"Intelligence plus character" that is the goal of true education - Martin Luther King Jr.
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HOMETOWN HEROES
THIS SECTION OF THE WEBSITE IS GEARED TO TWO PEOPLE WHO HAD MADE EXTRAORDINARY VOLUNTEER CONTRIBUTIONS TO THE CENTER FOR THE ENTIRE YEAR. THESE TWO PEOPLE HAD ACCEPTED THE CHALLENGE "TO DARE TO MAKE A DIFFERENCE" IN THE LIVES OF THE YOUTH.



2009: 
   

JAHLISHA TAFT

HAS BEEN A MENTEE AT DARDEN ENLIGHTMENT CENTER FOR THE PAST YEAR. WHEN JAHLISHA FIRST CAME TO THE CENTER SHE HAD LOST THE DESIRE TO SUCCEED IN LIFE SHE WAS IN DESPERATE NEED OF DIRECTION, IN FACT JAHLISHA WAS SO OVERCOME BY HER CURRENT CIRCUMSTANCES SHE WAS EVEN CONSIDERING QUITTING SCHOOL WITH NO TYPE KNOWLEDGE OF WHAT SHE WAS GOING TO DO IN LIFE - SHE NEEDED HELP.
     WORKING AND MEETING WITH JAHLISHA SOMETIMES TWO TO THREE TIMES PER WEEK WE WERE ABLE TO HELP HER BRING BACK THAT LIGHT IN HER EYE SHE HAD SEEMINGLY LOST AND BECAUSE OF THAT NOT ONLY DID JAHLISHA FINISH HIGH SCHOOL BUT SHE FINISH EARLY AND IS NOW LOOKING AT ATTENDING COLLEGE. THANK YOU JAHLISHA FOR ALLOWING US TO BE A PART OF YOUR LIFE.
     THIS IS WHAT MAKES MENTORING ALL WORTHWHILE - THE CHANCE TO MAKE A POSITIVE DIFFERENCE IN A PERSONS LIFE. YOU MAY READ JAHLISHA FULL ARTICLE IN THE FARMVILLE ENTERPRISE NEWSPAPER VOL. 98, NO. 4 TITLE - PROVIDING HOPE FOR THE COMMUNITY.

HAROLD LIBSTER

    
MR. HAROLD LIBSTER RECENTLY MOVED INTO THE COMMUNITY AND ONE OF THE FIRST THINGS HE DID WAS CONTACT DARDEN ENLIGHTMENT CENTER TO VOLUNTEER HIMSELF TWICE PER WEEK TO HELP US REACH TOWARDS OUR MISSION AND GOALS. MR. LIBSTER COMES WITH A BACKGROUND IN COMPUTERS AND HAS BEEN A WELCOME ADDITION TO OUR COMPUTER LAB HERE AT THE CENTER. IT IS THROUGH HIS EXAMPLE OF VOLUNTEER EFFORTS (THAT IF THE WORLD WOULD ADOPT) WOULD TRULY PUT ADDITIONAL MEANING TO THE PHRASE "NO CHILD LEFT BEHIND".

2010:

UNDREY FORBES

    
MR. UNDREY FORBES JOIN OUR CENTER AS A VOLUNTEER IN MARCH 2009. MR. FORBES COMES WITH A BACKGROUND IN BOXING, CRIMINAL CORRECTIONS AND FIRE-FIGHTING. WITH A RESUME SUCH AS HIS, HE IS TRULY A WELCOME ADDITION TO OUR JOB PLACEMENT AND TRAINING PROGRAM HERE AT THE CENTER. HIS DEDICATION TO HELPING TO MAKE A DIFFERENCE IN A YOUNG PERSONS LIFE IS SECOND TO NONE AND DESERVES RECOGNITION. THANK YOU, MR. UNDREY FOR BEING THAT GREAT PERSON THAT WE CAN COUNT ON.


CHICA CHUKWU

    
MS. CHICA CHUKWU CAME TO OUR CENTER AS A VOLUNTEER LOOKING TO MAKE A DIFFERENCE. HAVING WORK WITH A STEP TEAM IN COLLEGE SHE WAS A PERFECT CANDIDATE TO WORK WITH OUR YOUTHS STEP TEAM. AFTER WORKING WITH THE TEAM FOR SEVERAL MONTHS MS. CHUKWU DECIDED SHE WANTED TO BE MORE INVOLVED THAN JUST A ONCE PER WEEK STEP INSTRUCTOR - SHE WANTED TO REACH THE YOUTH ON A PERSONAL LEVEL - SHE WANTED TO MENTOR. WE QUICKLY MATCH HER UP WITH A YOUTH THAT SEEMED IDEAL FOR HER. THE TWO RESPONDED TO EACH OTHER AS IF THEIR MATCH WAS ALREADY PRE-ORDAINED. THANK YOU MS. CHICA CHUKWU FOR NEVER BEING SATISFIED AND FOR MAKING THAT DIFFERENCE IN THAT YOUTH'S LIFE.

LATASHA BRADLEY-DARDEN

   
MRS. LATASHA BRADLEY-DARDEN HAS BEEN VOLUNTEERING HER SERVICES HERE AT THE CENTER FOR SEVERALS YEARS NOW. WHEN WE ASK MRS. DARDEN WHY SHE WANTED TO VOLUNTEER SHE STATED "IT HAS ALWAYS BEEN MY DREAM TO HAVE A YOUTH CENTER, WORKING IN A CENTER WOULD BE THE NEXT BEST THING" AND SO WE OPEN UP OUR ARMS AND WELCOME HER IN THE CENTER. MRS. DARDEN HAS PROVED TO BE A VOLUNTEER THAT IS DEPENDABLE, TRUSTWORTHY, HONEST, SINCERE, HUMBLE AND CARING. SHE IS ALWAYS GIVING WITHOUT EXPECTING ANYTHING IN RETURN. THANK YOU MRS. DARDEN FOR BEING THAT IDEAL VOLUNTEER, ROLE MODEL AND FRIEND TO THE YOUTH OF THE CENTER.

2011

DOMINIQUE BAKER

    
MR. DOMINIQUE BAKER CAME TO OUR CENTER SEVERAL MONTHS AGO EXPRESSING AN INTEREST IN WANTING TO HELP MAKE A DIFFERENCE IN A YOUNG PERSONS LIFE. MR. BAKER CAME TO OUR CENTER WITH OVER A DECADE INVOLVED IN THE MARTIAL ARTS. WITH THIS TYPE OF KNOWLEDGE WE FELT THAT MR. BAKER WOULD BE A GREAT CHOICE TO TAKE OVER OUR KARATE TEAM HERE AT THE CENTER. MR BAKER AGREED AND SINCE THEN HAS BECOME ONE OF THE MOST DEPENDABLE AND TRUSTWORTHY VOLUNTEERS WE HAVE. THANK YOU MR. BAKER FOR NOT JUST SEEING THE NEED BUT ALSO HAVING THE WILLINGNESS TO DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT.

JAMES SMITH 

    
LONG TIME SPORTS FANATIC, HIGH-SCHOOL SPIRIT COMMANDER AND YOUTH ADVOCATE. IT SEEMS THAT EVERYONE IN OUR CITY KNOWS MR. SMITH FOR HIS POSITIVE DEEDS, RE-DIRECTION TACTICS AND HIGH OUTLOOK ON LIFE. EVERY ONCE IN A WHILE YOU RECEIVED A VOLUNTEER WHO GOES BEYOND THE CALL, WHO DOESN'T FIT INTO ONE PLACE BUT CAN FIT INTO ANY PLACE, MR. SMITH IS THAT VOLUNTEER. NEVER COMPLAINING AND ALWAYS WILLING TO HELP NO MATTER WHAT THE SITUATION CALLS FOR. THANK YOU MR. SMITH FOR BEING EVERYTHING THAT WE NEEDED WHEN WE NEEDED IT.

2012:

DANA JOYNER

    
OUR CENTER IS PROUD TO RECOGONIZE THE EFFORTS OF MR. DANA JOYNER. MR JOYNER HAS BEEN VOLUNTEERING AT OUR CENTER FOR CLOSE TO A YEAR NOW. HE ALWAYS SHOWS UP WITHOUT EXPECTING ANYTHING IN RETURN. IT IS THROUGH DEDICATION SUCH AS HIS THAT HELPS TO MAKE OUR WORK POSSIBLE. THANK YOU MR. JOYNER FOR ALL THAT YOU HAVE DONE. YOUR EFFORTS TRULY HELP TO BETTER THE LIVES OF THE YOUTH OF OUR COMMUNITY.

LINNIE DAVIS

    
SOMETIMES KNOWN AS COACH DAVIS, BIG MUSCLE LINNIE OR FRIEND. LINNIE HAS ALWAYS MADE IT A PRIORITY TO REACH OUT TO THE TROUBLED YOUTH IN WHATEVER ROLE HE WAS NEEDED IN. LINNIE HAS OFTEN WORKED AS A PHYSICAL ACTIVITY LEADER, MENTOR AND COMMUNITY SPOKESPERSON FOR OUR CENTER. NO MATTER WHERE WE NEEDED HIM, HE HAS ALWAYS DONE HIS BEST TO BE THERE. THANKS LINNIE FOR BEING IN THE PLACES SO MANY TIMES THAT WE COULDN'T, THANK YOU FOR ALL THAT YOU HAVE DONE AND FOR SHOWING THAT A PERSON WHO REALLY CARES IS NOT JUST ABOUT WORDS BUT IS ABOUT ACTION AS WELL. 

2013:

CHANGING THE OUTCOME OF AN ADULT OF TOMORROW STARTS BY THE CHANGING THE MENTALITY OF THE YOUTH OF TODAY!