July 20, 2024

Role models and value of service highlight lives

Everyone needs a role model. Parents often fill this role. Sometimes it is a teacher or another person in the community. Mine was a grumpy Boy Scout leader. The point is everyone needs one.
This is why Austin Ashcroft loves what he does. A child at heart, Ashcroft enjoys sports, playing outside, and being with his family. He is the second oldest of eight children, and as a result, knows a lot about mentoring those younger than him.

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This archived article was written by: John Keetch

Everyone needs a role model. Parents often fill this role. Sometimes it is a teacher or another person in the community. Mine was a grumpy Boy Scout leader. The point is everyone needs one.
This is why Austin Ashcroft loves what he does. A child at heart, Ashcroft enjoys sports, playing outside, and being with his family. He is the second oldest of eight children, and as a result, knows a lot about mentoring those younger than him.
He uses these experiences to help troubled youth in the community through the Youth and Families with a Promise (YFP) program. By placing children 11-14 years old with positive mentors from the college-age group (older, but not too old, and still cool), the program hopes to help these youth become contributing members of society.
Of his experiences, Ashcroft says, “Everyone you meet has an influence on you, for good or for bad. There are so many that have helped me that this program is my way of returning the favor.”
He says that service runs in his blood, because he and two of his cousins, plus a host of other family members, currently are or have been leaders in the SUN Center. His father is his hero, because “he is everything I have always wanted to be.”
Jonathan Ferrin also learned service young, from his grandfather, who he says is the most selfless man he has ever known. To him, it is important to teach other children the value of service at a young age, which is why he volunteers at the local elementary school.
Ferrin is in charge of ProCare, an after-school program for elementary children whose parents work. It is a low cost alternative to daycare for students at Castle Heights and other elementary schools in the Price area.
Ferrin’s service is his way of saving the world. He states, “There is just too much selfishness in this world. Every problem in this world could easily be solved if everyone helped others instead of looking out for number one.”
Ashcraft and Ferrin show that making a difference in the community is not as difficult as it sounds. Change the world. Be a role model.
Anyone interested in volunteering for YFP or ProCare, contact the SUN Center, upstairs in the Jennifer Leavitt Student Center.