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Youth Guidance: Teaching By Example

For 40 years, positive role models have been making a dramatic difference in children’s lives.

Featured in the Press Journal, Brian Connelly, seated, was the first recipient of the Fighting Indians Booster Foundation $250 scholarship for academic as well as athletic excellence. With Connelly are, from left, foundation director Sam Block, VBHS football coach Billy Livings, former VBHS Principal John Witt and foundation director Bob Cook.

Featured in the Press Journal, Brian Connelly, seated, was the first recipient of the Fighting Indians Booster Foundation $250 scholarship for academic as well as athletic excellence. With Connelly are, from left, foundation director Sam Block, VBHS football coach Billy Livings, former VBHS Principal John Witt and foundation director Bob Cook.

Two paths. Forty years ago Brian Connelly had no idea that the one he was about to travel would have such an influence on his life. His journey began the day he met Sam Block and was introduced to what was to become Youth Guidance. “I remember very clearly people taking an interest in me and my two younger brothers, and Sam taking me under his wing,” says Connelly, who at 8 years old was the first child to participate in the start-up program.

“I don’t have recollections of specific conversations Sam and I had but just being together with him and his family and seeing how they interacted with one another, the sense of normalcy, left an impression on me. I’ve got these Polaroid shots of me in their home, swimming in their pool and just hanging out; of being with Sam in his boat, fishing, going to Dodger games. I would never have experienced things like that if it hadn’t been for him.

Read the entire article in the May 2013 issue