My most enduring memory serving with WorldVentures Foundation was the bottle-school trips, until my most recent service excursion to the Taft Boys & Girls Club in Orlando, Florida. This club is full of some of the most giving spirits I have ever met. You can tell they are not just a club that provides some after-school play space for kids; they are a family. Anything that their members need or their staff needs, they link arms and make it happen. And because of that, they are helping to raise some very strong youth, youth who are the future of our world.
We had the opportunity to meet one of their members who was named “Youth of the Year” for their club. She had the courage to share her story with a room full of international strangers, and she absolutely blew us away. From the moment she walked in the room, you could see sunbeams; she is a shining light in a dark world. But when she began to tell her story, we heard of the many times throughout her 17 years that people tried to dim her light — family, friends, you name it, all tried to put her flame out. But she never lost her spark. And by being welcomed into the Taft Club with open arms, and taken under the wings of the club director, that spark turned into a flame again, and it’s growing into a beautiful, blazing wildfire.
She said, “I have not let my circumstances decide my outcome, but instead, through my choices, I am creating my outcome.” She is designing her life, and taking control to live an inspired life. If a 17-year-old from a broken home with no support in the early stages of her life can do it, then what’s my excuse?