STEUBENVILLE — Ja’Quan Lavender, founder and president of the Ja’Quan Lavender Basis: The Journey to Gold, is trying ahead to March 25.
That’s the day when the Steubenville man is not going to solely share perception about his nonprofit, but additionally shine the highlight on “group champions” who’ve had a constructive influence on his life and the world.
The Gold Gala Awards at St. Florian Occasion Heart, 286 Luray Drive, Wintersville, additionally will characteristic feedback by Steubenville native Sylvia Crawley, a former Girls’s Nationwide Basketball Affiliation participant who additionally was the top ladies’s basketball coach of the Boston Faculty Eagles. A motivational speaker, Crawley is the CEO of Crawley’s Creations, proprietor of Crawley Wellness and co-founder of Monarch Journal.
The fundraiser occasion is open to the general public, and tickets are $50 per individual with March 18 the deadline to buy them by the e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or https://www.eventbrite.com/…/gold-gala-awards-red. Additionally they can be found from basis members or by making a verify payable to the Ja’Quan Lavender Basis and mailing it to P.O. Field 33, Steubenville OH 43952.
The gala begins at 5 p.m. with a red-carpet reception and can embrace a silent public sale, a Gold Gala reception and awards presentation together with Crawley as keynote speaker.
The eight Neighborhood Champions honorees are:
– Darlene Bonetti Marnich, a former professor of Lavender’s at Level Park College;
– Ted Gorman, Steubenville Excessive Faculty principal;
– Bobbyjon Bauman, director of the Sycamore Youth Heart and president of the Ohio Valley Youth Community;
– The Rev. Darrell W. Cummings, pastor of Bethlehem Apostolic Temple in Wheeling and Shiloh Apostolic Religion Meeting in Weirton and suffragan bishop of the Ohio Valley, Ohio District Council of the Pentecostal Assemblies of the World Inc.;
– Tyler Madden, a reporter for WTOV-TV 9;
– Jack Thornton Jr., a observe coach of Lavender’s;
– Willie McKenzie III, Mingo Junction’s police chief; and
– City Mission Ministries represented by the Rev. Ashley Steele and Cynthia Lytle.
“All of them performed an enormous position in my life and locally,” Lavender mentioned of the honorees.
The Ja’Quan Lavender Basis: The Journey to Gold — with the Journey to Gold program established to assist Nice, Alternatives, Lifts, Goals — is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) group that focuses on empowering youth in pursuing their hopes and desires by skilled programming and mentorship, based on its web site.
“It’s our imaginative and prescient to companion with college students in center faculty/highschool to be empowered by embracing the talents, habits of thoughts, perseverance, dedication and information it takes to beat distinctive challenges that restrict ethnic, racial and people of decrease socio-economics and in impoverished city areas,” it reads.
“The overarching aim is to uplift college students of all ethnicities and cultures and educate them to assist them develop the life expertise wanted to realize their full potential and succeed of their life desires. The scholars might be given instruments to help them in planning for his or her future and acquire information to internalize a mindset for his or her Journey to GOLD. On the finish of this system these college students who accomplished this system will obtain a ‘Gold; medal to point their achievement. The medal serves as a reminder that they are often profitable in life and to at all times persevere and be devoted by exhausting work.”
“It’s been occurring three years now, and we’re in Harding and Steubenville Excessive Faculty as properly and planning on taking up the entire Ohio Valley as properly to unfold our mentorship program,” he mentioned.
“It’s for 13-18-year-old younger women and men, instructing them life expertise in what’s a management growth program. We’re instructing them learn how to be leaders for the long run and for tomorrow,” Lavender defined of this system in place to date at Harding Center Faculty for seventh- and eighth-graders and Steubenville Excessive Faculty for freshmen by seniors.
The emphasis is to “information these younger males and girl to turn out to be prudent males and girl in life, to assist them turn out to be the picture God has referred to as them to be.”
Apart from Lavender, the muse is led by board members who embrace his mom, Renita Lavender, vp; Randall Lucas, basis adviser who additionally helps with the mentorship for the younger males’s program; Toshchel Demus, director for the Lead-Her younger girl’s program; Johnnie Geathers, director of the Lead-Him younger males’s program; Andre Lee, one other basis adviser; and Shakiera Butler, private growth coach who helps out with the wellness program.
Others instrumental within the basis’s operation are Janae Snyder and Lawrence Lewis.
Lavender, a 2014 graduate of Steubenville Excessive Faculty, mentioned he and his mom began the muse.
“We began the muse within the spring of 2020 after which we lastly received authorised, received established in June of 2020. I actually didn’t focus an excessive amount of on the muse as a result of I used to be coaching for the Olympics however we nonetheless had small conferences on what I needed to do. I needed to provide again to the group at the moment however didn’t know learn how to do it.”
“I began giving it extra consideration in 2021 after which early in 2022 we noticed our first partnership with Steubenville Excessive Faculty materialize. We now have our younger males and younger ladies’s packages for ninth-graders by twelfth grade, and our program is predicated off of management growth,” he mentioned. “It’s mentorship, however we’re instructing them greater than life expertise — we’re really getting ready them for the actual world as a result of you realize as soon as they’re out of highschool, they’ve two choices — to go to varsity or don’t go to varsity — so we have to put together them for what each worlds appear to be, and their views,” he mentioned.
The mentoring is going on throughout faculty hours, he famous.
In talking to basis targets, Lavender singled out two.
“My greatest aim for 2023 is I need to break floor and construct a youth heart in Steubenville,” he mentioned. He additionally cited the will to “really unfold my younger males and younger ladies’s program inside totally different colleges within the Ohio Valley.”
“My aim is to unfold it — it will be good to have a program in each faculty within the valley simply so we gained’t restrict ourselves simply to Steubenville as a result of I do know extra youngsters really need this program,” he commented.
Lavender graduated from Tiffin College with a level in sports activities advertising and works as gross sales director for the Rivers Membership in downtown Pittsburgh.
Throughout his highschool years, he was a observe standout. By the point he graduated in 2014, he was the OVAC 4A Class 400 report holder, was named All Ohio 5 instances, was a five-time state qualifier and twice was the Ohio Affiliation of Monitor and Cross-Nation Coaches state finalist within the 400 meter. He’s additionally Steubenville Excessive Faculty’s 400-meter indoor report holder, OHSAA state qualifier and a USATF Junior Olympian Qualifier, and holds the 400-meter report on the St. Clairsville Porterfield Invitational.
He went on to run the 200, 400 and the 4×4 relay at Level Park College earlier than transferring in 2016 to Tiffin College, the place he ran the 200, 400 and 4×4.
At 24, Lavender was engaged on qualifying on operating the 400 meter within the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo.
“In 2019 after I was leaving faculty, attempting to determine issues out, what I used to be going to do, I’m at all times a late-night thinker, so I used to be sitting up late in my residence and God had dropped the imaginative and prescient in my spirit and mentioned Ja’Quan, have a basis, so for him to drop the imaginative and prescient in my spirit, which means he needed to equip me with all the things that I want to hold forth that imaginative and prescient, in order that’s why I consider a lot on this basis, this system, as a result of it’s from him.
“I consider that he’s nonetheless engaged on me, equipping me with what I have to be that instance for these younger males.”