S. Department of Housing Urban Development, offers evidence of value in her Spiritual, Physical, Social, Financial, Educational, Professional and Recreational goals.
Griswold’s betroved, Matthew McNeil said he was most impressed when he “googled” his future bride and learned of her Money-n-the-Bank goals. His own humble spirit and quiet strength builds on a vision for winners shared by family, friends and the couple’s chosen marital mentors.
Last night’s event marked the end of a nine week premarital course at Ray of Hope, and the continuation of a lifelong mentoring relationship enjoyed by Yvonne as a YouthUSA beneficiary. Two new prospective applicants won a chance to win a chance with YouthUSA. A room filled with caring adults at Ray of Hope will likewise win a chance to be the whole village that raises winners.
Wednesday, April 17, 2013
2013 Candidates press for the prize
By Stephanie and Eric Stradford
AMWS, April 17, 2013, Atlanta – Youth Achievers USA Institute, sponsor of THE ANNUAL YOUTH ACHIEVEMENT AWARDS, today launched its 2014 invitation for entries. Americans ages 7-24 qualify for national participation in the organization’s economic capacity building program. April 15th is the annual deadline for entry. A free downloadable application worksheet at www.YouthUSA.net engages a “Whole Village” in the Positive Youth Development of one American Future.
To date, 88 Americans have qualified as corporate beneficiaries for a “fair share” in an ongoing capital campaign. Each winner has posted written goals in seven key areas of human development. The institute values a youth’s individual goals as “Money-n-the-Bank.” A grassroots community reinvestment process matches charitable contributions and social enterprise investments to create economic fellowships for qualifying youth.
Supporters of community asset building commonly refer to these measurable fellowships as “Individual Development Accounts.” As an example, under the federal Assets For Independence (AFI) program, more than 81,000 individuals have enrolled in IDAs. 60,108 accounts have been opened, depositing a total of $56,653,295 in earned income.
Applications for 2013 induction are now being reviewed by a task force of YouthUSA directors, fellow beneficiaries and registered community asset managers. YouthUSA hosts such interactive discussions at its virtual meeting place, THE CONFERENCE CENTER. Any caring adult member of an applicant’s Whole Village can add value to the youth’s vision of his or her own future as a subscriber. YOUTHUSA LIVE MEETINGS, and mobile technical assistance events augment on-demand access to ongoing discussions.
YouthUSA programs and discussions commonly support a federal government definition of Positive Youth Development. The Interagency Working Group on Youth Programs (IWGYP), is composed of representatives from 12 federal departments and 5 federal agencies that support programs and services focusing on youth.
According to the IWGYP, 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.”
Caring adult members of any Whole Village can post congratulatory comments for any of YouthUSA’s current or pending winners. These comments reflect individual and collective interest by the Whole Village, and may add value to YouthUSA’s corporate interest in a particular beneficiary.
2013 APPLICANTS SHOULD LOOK FOR FURTHER INSTRUCTIONS VIA EMAIL
CARING ADULTS PLEASE POST CONGRATULATORY COMMENTS BELOW