2024 Stories of Transformation Recap

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Last week, New Pathways for Youth (NPFY) held its annual Stories of Transformation Breakfast that left everyone in attendance inspired from the youth’s stories of change and resilience. This breakfast was also a celebration of the organizations 35th anniversary.

The morning started with a welcome from Cabinet Executive Officer, Tonya Hamilton, on behalf of Governor Katie Hobbs. Immediately after, Arizona Mayor, Kate Gallego recognized New Pathways for Youth and the difference its making across the Valley, stating the importance of organizations like these for the Phoenix community.

Owner of Distinguished Communications and NPFY mentor, Deborah Ostreicher, led the rest of the program as the Emcee and Moderator.

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Ostreicher introduced the first match, Michael (mentor) and Sir ‘Pierre (mentee) for a Q&A session on the stage. Sir ‘Pierre shared that his bond with his mentor is irreplaceable, and that he’s seen a lot of growth in himself since joining the Level Up program. The two have been matched for 2 years, and look forward to many more together.

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Maria (mentor) and Angel (mentee), who’ve been matched for over a year, went next for the Q&A session. Angel shared her insight that Level Up doesn’t work for youth unless they’re willing to listen, learn, and trust the process. She shared, at first she didn’t care about the program, but a few months after being matched with Maria, she started to show up, listen, and care, and that’s when she saw the most growth for herself. This growth resulted in having better friends, improved mental health, creating bigger dreams for herself, and overall improved outlook on life.

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As a surprise, Ostreicher’s own mentee, Marlee, came to the stage for their own Q&A. They’ve been matched for over 15 years, and Marlee considers her mentor as apart of her family. Marlee shared that mentorship allowed her to be more outgoing and pursue big opportunities for herself.

Following the surprise guest, six youth came to the stage to share their written word poetry. A month prior to the event, Phonetic Spit Executive Director, Myrlin Hepworth, came to the NPFY homebase and taught 30 youth how to create poetry. These six youth chose to perform their poems at the breakfast, which resulted in tears of joy, inspiration, and hope.

The event concluded with CEO and President Dr. Karen D. Johnson giving a heartfelt speech, which invoked the emotions of everyone in the audience. This was truly an unforgettable event, and we appreciate everyone who came.

Click here to view the full photo album!

If you missed out on the magic, watch the video below to see our 35th anniversary video with a timeline of the organizations growth since 1989.