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Everyone Leads: Building Leadership from the Community Up by Paul Schmitz

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5

RECOGNIZING AND MOBILIZING ALL OF A COMMUNITY'S ASSETS

Steve Ramos: It Takes Children to Raise a Whole Village

The work of Esteban “Steve” Ramos at Fresh Youth Initiatives, in the Washington Heights neighborhood of New York City, turns a famous proverb on its head: Fresh Youth Initiatives believes it takes children to raise a whole village.

Steve grew up in Washington Heights, was kicked out of two high schools, completed his GED at seventeen, and enrolled in an associate's degree program at LaGuardia Community College. As he finished his degree, he landed an internship with a youth program in Queens, where he learned about Public Allies.

“I was at a crossroads in life,” he says, “nineteen years old, with no idea what I wanted to do other ...

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