By: Luis Chacon
Province Coordinator for Volunteers
As you may have heard, in January the Salesian Family Youth Center joined the Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce. We have had the opportunity to meet, learn, participate, and collaborate in different committees, meetings, and councils to make the difference in the world of formal and non-formal education. On July 25, a unique opportunity was presented to me and other representatives of the Salesian Family Youth Center in which we had the opportunity to participated in a round table with Congressman Jimmy Gomez.
Being part of the Chamber of Commerce has its challenges. Juan Carlos Montenegro and I have had to expand our comfort zone. It is a different crowd than what we are used to. We get to meet new people and speak of our organization to other organizations and people from very diverse circles. At the end of the day, we are happy to be part of these circles because we know it enables us to offer more and better services to the poorest and neediest youth and children in our area.
Although we have not engaged in political partnerships, we have been able to advocate for education, minorities, nonprofits and the poorest. We proudly represent a nonprofit that wants to make a difference in the lives of people in our community. Following Don Bosco’s teachings, we try to be present in workforce committees as well as in education and nonprofit committees. We are working to build meaningful bridges and are motivated to learn as much as we can that will benefit the work we do for our community.
A takeaway I had at this last round table is the views many had about education, a topic that Don Bosco would undoubtedly be an expert on. Education was referred to as a way to help and reverse the situation of hunger, poverty and malnutrition in the United States. Don Bosco would agree that it is important to reverse the situation of hunger, poverty, and malnutrition, but it is much better to prevent it through education.
At the Salesian Family Youth Center, we continue to take on challenges. We are willing to go as far needed to form “Good Christians and upright Citizens”, because as Don Bosco once said, “For you I study, for you I work, for you I live, for you I am ready even to give my life”.