(San Bernardino, Calif.) The Boy Scouts of America California Inland Empire Council will honor two men that have made it their personal mission to offer time and encouragement to youth that often fall through the cracks in their community.
[ecko_quote source=”Terrence Stone”]Every kid out there needs something and they’re all different. The common denominator is they need to be needed and wanted, That’s why gangs are growing. We must do a better job of listening..[/ecko_quote]
Bill Chamberlain, Vice President of Sales and Marketing at Raceway Ford and Terrence Stone, Founder and Chief Operating Officer of Young Visionaries Youth Leadership will receive the 2017 Whitney M. Young Jr. Service Award.
An awards breakfast is scheduled Friday, March 24, 7:30 a.m. at the Victoria Country Club, located at 2521 Arroyo Dr., in Riverside.
The Whitney M. Young Jr. Service Award is to recognize outstanding service by an individual for demonstrated involvement in the development and implementation of opportunities for youth from rural or low-income backgrounds – in fulfillment of American civil rights leader Dr. Young’s dream of justice and equality for all.
Proceeds from the breakfast will support the Assistance to Others Fund of the California Inland Empire Council, Boy Scouts of America. The charity is designed to help provide financial help for families in need of Scouting registration fees, handbooks, uniform needs and training.
Mentoring at-risk youth is Terrence Stone’s life work. Success is measured in many ways, Stone said, from a hug to a weekly paycheck. One of his best days was at a waterpark in Redlands, when he recognized a young man he’d mentored as an employee. Pride and joy only scratch the surface.
“We work with all kinds of kids, usually the ones that are the most challenging,” Stone said from his office in San Bernardino. “I love the fact that I’m involved in helping shape someone’s life at a young age, being an agent of change.”
In addition to local youths, Young Visionaries recently renewed its contract with area juvenile halls, offering a workforce development program that helps them get jobs when they leave the facility. They teach everything from how to dress, customer service and work ethic.
“I love my job. It’s not even like a job. I still love Mondays. I get to go and do my thing. Always looking for ways to do it better.”
Bill Chamberlain chuckled about his stint as a Cub Scout, but it formed his love for service and for children and teens.
[ecko_quote source=”Bill Chamberlain”]I didn’t have kids of my own then and I always liked that organization. The volunteers that do it really have their heart in it.[/ecko_quote]
As a college student in 1972, Chamberlain first became a member of Big Brothers of America. He soon realized that it wasn’t about giving money as much as it was giving your time and your heart. In 1976 Bill was honored to be Big Brother of the Year in Philadelphia. He is currently on the board of directors with Big Brothers and Big Sisters and helps raise funds for schools through various philanthropic programs. To this day, he remains in touch with his first “brother.”
“I didn’t have kids of my own then and I always liked that organization. The volunteers that do it really have their heart in it,” Chamberlain said. “They spend time with the kids. It was rewarding. It’s not all about having money to take them to Disneyland. We went to the park and threw the ball around. Just having somebody to buddy around with and someone that cares for them meant everything.”
Chamberlain is active in the Rotary Club of Riverside and has coordinated youth projects through their Interact organization. Currently, he raises money for veterans. Over the last 17years, the West Coast Thunder Motorcycle Ride, which he is president of, raised more than $800,000 for Riverside National Cemetery.
“We do a lot with young veterans, making them feel appreciated. Not like we did when we came home as vets (in the 70s). There are no protests against veterans now,” Chamberlain said. Even with grown children, Chamberlain still loves working with the area youth.
“For me, it’s a feeling of accomplishment knowing that these are the kids that are going to be running the world,” Chamberlain said. “It’s great to see the quality of kids out there. All you hear is ‘they (kids) only text, etc., but they’re great kids. And it’s nice to be recognized by an organization like the Boy Scouts.”
The California Inland Empire Council has been serving youth of Riverside and San Bernardino Counties for more than 93 years. The current council was formed in 1973 through the merger of four smaller areas. The council has served hundreds of thousands of youth over the years, with its scouts and leaders providing innumerable hours of volunteer service to communities and individuals.
Council territory includes all of Riverside and San Bernardino Counties and stretches from Fort Irwin and Death Valley to Temecula and Indio; Ontario and Barstow to the Arizona and Nevada borders. The area served covers some of the fastest-growing metropolitan areas in the nation, National Parks and forests, rural farmland, military bases and open desert.
For more information, call Tracy Youden at (909) 793-2463, ext. 123.