Shantrina Ealy became a mother at 15; Shane Huffman couldn’t write until 18. These are just two examples of the challenges that face hundreds of youth in San Bernardino County, a population that some may deem a lost cause. That is farthest from the truth to those who direct and oversee youth programs that aim to help them become successful, self-sufficient and productive members of society.

Photo/MJ Duncan Over 600 youth who participate in San Bernardino County Workforce Investment Board’s youth programs throughout the county came together for a day of networking, listening to motivational speakers and attending career workshops. Pictured, from left, are Carlos Vasquez, 17, Academic Coach Ivan Lumba and Shane Hoffman, 23 from Operation New Hope.

 

The San Bernardino County Workforce Investment Board held its annual Y4 event on Friday, Nov. 20 at the Ontario Convention Center where over 600 participants in their numerous youth programs throughout the county came together for a day of networking, listening to motivational speakers, and attending workshops on how to achieve career success.

The event, designed by participants in the various youth programs in 2009, serves as a capstone for all the programs and presents an opportunity for youth to realize that they are part of a bigger picture – a countywide effort to provide the necessary resources to ensure opportunities are readily available for them to be successful in their careers and in life.

Y4: “Why youth? Why wait? Why now? Why no? Because the next generation is already here!” “This event brings youth together to see that there are others like you,” said WIB Deputy Director Miguel McQueen. “These vendors at the resource fair show them how to apply the information they’ve been taught to real world scenarios. They can ask those representatives of industry sectors what steps they need to take to pursue a career in that particular field.”

Nationally renowned authors and motivational speakers Dr. Alex Ellis and Arel Moodie were presenters at the event. The keynote speech, delivered by Dr. Ellis, “Image is Power,” highlighted how to present oneself through attire, image, character and esteem. Moodie engaged youth in dynamic workshops that included advice on workplace success and how to network for career success.

“So many young people here have incredible stories that they could use as excuses for why they don’t achieve and why they’re in trouble, but they’re using these stories as motivation for success in life,” said Dr. Ellis. “Y4 is an opportunity to give them tools on their journey to their destiny.”

Personal presentation was this year’s theme, and youth were dressed in professional attire procured from Goodwill. Dr. Ellis underscored that one’s outfit should compliment their true nature. “I don’t want you wearing a shirt and tie, and you’re at home beating your girlfriend. Be the best person you can be on the inside and express it through clothing on the outside in order to get the respect and reputation you deserve.”

Shantrina of Victorville, now 17, is obtaining work experience through Goodwill and is determined to provide well for her 2-year-old daughter. She graduated from high school this month, a milestone she didn’t expect to achieve because of her challenges. “I’ve seen my mom on drugs and I’m doing everything to make sure I can be better and to teach my daughter right.”

Shane, now 23, is four credits from graduating high school. He has been enrolled in Operation New Hope in Rancho Cucamonga where he received vocational credits and life skills training. “I never thought I could get my high school diploma, and because of all these people (academic coaches) I’m going to achieve it,” Shane gushed enthusiastically. He attributes his accomplishments and future prospects to Operation New Hope. He is enrolled in a pre-veterinarian tech program, engaged to be married, owns a car and lives in a house with his fiancé.

“Events like this are inspirational to us who are behind the scenes helping at-risk youth achieve their own greatness,” said Martinez Sellers, Operation New Hope Executive Director. “Here we can clearly see their excitement about their future possibilities, and it validates why we do what we do.”

Photo/MJ Duncan Entrepreneur, author and motivational speaker Arel Moodie acted as the event’s emcee and also presented workshops on workplace success and networking.  His dynamic sessions engaged youth who sat and listened intently to his advice that included the importance of working hard and taking the initiative, and to being the “best employee ever” and to take pride in even the most menial tasks.

Photo/MJ Duncan Entrepreneur, author and motivational speaker Arel Moodie acted as the event’s emcee and also presented workshops on workplace success and networking. His dynamic sessions engaged youth who sat and listened intently to his advice that included the importance of working hard and taking the initiative, and to being the “best employee ever” and to take pride in even the most menial tasks. Photo/MJ Duncan Entrepreneur, author and motivational speaker Arel Moodie acted as the event’s emcee and also presented workshops on workplace success and networking. His dynamic sessions engaged youth who sat and listened intently to his advice that included the importance of working hard and taking the initiative, and to being the “best employee ever” and to take pride in even the most menial tasks.

 

 

Article source: http://iecn.com/hundreds-youth-bear-stories-challenges-achievement-hope-y4-event/