The Young Marines youth organization now has an Alumni Association for its more than 60,000 former members. Former YM SgtMajor Edgar Huff, who was the 2004 National Young Marine of the Year, has been named executive director of the new association.
The Alumni Association is a way to show how the Young Marine program has impacted former members as they go into and through adulthood. Whether through donations, sponsoring, volunteering, networking, or simply staying informed, the Alumni Association brings together former members.
“It connects the past with the present and vice versa,” Huff said. “It’s so important to tell how the Young Marines program has strengthened lives of former members.”
"We have wanted to form an Alumni Association for a long time and discussed it at our symposiums,” said Mike Kessler, national executive director and CEO of the Young Marines. “Edgar Huff is the perfect choice to lead this important initiative. He has stayed with the organization and has been a key component to the successes we have enjoyed at our Leadership Academy. A lot of people already know him, and he adds legitimacy to the project.”
The Young Marines is a national non-profit 501c(3) youth education and service program for boys and girls, age eight through the completion of high school. The Young Marines promotes the mental, moral and physical development of its members. The program focuses on teaching the values of leadership, teamwork and self-discipline so its members can live and promote a healthy, drug-free lifestyle.
Since the Young Marines' humble beginnings in 1959 with one unit and a handful of boys, the organization has grown to over 300 units with 11,000 youth and 3,000 adult volunteers in 46 states, the District of Columbia, Germany, Japan and affiliates in a host of other countries.
For more information, visit the official website at: http://www.youngmarines.com/Alumni.
Edgar Huff - In his own words:
It is difficult to describe in words the gratitude I have for the Young Marines youth program. Frankly, I fear who I may have become if I had never joined the Young Marines 15 years ago. When I joined in 1998, I was a bad kid susceptible to peer pressure with no understanding of what leadership was and no concept of teamwork. I was timid, suffered from stage fright, and I had no discipline.
Through my years in the program – I learned, engaged and implemented the core values of the program which are discipline, leadership and teamwork.
When I turned 18 years old and aged out of the program in 2005, I looked back on my time with the Young Marines and realized all the opportunities that were given me. I made friends and connections for a lifetime, not just from the United States but from all over world. I cannot think of another program in the world that affords the opportunities that the Young Marine program provides. I have had more once-in-a-lifetime experiences in 15 years than most people will have in a lifetime. I continue to live by the leadership traits and principles I learned, and I am still living a healthy drug-free lifestyle which is a part of the mission of the Young Marines.
Today I am a teacher and a leader. I speak with assurance and conviction, and I have confidence in everything I do. I have a passion for working with youth and being a mentor. I think I am a good role model for my students, and I apply the things I learned in the Young Marine program to be that role model.
The example of leadership and mentorship shown by Col. Mike Kessler, national executive director and CEO of the Young Marines, is what I strived for as a Young Marine and still do as an adult. He has been and still is a great role model.
I have witnessed many changes in the Young Marines’ program, and all of them for the better.
Media Contact: Andy Richardson
Ginny Richardson Public Relations
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