Executive Director Letter

DSC_0980Greetings friends,

I know you feel it… 
and so do we. 

It’s like someone hit the turbo button and took away the breaks. Days feel like hours and months feel like weeks. It’s Go, Go, Go. Two years have gone by since our last yearly report. Those 24 months have felt like six months. Don’t get me wrong- I am far from complaining. I am simply acknowledging that TIME flies when you are having FUN! 

For YDN, FUN is getting to impact the lives of youth, youth developers, and business partners. It’s about sparking hope, compassion, trust, and a sense of stability in people, teams, and organizations. FUN is about creating engaged work and learning places where people live out their strengths in support of others. Simply put, FUN wakes us 
up in the morning because we can’t wait to do what we do best with the people that 
we enjoy building with the most. 

Speaking of building together, that brings me to a second reason why time has flown right by us in the last two years. We get to work with awesome people throughout California. People like yourself, who are committed to making the world a better place for young people and entire communities. It is an honor to serve next to you in Sacramento, San Jose, Oakland, San Diego, Los Angeles, Stockton, Galt, Lincoln, Fresno, Davis, and Woodland, and in all of the surrounding communities who are connected by the invisible thread we call “strengths-based development.” As a wise soul once said; 

“What we know about individuals, no matter how rich the details, will never give us 
the ability to predict how they will behave as a system. Once individuals link together they become something different. Relationships change us, evoke more from us. 
Only when we join with others do our gifts become more visible, even to ourselves.”

We are truly stronger and more intelligent together than apart — even when time flies 
and the only constant is change. The combination of positive relationships and FUN helps us collectively find our FLOW and accomplish wonderful things on behalf those that we serve.

BRAVO! to all of you who made the following pages a living document. Join us in 
slowing down just for a minute to reflect and appreciate the goodness of being a network committed to the development of our young people and of those who 
choose to live life through their strengths.

Adrian Ruiz
Executive Director of a small but mighty tribe known as YDN

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