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YLFOne on One
SPRING 2009 F O R M I N G F U T U R E L E A D E R S
W H AT ’ S I N S I D E
BOARD OF DIRECTORS Letter from the Executive Director
president Spirit of Service Dinner Learning from the Past: EPALS
Keith S. Fimian visits the Holocaust Museum
U.S. Inspect, LLC 32 Boys Participate in YLF’s
vice president First Program in Virginia
Gerard E. Mitchell PALS II Leadership
O N W E D N E S D A Y, M A R C H 4 N E A R LY 2 0 0 G U E S T S
St e i n , Mi t c h e l l & Mu s e Seminar Speakers
gathered at the beautiful Fairmont Hotel in Washington, DC to celebrate the
treasurer Inspire Students
Youth Leadership Foundation’s annual Spirit of Service Award Dinner. This
Pat Scrivens to Prepare for
year’s honorees were former First Lady Laura Bush and local business leader
Adv i s o r y A s s o c i a t es , Inc . the Future
and philanthropist Mr. Preston Caruthers.
s e c r e ta ry
Joseph E. Schmitz The Spirit of Service Award is given to individuals who live and
T h e Pr i n c e Gro u p promote YLF’s Four Pillars of Success: High Academic Standards,
executive director Character Formation, Personal Mentoring and Parental Involvement.
Michael J. Barvick Mrs. Bush spent her 8 years in the White House as a strong
Youth Leadership Foundation advocate of childhood literacy. As a former librarian she inspired
Matthew Anthony thousands of people to share the magic of reading with children as
Tenley Study Center well as establishing the National Book Festival that takes place on
Reyes Aterido the National Mall each year. She also led the Helping America’s
World Bank Youth Initiative to raise awareness of challenges facing our youth:
Steve Baldwin especially at-risk boys. Mrs. Bush sent a message that was read at
Phil Brach the dinner in which she recognized the Youth Leadership Foundation
St. John’s College High School as a model organization that “encourages students to strive for
Michael C. Finnegan academic excellence”. Continues page 3
WJLA News Anchor Leon Harris congratulates YLF
Barbara A. Froio
TAP HARMONY IN THE SOUL
student Miracle Adebanjo after his recitation of
USLeadGen Lincoln’s Second Inaugeral Address. Mr. Harris
Rev. Carolyn Graham served as M.C. for this year’s Spirit of Service Dinner.
Board of Education
The Hon. Eugene N. Hamilton
INSTILLING BY MICHAEL HUDE
In the Fall 2008 Elementary TAP Program, there was one
of the District of Columbia
student in particular whose temper got him into a lot of
Robert D. Novak
trouble. He couldn’t seem to control himself. He was twice
Evans & Novak Inside Report
suspended from school, and his mother was at her wit’s end
Joseph E. Robert III
worrying about whether or not her son would be able to stay
enrolled in school. The main problem was that her son did
David Smick not think before he acted. The main problem was that this
Johnson Smick International, Inc.
student was living by his gut.
Chain Bridge Bank In Plato’s Republic, Socrates proposes that there are three parts of the human soul: the reasoning,
Julian Waits the spirited, and the appetitive. He localizes these parts in the body, saying that the reasoning part
Archer Technologies is in the head, the spirited in the chest, and the appetitive in the belly or gut. Socrates taught that
Continues page 4
Please remember to include the Youth Leadership Foundation during the upcoming Combined Federal Campaign: CFC#32181, United Way # 8875
Letter from the Executive Director
One of the YLF’s Four Pillars of Success is Parental Involvement. YLF
believes strongly that parents (both mother and father) are the primary
educators of their child. And without the committed involvement and
good example that only parents can give YLF children would not
succeed at the levels we have seen during their participation in our
programs. A strong marriage provides the foundation for a child to have
a stable and healthy home environment in which to succeed both
intellectually and personally.
The reality, however, for most of the children that YLF helps is one that is often not so idyllic.
The Center for Disease Control (CDC) recently published a report that showed that in 2007
over 70% of African American children and over 50% of Hispanic children were born to unwed
mothers. These numbers are consistent with the kinds of families who send their children
to YLF for academic and personal assistance.
Fortunately for those single parents struggling to do the job of two YLF provides significant
personal attention that many of these children would not otherwise receive. Our programs
also reinforce the values that struggling parents are trying to pass on to their children (like
responsibility, perseverance, faith in God, and a chaste life in pursuit of marriage) that are
not being taught in public schools or other extracurricular programs that are available.
Recent studies have shown that children who grow up in a two-parent home are 18% less
likely to repeat a grade, 3 times less likely to have children out of wedlock and 50% less
likely to engage in illegal drug use. YLF programs instill in its students a strong respect for
their parents and for the importance of the family. All students, whether from single or two-
parent families, are challenged to help out at home, be more appreciative of their parents’
sacrifices and more grateful for the many gifts they have received in their lives. We also hope
to establish a foundation whereby students respect family life and make good choices that
will lead them on a path to responsible professional and personal lives.
If we are successful in this effort not only will our current students find greater personal
satisfaction, but they will also contribute, through their own pursuit of strong marriages,
to an environment in which the next generation of children can start their lives on a more
solid foundation. student Rahim King recites the
TOP : YLF
poem “The Duel” by Eugene Field.
I hope that you enjoy reading this edition of YLF One on One and that you will appreciate the
BOTTOM: YLF president Keith Fimian (left)
substantive academic and character curriculum that we provide students in our region. With and former YLF student Blair Williams (right)
the new boys program in Virginia, and with your continued financial support, we have an congratulate Mr. Preston Caruthers on
opportunity to transform even more lives that will lead to a stronger future for them and for receiving the YLF Spirit of Service Award.
our community as a whole.
Erin has been able to achieve personal growth and academic success
through the tutoring and mentoring at PALS.
It has also helped to ignite her creativity in the arts.
Spirit of Service Dinner (continued)
Mr. Preston Caruthers is one of our region’s most successful real estate developers and has
spent a lifetime supporting schools and libraries in our region. He has been a member of the
Arlington County and Virginia Boards of Education and has supported numerous schools and
universities to give young people the same inspiration he found many years ago in his local
public library. In his remarks he also shared how he was inspired to read as a child when his
older sister would read poetry to him while he did chores in his home.
The evening was a great success as WJLA News Anchor Leon Harris kept things moving as
the Master of Ceremonies. YLF Students brought down the house with recitations of poetry
and famous speeches as well as a difficult African Step Dance. Miracle Adebanjo received
the longest standing ovation after reciting, by heart, Lincoln’s Second Inaugural Address.
Former Oklahoma Governor and long time friend of Mr. Caruthers, Frank Keating, provided TOP LEFT:YLF girls perform a traditional African
the evening’s keynote address and presented his friend with the final award of the evening. Step Dance.
TOP RIGHT:Mr. Preston Caruthers joyfully accepts
YLF is grateful to all who supported this year’s Spirit of Service Award Dinner. This event is his Spirit of Service Award.
YLF’s largest fundraiser and helps our programs continue to reach more and more children MIDDLE RIGHT :Former Oklahoma Governor
in need. More pictures from the evening can be found at the YLF website by clicking on the Frank Keating presents the Spirit of Service
Events link. Award to his long-time friend Preston Caruthers.
I thank you for the work
you do with the YLF
and I'm so honored
to have my daughter
participate in such
a WONDERFUL program.
RIGHT :YLF girls Benjamina Coleman, Evadne
Lewis and Imani Lewis recite Mary Howitz’s
The Spider and The Fly.
Learning from the Past:
EPALS VISITS THE HOLOCAUST MUSEUM
BY TERESA KOLF
This year, EPALS' fifth and sixth graders have The exhibit illustrates how Daniel, a 10-year-
been reading Lois Lowry's Number the Stars, old boy, lived a life like any other German boy
a short novel illustrating the common conflict before the rise of Nazism; how he and his
between love and hate, fear and courage faced family were forced to withstand increasingly
during World War II. In the book, two young inhumane conditions as the war progressed;
friends, Annemarie (a Christian) and Ellen and how many of his family members were
(a Jew) learn first hand about the powers of eventually murdered because of their
hatred, propaganda, extreme nationalism, and ethnic heritage.
ethnic cleansing. Annemarie’s and Ellen's PALS staff has challenged the EPALS girls
story clearly conveys the evil and to critically think about what they’ve learned
senselessness of these ideologies. through Number the Stars. Through rich
To learn more about the powers of both academic units like this, thoughtful
good and evil that were at work during World discussions in character class, and the
War II, the EPALS scholars recently visited the mentoring and role modeling of the PALS staff,
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. our elementary students are being challenged
The trip was designed to give students more to think about the dignity that every human
tangible evidence of the horrors of the being deserves and how the protection of the
Holocaust and to help them connect what weak and defenseless should always be one of
they’ve learned in Number the Stars to exhibits society’s primary responsibilities. At the same
like "Daniel's Story," which shows how life as a time, opportunities like visiting the Holocaust
young Jew changed over the years preceding Museum provide students with living
and during the Second World War. examples of how forming their values now will
help them be a voice for good as they become YLF girls on a recent
visit to the Holocaust Museum.
the future leaders they are called to become.
PALS Leadership Seminar Speakers
Inspire Students to Prepare for the Future BY ANGELA ALBRECHT
PALS HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS BEGIN EACH WEEK Ashjay Cluff and Latisha Roberts are co-founders of the Lady Legacy
with a Leadership Seminar discussing topics which help them to stay Foundation. The Lady Legacy Foundation is an organization specifically
focused on their future. The class, led by volunteers Angela Vargas and dedicated to promoting financial literacy among young women. Ms. Cluff
Maria Macia, attempts to give students a vision for the college and job and Ms. Roberts visited PALS and shared tips and strategies on how to
application process ahead. It also challenges them to concretely successfully prepare for and complete the job interview process.
consider the steps they need to take in order to reach their personal, PALS Dance Instructors, Deidra Squire and Monica Moran, along with
educational, and vocational goals. One particularly effective portion of their fellow students from GW’s Black Law Student Association (BLSA),
the Leadership Seminar has been a series of engaging presentations prepared a presentation which challenged students to think about their
from speakers who challenge them to put into practice the lessons future goals and warned them about the long-term consequences of
learned in the classroom. getting into trouble with the law. Students were also reminded that they
Saudia Harris is a graduate student at George Washington University should not only avoid choices with negative consequences, but be
and a member of the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation. The CBCF proactive in pursuing positive opportunities. The presentation was
is a non profit, nonpartisan public policy, research and educational complemented by personal stories of hard work and determination from
institute that aims to help improve the socioeconomic circumstances of the BLSA presenters.
African Americans and other underserved communities. During one of High School students are surrounded with so many negative
the talks Ms. Harris gave a presentation and led activities designed to influences that cloud their vision of the future. Thanks to these
help our students prepare for college, find scholarships, and write an community partnerships and the hard work and personal examples of
effective college application essay. our seminar presenters, PALS students have been given a clearer vision
for the road that lies ahead.
32 BOYS PARTICIPATE IN
YLF’s First Program in Virginia BY DAVID COOK
One year ago, Hector Beteta and Edwin Requeno would have been unable But the testimonies of Edwin and Hector tell the true story of the ways
to participate in a YLF program. Although their mother believed they in which the students have benefited from the program.
desperately needed the character formation YLF had to offer, driving into “I’m learning how to read better in this program. Now when I go to
DC every Saturday was simply more than she was able to handle. school I read more than I used to… I don’t play as many video games as
But thanks to YLF’s first ever Virginia program in Annandale, Hector, I used to. I don’t watch as much television either,” said Edwin.
Edwin and 30 other boys have been able to take advantage of the Hector continues, talking about his mentor Alejandro: “He helps us
services that YLF has already provided to more than 2,600 students in with stuff, like math. I used to not know much about multiplication, but
DC over the past 17 years. now I do because he’s helped me with it.”
Said Hector and Edwin’s mother, Lorena Requeno, about what they Unfortunately, for every Edwin and every Hector who are learning to
were like before enrolling in the program: “They had no confidence at all. use their time constructively through YLF, there are many more Hispanic
They would always want help with their homework… They used to argue boys in northern Virginia who are in danger of being recruited into the
a lot. Now they don’t. They’ll talk to each other nicely and sit together to Latino gangs that populate the area. It has become such a concern that
do their homework. They never did that before.” the Fairfax County schools have begun to offer anti-gang lessons as early
“Now when I tell them to do something they try harder than before. as the fourth grade.
Teachers tell me they are improving. Their reading skills and math skills YLF hopes that many more families enroll their sons in the Virginia
are improving. Hector, in particular, has improved in math because he program to expose them to role models worthy of their emulation. Every
has more confidence than he used to.” Hector needs an Alejandro.
Overall, the Virginia program has enjoyed much success in its first “[Hector] seems to truly enjoys his Saturday mornings, why wouldn’t
year. In the Fall program alone, nearly half the students improved their he? It’s a wonderful opportunity to spend time with his friends and learn
reading level by a full grade level. Enrollment has doubled since the first from good men who are trying to prepare these young boys for a life filled
Saturday program in September. Attendance rates are consistently above with good character, strong work ethic, and fun. Hector buys into it, and it
90%, despite the fact that several of the students come from as far away shows in his work and participation.”
as Woodbridge—nearly 20 miles away!
SOUL control himself.
INSTILLING HARMONY INtheTHE encouragement (continued) He assigned the student a
harmony can exist in a person’s soul only Moreover, constant
when there is a proper hierarchy among the and rewards they receive from the Character simple exercise of writing out 250 times, “I will
parts: the reasoning ruling over the appetitive Counts Program result in the students getting think before I act.” In addition to this activity,
by means of the spirited. However, when one excited about living out the virtues. They learn the mentor set weekly goals with the student
has desires or appetites that are contrary to that hard work, discipline, and thoughtful that included not talking back to elders, and
their knowledge, there is division in the soul. action is good, and they become enthusiastic avoiding others who pestered him. The result
The Tenley Achievement Program helps to about becoming diligent, disciplined, and was not instantaneous, but over the course of
instill harmony in the soul by encouraging its prudent. More simply put, their spirited part the semester, the student did improve, and he
students to live out Socrates’ prescription. becomes enthusiastic about being began to exhibit the virtue of thinking before
TAP requires its students to form good habits thoughtful—their reasoning part begins to rule acting. He was beginning to live by his head,
by setting weekly goals and by being over their desiring part by means of their and a greater harmony was beginning to show
accountable for their goals to their mentors. spirited part. itself in his character. At the December
They are taught always to think before they This type of training helped the student Christmas Reception and Awards Ceremony,
act and to provide reasons for their conduct. who was struggling with his temper. His the student received the Fortitude Award
They learn to be perpetual evaluators of their mentor, coordinating with his mother, became because of his tireless efforts to improve in
own actions. aware of his suspensions and began to talk one of his weakest areas. Socrates would
specifically with him about his inability to have been proud.
“ I am grateful for the support that the program is giving to my son Joshua.
He is counting the days to go and receive the class.
If it was not for your program and the teacher’s effort,
my son would not be having the confidence that he now has.
I know it is going to take more time, but I am already able to see the result.
—Virginia TAP Parent
I am the fortunate mother of two growing young men; Daniel Flack of 13 years and Joshua Flack
of 8 years. As a single mom, I provide the necessities of life for my sons such as food, shelter,
and clothing. I am also responsible for shaping their values, their beliefs, and their character.
Programs like the Youth Leadership Foundation address the physical, social, and intellectual
needs of young men. Your mentors provide guidance. Your weekly goals promote self discipline
and accountability. Your sports provide fun and teach sportsmanship and leadership. It is
programs like YLF that lead young men to more fulfilling and successful lives. It is programs like
YLF that steer young men away from the streets and prison life. Today my two sons are recipients
of Honor Roll status. Joshua is in the 3rd grade at Turning Point Academy. Daniel is in the 8th
grade at Kettering Middle School. You need to know that your program has contributed to their
success. Dr. King said “if I’ve helped someone along the way, then my living has not been in
vain.” Well at the close of the day, you can say that YLF’s living has not been in vain.
Thank you for all that you do.
YLF parent Catherine Bolds-Flack
Please remember to include the YLF during the upcoming Combined Federal Campaign: CFC#32181, United Way # 8875
w w w. h e l p i n g k i d s . o r g
Washington, DC 20016
PERMIT NO. 626
WASHINGTON, DC 4101 Yuma Street, NW
PAID Youth Leadership Foundation
Then join us on the day of the event for competition, food, celebrities and an all around great time!
players who will compete to help disadvantaged youth achieve their academic and personal dreams.
Icon to learn more about locations, times, and how you can make a contribution in support of one of the many
raise $5,000 each, will compete for this year's championship. Go to the YLF website and click on the Softball Player
attending Youth Leadership Foundation academic and character building programs. 8 teams, who have committed to
Join us on Saturday, May 30 for the 2nd Annual “Play Ball For DC Kids” Charity Softball Tournament in support of kids
Saturday, May 30 : “Play Ball For DC Kids” Charity Softball Tournament