The Vohokase Cultural Leadership Program has been the Light Foundation’s flagship youth program for nearly two decades. It allows young men from cities and towns across the country to make a four-year commitment to growing and becoming valuable leaders in their lives, and their communities, at large. It’s at the core of our mission to take young people out of their everyday environments and provide them with unique opportunities that ignite their passion, purpose, and motivation to succeed.
An important element of the program is the hometown visits with the Campers that take place three times a year. In addition, to the weekly check-in calls our Camp Vohokase Director Brandon Ervin makes to the sixteen young men, are in-person visits that allows them to bond with one another, get to know our Foundation staff a little better, and offer them a chance to help their own communities through a service project. Camp Vohokase builds character and lifetime friendships, which is why hometown visits are so important.
Another key aspect of these visits is the access we provide the young men to educational career tour opportunities, and we have an incredible network of professionals from a vast array of industries that we can tap into on their behalf. The Light Foundation’s longtime Board Member and current Board Treasurer, Steve Trax, is the Regional Managing Director of MAI Capital Management in Washington D.C. The Junior Class of five men, who hail from the D.C. area, were given the opportunity to hear both Steve and Wealth Manager of MAI Capital, Tony Davis, give their vocation at our recent winter hometown visit.
The young men engaged in a conversation that focused on the purpose of Steve and Tony’s mission, the obstacles they faced, the sacrifices they made along the way, and their path to the successful and thriving business they run today. The realization that fiscal responsibility and personal finance is not taught in most schools these days made this career “tour” so much more impactful.
These future leaders had the chance to learn about taxes and the process MAI Capital Management takes to help manage clients’ financial portfolios. Steve and Tony also helped the young men plan for their future finances in a small capacity, and determine the necessary path, no matter which field of study or course of work they choose to pursue.
At the conclusion of the meeting, the Campers left with key takeaways that will help them continue to grow on their leadership journey. The main phrase that stuck out most of them was, “use the game, don’t let the game use you.” Steve explained that the “game” itself is mental toughness, and that they needed to understand how to take advantage of opportunities and not let the hurdles they’ll face in life ever drag them down.
We owe a huge thanks to Steve Trax and Tony Davis for carving time out of their busy schedules to help these young leaders embark on their life’s journey with the skills they need to win. Their instruction was so impactful that we plan to add financial planning to our Camp Vohokase curriculum this summer and moving forward. Stay tuned for details on our next hometown visit to Hammond, Indiana.
Camp Vohokase Director