057: Grassroot Efforts to Mentor Children in Volusia County — Catalyst Global Youth Initiative with Felicia Benzo

Catalyst aims to mentor 10% of children living in Volusia County.

Felicia Benzo was minding her own business when one day she got a knock on her door. It was two women looking for Felicia, and they needed her help. Felicia wanted nothing more than to close the door, but she saw how desperate these women were. It turns out, they needed her help to develop a mentorship program for their youth living below the poverty line in Volusia County. This is how Felicia founded Catalyst Global Youth Initiative. She believes it’s a shame that children — the most optimistic kind of human beings — grow up without any hope, but she hopes her program can change that.

Key Takeaways:

[3:15] How did Felicia get involved with Catalyst?

[6:40] Why Felicia never intended to be the one to run the charity organization.

[8:30] Of the 72 schools in Volusia County,  85% are designated title 1. What does it mean to be a designated title 1 school?

[11:25] When you think about it, poverty takes hope away from a person.

[13:35] To ensure a child’s greatness, Felicia and her team do vision boards with the children every single year.

[15:10] Catalyst was founded almost 7 years ago.

[17:00] About 60% of Catalyst mentors have been with their children for over two years. The program plans to give mentorship to each child until they’ve reached high school.

[23:15] How did Felicia leverage her grassroots efforts to get Catalyst off the ground?

[26:00] Who’s perpetrating the violence? Who’s perpetrating child slavery? It isn’t the children.

[27:25] Felicia discusses the 4 principles that drive Catalyst.

[32:40] How does Felicia measure Catalyst and their program’s successes?

[37:30] What kind of feedback has Felicia received from the Catalyst mentors?

[39:20] It is Catalyst’s focus to mentor 10% of the children in the country, which is around 6,400 children.

[41:25] It is unacceptable for children to be sitting around doing nothing at home. Children need to learn basic principles and responsibility.

[44:45] All children deserve to have a chance.

[47:20] How can the Giving Back community help with Catalyst’s mission?

[54:45] Our young children today need consistent presence.

Mentioned in This Episode:

Giving Back Podcast

Catalyst Global Youth Initiatives

Mentor National

Call Felicia: (386) 216-4289




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