Power 4 Youth
February 5, 2016
Hosted by Nelinia Varenas
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Power 4 Youth began in response to the Los Angeles riots of the ’90s. A group of Long Beach ministers got together to try to understand what might have caused such a breakdown of community. In 1999 they began Power 4 Youth as a grassroots effort to reach kids “on the edge” – those who were not in trouble, but whose success depended on having a positive influence to balance the negative challenges they faced. The program began with six at-risk teens and six mentors, operating as a project of the Presbyterian Church. Although founded by a church, there has never been any religious component. Today, Power 4 Youth serves over 50 youths each week. Power 4 Youth continues to grow, matching at-risk middle school youth with mentors. We will be speaking with the Executive Director, Val Parker, to gain insights into how adults can positively influence children to take charge of their lives.
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Why do people decide to take a bold action or to do nothing? This smart, spirited and fun show takes you on an inspiring tour through the life-defining experiences of remarkable people who, with grace, selfless purpose, vision and drive, have saved lives, infused hope and provided critical help to others. These true stories delve into the thoughts, perspectives and emotions of guest speakers as they juggled decisions that ultimately altered lives of others for better. Provocative and yet sincere questions will reveal motivating touchstones for you as you apply what you hear to your own life. Our program is designed to provide authentic, frank, and at times humorous conversations. The undercurrent of the program is to help you expand the legacy that you leave in your wake and to become an inspiration and a beacon of joyful living to others.
Nelinia’s parents immigrated to the United States with the dream of living a life of which they could be proud and that would grant fulfilling opportunities, happiness and intrinsic satisfaction. Nelinia’s father and mother instilled the values of integrity, responsibility, respectfulness, curiosity, knowledge, sacrifice and hard work. Throughout her life, Nelinia has surrounded herself with role models who encouraged her to set high standards, achieve and succeed. These same role models also helped her evolve into the caring and compassionate person she is today. Nelinia is committed to helping people in the same way that she was helped: through encouragement, kindness, selflessness and vision. As a perennial student of life and boundless optimist, Nelinia stays engaged with people in all walks of life. She is a member of Rotary International, Junior League, the Long Beach Area Chamber of Commerce, Toastmasters International and Business Networking International.