Date: September 25th, 2017
We are pleased to announce that Joseph Yusuf has been selected to receive the Healthy Teen Network 2017 Outstanding Former Teen Parent Award.
According to one of his mentors, Joseph Yusuf lives his life by one motto: “Peace, Love, and Positivity,” and this is evident in the time he has invested in mentoring others who face challenges similar to his own. Working with organizations like the Community Anti-Drug Coalition (CADCA), the Latin American Youth Center, and Teens Run DC, Joseph has made a positive and lasting impact on his community by helping youth through leadership, mentoring, and prevention.
Shana Blakley, Promotor and Youth Advocate at the Latin American Youth Center, sums up why Joseph deserves to be recognized for all his hard work:
As a case manager, I work very closely with a number of youth, but I can honestly say that none are as dependable, prepared, and poised as Joseph. Joseph makes the most of what he is given, is extremely confident in his abilities, and will explore all avenues to reach his aspirations. He displays such a passion for community service and desire to better himself in all of his actions. Not only is Joseph mature and capable, but he is an extremely caring person, which can be seen in the way he treats others and his family. The type of compassion Joseph exhibits is not something many young men so freely express and Joseph’s constant selflessness is worthy of recognition.
Joseph explains that having his daughter Jakayla at 17 forced him to reevaluate his life and realize that he not only wanted to be present and supportive of his daughter, but that he needed to improve his own situation. When Joseph isn’t mentoring through organizations like the Latin American Youth Center and Teens Run DC, he is working on creating music and learning more about what it takes to become a music producer.
Joseph is currently a junior at Howard University and is pursuing his Bachelor’s degree in Media, Journalism, and Film, with emphasis on Audio Production. Upon graduation, Joseph plans to use his experiences and knowledge he has gained from both school and life to produce and collaborate with musicians and artists. His vision is to start his own program and open music studios around the country to serve the youth in America. The program would be designed for youth who have a strong passion to produce, rap, sing, write, or support music creation. Joseph envisions his studios as a safe place for youth to express their creativity and to work with others in the process.
Healthy Teen Network is honored to present Joseph this year’s Outstanding Former Teen Parent Award on Tuesday, October 2, during our Awards Luncheon at our national conference, Social Norms & Culture: Honoring Experiences & Perspectives, in Baltimore.
About the Author
Healthy Teen Network envisions a world where all adolescents and young adults lead healthy and fulfilling lives. Founded in 1979, the national membership 501(c)(3) organization promotes better outcomes for adolescents and young adults by advancing social change, cultivating innovation, and strengthening youth-supporting professionals and organizations.