As we look back on the month of March, we can’t help but focus on the impact made on the sophomore class in our Vohokase Cultural Leadership Program through a hometown visit. The mission of this flag-ship program is to walk alongside 16 young men each year to help them become leaders in their own communities, equipped with the necessary tools, and a heart for service. Part of the program includes quarterly hometown visits to foster the ongoing relationship between the campers, their class, and the Foundation while introducing them to opportunities that are right in their backyard.
For the most recent hometown visit, our Camp Vohokase Director, Brandon Ervin, traveled to Brockton Massachusetts to catch up with Jarred Mighty, Milton Monteiro, Rajon Burkes, and Gaethan Sinsaire. They are just miles away from the roots Matt and his family have planted in the New England area and with that comes great expectations for these young men. They are also located close to one of our Corporate Partners, Haynes Group, Inc., which made for a perfect opportunity on this hometown visit!
The goal of our visit to the construction company was to open the students’ eyes to a few possible career choices that they could consider when planning their futures. Haynes Group, Inc. combines quality construction and project management with a level of personalized service beyond anything available in the industry. We were able to interact with Mike and Bryan Haynes, the founders, and some of their employees: Kaitlin Kingman, Group Marketing Director; Aaron Johnson, General Superintendent; and Joe Beck, Site Superintendent. They all spoke on their journeys and how they decided to embark on a career in the trades. They also spoke on the importance of making good decisions, working hard, fostering relationships, and being committed in order to have a successful career. Mike’s story of how he and his brother started Haynes Group in their basement resonated. The young men were so intrigued and interested in other options the Haynes Group could offer that you may just see one of these young men interning with them this summer!
At the Light Foundation, we encourage all young people to participate in educational experiences, community service, career tours, and college visits to explore all options for their futures. The Haynes Group is a wonderful resource and sponsor of the Light Foundation and have played a big role in welcoming these young men to step into their world and learn more about opportunities they otherwise may have never heard of or considered. And for that we could never thank them enough!
This hometown visit also had a big focus around accountability and how your actions can affect things in a greater capacity than ever imagined. In order to coach them to become great leaders, we as mentors must express how actions have consequences and model how to show a positive personal awareness. We dove into the book: The Butterfly Effect. Andy Andrews writes about how actions create a ripple effect and can create earth shattering results. After reading the book, we discussed it amongst one another and concluded that anyone can create a path by being a good example for those that look up to them. We also discussed the importance of accountability to help them create positive ripple effects in life and not negative ones – especially as freshmen in high school.
During the hometown visit, we also saved time to hit up the New England Patriots Hall of Fame! Why the New England Patriots Hall of Fame, you ask? Because our Co-Founder, Matt Light is an inductee and has a shrine located there along with other greats who have played for the organization! It also proves to the young men that hard work and determination can get you to higher levels if you set a goal and work towards it.
Next, Matt took us to visit his friend Jeff at Helix eSports. There we received all access to competitive gaming and what racing simulators have to offer. Competitive gaming has taken the world by storm and Helix offers its very own professional gaming team right in the heart of New England. After several hours of educational engagement, gaming here was the perfect way to cap off this winter visit with the Brockton class.
It was a weekend well spent with these young men creating memories and instilling important life lessons required to be a great leader. And overall, ensuring them that we believe in them and are there to support them through a successful life journey. Camp Vohokase strives to prepare capable high school students to become responsible, ethical, and accountable leaders. The four-year commitment required will give them resources that may not have been explored outside of the opportunities provided by the Light Foundation.
Next up for the Brockton class is a hometown visit in the Spring – just before Camp Vohokase! Stay tuned!