family Tag

A Donor’s Perspective on Leadership and Youth Frontiers

The following content is taken from an interview with Ann Miller, 100th Anniversary Project Manager at Liberty Diversified International and long-time supporter of Youth Frontiers. 

How did you first connect with Youth Frontiers?

We’ve been supporting YF for, gosh, I don’t even know how many years. I don’t know exactly how my parents, Mike and Linda Fiterman, found the Youth Frontiers mission, but they’ve believed in it a long time. I got more involved in it through my career at Liberty Diversified International (LDI), and my daughter’s been connected through living exactly what they do. And so even though all three generations of our family are highly energized and engaged with Youth Frontiers’ mission, I think we are engaged for different reasons. In the last five years, we’ve really put that partnership on steroids because we think that it’s needed more now than ever.

For us, it’s all about leadership and it’s about legacy. And the leadership piece is how do we create stronger leaders not only at LDI, our company, but how do we create stronger future leaders? And what better way to create that legacy than with kids. And when we thought about how do we create this lasting legacy of leadership we knew Youth Frontiers was just a super partner for us.

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children sitting on a couch with a dog showing just their legs

Family meetings help promote values

By Sarah Aadland, Doing Good Together

Even when you’re doing your best to keep things simple, family life can be full at best. Too often it’s downright frazzled and unruly. Most weeks, it feels as though my family is racing in too many directions. And we’re not alone.

I catch the knowing, what-have-we-signed-up-for smiles from other parents during pick-up and drop-off times. Someone I know shares one of those meme’s touting all of the reasons dance or soccer or whatever is worth the time and sacrifice. The truth is, we all have different thresholds of feeling busy and overwhelmed.

My own family met ours this fall. And we made a few tweaks that lightened the load. The most useful tool we adopted was the weekly family meeting.

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2016 Youth Frontiers Minnesota Character Award Winner, Samantha HoangLong, caregiving for her grandfather

Making Grandpa Proud

By Samantha HoangLong, Youth Frontiers’ 2016 Character Award Winner

I was only 16 years old. Yet I was down on my knees, changing the diaper of an 89-year-old Vietnamese man.

Every day when I approached him, holding a clean diaper in my hand, I hoped that the dirty one was “light.” Sometimes he’d pee too much and soak the diaper, making everything around him wet. I would have to wipe him down and change his clothes.

At 16, I should have been hanging out with friends and staying up late watching Netflix. But I realized how this old man must feel — incapable of doing a simple task. A young woman had to change his diaper for him.

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Upcoming summer road trip? Follow these tips!

As the school year comes to a close and you start planning weekend trips or family vacations, we wanted to share a few fun tips from our travel experts – or at the very least, our Retreat Staff who spend close to half the retreat season on the road! While few people love sitting in a van for six hours to drive to locations like Madison and Omaha, our Retreat Staff have mastered the art of successful road trips. We interviewed our staff to get some professional insights and the following are just a few suggestions before you pack up the car and go this summer:READ MORE

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Doing Good Together

Doing Good Together: 50 Family Acts of Kindness

By Sarah Aadland, Doing Good Together

If you’re awake and near a screen, it’s likely you’re feeling a sense of urgency. The endless connectivity of our devices can’t help but give us an endless feeling of lagging behind. Whether your anxiety is generated by an overflowing workload, bulging schedule or the ongoing parade of alarming headlines, now is a great time to take a breath. Find your inner quiet, and focus on family acts of compassion right in your own community.READ MORE

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Deb and her daughter

Dancing to Her Own Beat

By Deb Peterson, Youth Frontiers’ Office Manager

There are things in life that people tell you are hard – learning a language, climbing a mountain, parenting… Why didn’t I believe them when they said that about parenting?

I had seen friends and family struggle at times with their kids, so I knew I’d encounter some bumps while parenting, but I thought they would be few and far between. Any daughter of mine would follow her parents’ rules, just as I did (for the most part) when I was a child. I imagined my family would be like those on TV – we’d love each other so much that any problems we had would be resolved within an hour and replaced with hugs and laughter. Ha! Now I know how naïve I was.READ MORE

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The Unexpected Light

By Erica Cantoni, Manager of Corporate and Major Gift Engagement

On a recent sunny Sunday, I followed my 16-month-old daughter, Junie, as she slowly but rather fearlessly climbed up dozens of wooden steps and platforms to the top of our local playground. As she stood contemplating the view and her next move, an older boy scrambled up, looked her over and declared, “This is only for big kids.” Restraining the roar of my inner Mama Bear, I responded, “Well, that’s not true, actually. She’s strong and brave and she belongs up here too.”READ MORE

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Books, Blogs and Teens: Encouraging Readers

“My son used to love reading when he was a little guy,” a mom recently lamented. “Now I honestly can’t remember the last time he read for fun.”
 

This parent isn’t alone in expressing concern about her child’s waning interest in reading as he grows older. The latest reports point to steep drops in literary reading and reading for pleasure among 15 to 24-year-olds in the United States. In addition to a marked decline over the last couple of decades, recent data shows that reading for fun drops precipitously from childhood to the teenage years.READ MORE

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keepers family

Love Is An Action

By Cheri Keepers, Youth Frontiers School Relations Representative

“When your child walks into a room, does your face light up?” – Toni Morrison

I have always loved this Toni Morrison quote. It reminds me of my favorite teachers and camp counselors who helped me be my best self by wholeheartedly liking me for exactly who I am. The simple way they remembered my name and connected with me through conversation and humor reminded me that I mattered.READ MORE

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