Leadership Pathways, from Camp to the Community

In the summer of 2009, Justin was 12-years-old and attended camp through YES for the first time. That summer many things were inspirational, and five years later, he still credits his first summer camp counselor as someone who made a major impact in his life.

"After my first camp experience, I decided I was going to be a role model and do something important that makes a difference in people's lives," Justin recalls.

Justin, pictured in the middle at YMCA Camp Loma Mar, was a Counselor-in-Leadership Training this past summer.

Since that first camp experience, Justin has put his words into action. Now in his second year of participation in YES' Camp-to-Community (C2C) youth development program, and specifically the Youth Engagement Team mentioned below, Justin has taken his learned skills and applied them to his latest engagement with the Richmond Youth Council. Together with his peers, Justin will provide input to the City of Richmond on all matters affecting youth.

"C2C has helped me challenge myself everyday and look to improve every aspect of my life in some way. Now I'm taking on more leadership by being a fundraising coordinator for the Interact club, and being a member of the Richmond Youth Council."

As a graduating senior this year, Justin has a bright future ahead including plans for college. In the meantime, his leadership voice and call to service are inspiring other youth to get involved with C2C, including his younger brother, Demetrio.  In the year ahead, we look forward to supporting and developing more youth like Justin who are applying their leadership skills at camp and back in their community.