NEWBERRY — “You may not always be able to go see the world, but you can always bring the world to you by reading.”
This is a saying Ebony Young uses to guide her life.
Young, 33, is originally from Newberry. Young began her career working at United Way of Midlands, with the You First teen pregnancy prevention program.
Young attended Newberry High School, received her GED from Richland County Adult ED program, and attended Midland Tech where she majored in human services.
Later Young attended Springfield College and earned a bachelor’s degree. She is attending Columbia College for a degree in political science.
Young is also the creator of Camp H.O.P.E., a leadership camp for girls ages 12 to 17. H.O.P.E. stands for Healthy Opportunities to Prepare and Engage.
Young believes that young girls should see examples of what they can become if they stay focused. She believes it is important to encourage them to start planning their futures, whatever that future might be.
“There are endless opportunities and all it takes is being focused,” said Young, the mother of four children.
Throughout the camp, the young women will learn what a true leader is, gain knowledge of a multicultural world, develop healthy communication skills, see the importance of community services and involvement, learn the pros and cons of social media, and build a health self image.
Camp H.O.P.E was founded this year. The idea for Camp H.O.P.E. came to Young during a leadership class.
“I learned so much from it that I thought it would be an excellent idea to start teaching the fundamentals of leadership earlier on, than when you go to college and start a career,” she said.
Participants will meet important women in major leadership positions and get a chance to ask questions, Young said.
“I truly have a passion for empowering your youth with tools they can walk away with and use immediately,” she said.
Future goals include making it a yearly event and becoming an overnight camp.
The camp will be held from Aug. 4 through Aug. 8 at the Newberry campus of Piedmont Technical College. The cost to participate is $55.
Registration forms can be picked up at the Unique Interventions for Youth Office, 800 Main St. in Newberry. Contact Young at 803-201-2185 or firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.