Thursday, July 29, 2010

Meet Justin Ventimiglia

Just about everyone who has lived through their teenage years can point to at least one instance in which they made a poor choice in actions. Whether you sneaked out of your bedroom window to meet up with friends when your parents thought you were doing homework or you pulled the fire alarm right before fourth period in order to avoid a big math exam or regularly took the speed limit as a suggestion when flying through the neighborhood in your brand-new car, there is a story somewhere in your past.

For Justin Ventimiglia from my book Finish Line, his bad decision was to join his friend Keith in vandalizing the home of a cranky old man who lived down the street. With bills to pay for the damage to the house, and as a way of keeping the boys out of future trouble, Justin's mom arranged for Justin and Keith to spend the rest of the summer working at Prairie Winds Golf Course. What began as a way of keeping teenage boys busy becomes a life-changing experience when course manager Curt Schroeder offers lessons in positive thinking, a strong work ethic, and determination.

Justin lives with a single mom and struggles with the need for a male authority figure in his life. The opportunity he receives to spend time with Curt and simply observe a role model who can make a positive difference in his life is something that many teenagers in our society need.

Did you have a difficult time as a teenager that was improved by the genuine concern of someone who became your mentor? Do you think we would have a better society if more adults took it upon themselves to work with youth who need more men and women to take interest in their happiness and success?

1 comment:

Kelly Stone Gamble said...

I definitely think more adults should work with our youth. You never know the difference you can make.