By Brandon Johnson 
Contributing Writer

From business owner to employee, one thing is for certain, there is no magic formula for success. There are however various principles and “steps for success” that, if engrained in young minds early enough, can help distant dreams become tangible realities. This was the mission of this year’s fourth annual “Reach One Teach One: Steps for Success Annual Youth Summit.”

Held, Saturday April 12th at the Education Cultural Complex, this summit gave middle school and high school students the “tools needed to develop positive peer and professional relationships as well as information about employment and educational opportunities.” With vendors on hand to answer questions and share information, the youth had opportunities to speak with representatives from the SDPD, FBI, the Latino Youth Council, and Bellus Academy to name a few. Following tradition the young men also received neck-ties that were donated to the organization and were also given a lesson on tying them. To start the day, the newly appointed Mayor Faulconer came and delivered a poignant key-note address focused on the power in determination and in not giving up even after failure, ensuring that great things can still happen if you get back up after defeat. Along with free lunch and snacks, raffle prizes, and a dance battle, the program included thought-provoking breakout sessions from various community leaders with equally varying backgrounds who shared their individual and often challenging roads to success, which led to many raised hands and great discussion amongst the youth.

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Reach One Teach One is a non-profit organization focused on mentoring youth, reducing gang and community violence, fostering unity and improving the quality of life in urban neighborhoods. For more information they can be reached at info@rotosd.org or www.facebook.com/ROTOSD.

Photos by Brandon Johnson