Our Youth Are the Future
It is a beautiful summer day at the C5 Leadership Camp on the historic Parrie Haynes Ranch, located outside of Killeen, Texas. 7th and 8th grade children are learning life skills to help prepare them for leadership roles in their schools, careers, and daily lives. These children, all highly motivated, come from diverse backgrounds and will be the first generation of their family to further their education past high school. This is the goal and mission of the C5 Youth Foundation of Texas, also known as C5 Texas.
C5 stands for Character-Driven, Community-Focused, Challenge-Ready, College-Bound, and Committed to a Better Future; all core concepts that make C5 a success. The idea for the C5 Youth Foundation was started in 1999 in Los Angeles by John Alm, former CEO of Coca-Cola Enterprises and received the 501(c)(3) organization status in 2001, allowing for fundraising and financing, eventually becoming four programs in different parts of the United States. Each program became a self-standing 501(c)(3) organization in 2008, including the C5 Youth Foundation of Texas.
Taking Care of Business
In an interview with Let’s Connect Magazine, Director, Daneshe “Dani Bethune” talked about her new job with the foundation and taking over the executive director position during the difficult time of coronavirus. C5 relies on conferences, camp, trips, community service, and sessions called Pathways. All of these require face to face situations where social distancing may not be possible. Mrs. Dani has introduced successful Zoom meetings to compensate for meetings and activities. She introduced care packages for the Leaders (students enrolled), that included a variety of comfort and character-building items for the Leaders and their families. She planned and executed a social distancing graduation ceremony for all the Leaders as they ranked up, while planning a ceremony for the graduating class.
The current mindset of Mrs. Dani and her staff is to support the well-being of their leaders while making sure they comply with the standards and requirements of the programs. While the program is college focused, it is also career-minded as well. Mrs. Dani realizes that not all students will attend college immediately following high school graduation. She has worked hard to build professional connections between C5 and the military, along with vocational schools and community organizations that can provide additional resources. She is building C5 for the future, mitigating against all possible obstacles for her Leaders.
Despite the hardships of current times, C5 is prepared to meet all challenges and continue to build up leaders for now and in the future for Texas and beyond. The vision of the future is being passed to the next generation thanks to this hardworking group.
For more information, or to make a donation, visit https://www.c5texas.org/about-us/
or contact Daneshe’ “Dani” Bethune, Executive Director, at Daneshe.Bethune@c5texas.org
By Mary Castle Ellerd