Dec 10

by Kim Anthony

G’Morning Family…Today’s “Urban Angel” is  Terrence Stone of Young Visionaries Youth Leadership Academy.

Terrance L. Stone is the Founder, President and CEO of Young Visionaries Youth Leadership Academy and CEO of Stone Consultants, an ex-gang member who has turned his life around and dedicated it to GOD and the recovery of our youth’s innocence.

Though gang life proved fierce and, most times, even short lived, Terrance was loyal to a fault. Ultimately, the consequence of this delinquent life-style was a collective 10 years of incarceration ranging from the juvenile facilities to the state penitentiary. With the danger of spending the remainder of his young life in prison, the thought that he’d never have an opportunity to watch his children grow and assist in their development opened his eyes to what was truly important.

Today, Terrance is a loving father who has since served as Minister & Youth Leader at Worship In Truth C.O.G.I.C. Stone is today has served as a youth counselor and graduated Cal State LA for State Certified Gang Intervention Specialist, serves on Sherriff Rod Hoops I.E. Committee, Chief Kith Kilmer African American Community Leader Committee San Bernardino and Barstow Kiwanis Member, Board Member of the San Bernardino County Gangs and Drugs Task Force, Past Board Member of the African American Chamber of Commerce, and San Bernardino Chapter NAACP, picked by Mayor of San Bernardino Pat Morris to join his office on the California Cities Gang Prevention Network.

He is committed to steering young peo¬ple away from the life that cost him much of his precious youth. In essence, Terrance is allowing his life mistakes to help others discover their personal worth and true life purpose. Stone’s change in heart, spirit and action has resulted in his reaching many otherwise lost youth He is now CEO of Young Visionaries Youth Leadership Academy multiple locations in the Inland Empire from the High Desert to the West End of San Bernardino County, Atlanta, Arizona, Texas and Colorado and growing.

Stone’s sincere efforts have resulted in his receiving multiple awards:

2010 Executive of the Year Award~2010 Time for Change Pioneer Award

2010 San Bernardino County Education Medal of Honor Award

2010 CAHPERD Emmett Ashford Community Spirit Award

2008 Juvenile Justice & Delinquency Prevention Commission San Bernardino County

2008 Unsung Hero Award~2008 Black Rose Award

2008 Social Lites Community Service Award

2007 Amanda Guruge Lifetime Commitment Award

2007 Man of Valor Award Jubilee House of Praise

2007 Molina Healthcare of California Community Champion Award

2007 Peoples Choice Inc “Leaders of Youth Award” Recipient

2006 Excellence Award Recipient

2006 Citizens of Achievement Award Recipient

2006 Youth Outreach Award Recipient

2005 “Inspiration to Youth” Good Samaritan Award Recipient

2005 Social Action Trailblazers Award Recipient

Terrance’s works has received commendations from:

Rosa Parks

U.S. Congressman Joe Baca

United States Senator Barbara Boxer

Governor ArnoldSchwarzenegger

California State Senator Nell Soto

Councilman Joe Baca, Jr.

State Senator Gloria Negrete-McLeod

City of Ontario Mayor Paul S. Leon

County Supervisor Josie Gonzalez

City Councilman Rikke Van Johnson

Perris Mayor Rita Rogers and more…

Terrance’s work has been chronicles in the following media outlets:


San Bernardino County Sun

Inland Valley News

The Black Voice

Press Enterprise

On our Watch Magazine

Inland Living Magazine

Precinct Reporter News

The Inland Empire Weekly

The San Bernardino American Newspaper

The Colton Courier Weekly





Channel 54 Azteca Noticias

Channel 3 Public Access

In the Public Interest Talk Show

Channel 11 FOX

Channel 7 News


Wild 96.1 FM

KCAA Radio 1050


Power 106

For more information about Terrence Stone and Young Visionaries Youth Leadership Academy visit:


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Dec 5

By Kim Anthony

G’morning!  Today’s Urban Angel Profile is Areva Martin, Co-Founder and President of Special Needs Network. Special Needs Network’s mission is to raise public awareness of developmental disabilities and to impact public policy, while providing education and resources to families, children and adults. SNN serves as a link between underserved communities and mainstream developmental disability organizations and governmental institutions, which often fail to address issues specific to these communities.

About Special Needs Network, Inc.

Autism is the fastest-growing childhood disease in America. A recent study published in the American Academy of Pediatrics Journal confirms that one in every 91 American children, including on in every 58 boys born today will be diagnosed with autism. The Center for Disease Control reports that one in every 150 children has autism. In California alone, two children are diagnosed every hour. This complex neurological disorder is taking its toll on school districts, communities and families across the nation. And nowhere is the impact felt more than in communities of color, where both diagnosis and services are delayed two years on average–two years lost for a child who needs early intervention for his developing brain. Two years without valuable therapies that can make the difference between her ability to someday live on her own – or lead a life of institutionalized care. This is the reality for thousands of special needs families who live in disenfranchised communities. And this is the reality that Special Needs Network, Inc. is committed to change.

Special Needs Network, Inc. is responding to the crisis of autism and other developmental disabilities in underserved communities by providing educational forums, resources, and specialized learning opportunities for parents and care givers of special needs children, intervention programs and advocacy training. Founded in 2005, SNN grew out of the struggles of two mothers whose sons were diagnosed with autism. Co-founder and President Areva Martin son’s diagnosis and her personal struggles to access services convinced her that an organization like SNN was overdue in South Los Angeles.

Using her entrepreneurial and legal skills, as well as calling upon her own experiences navigating the complex system of care needed for her own child, Areva and a diverse group of professionals vowed to help their community: by reducing the waiting period for families to have their children diagnosed, by bringing education and resources and services directly to the community, by providing unique learning opportunities for special needs children and young adults, and by forging an action-based coalition of families able to advocate for each other and for themselves at all levels of government.

These urgent resolutions became the seeds that blossomed into SNN and its many outreach programs that today serve thousands of people throughout the state of California. In May of 2005, SNN hosted an event that sent shock waves all the way from South Los Angeles to Sacramento – a town hall style meeting held in the heart of the community at the Challenger Boys and Girls Club on South Vermont.

More than a thousand family members and caregivers showed up to participate in that initial event entitled Impact of Autism on Communities of Color. Local politicians were joined by state representatives who heard – many for the first time- the frustration of families who were dealing with an inequitable system.

SNN followed up this successful venture with a comprehensive and unique series of training programs for parents and special needs children. SNN signature programs include its annual Tools for Transformation Parent and Professional Conference and Legislative Breakfast, The Joe Patton Advanced Learning Academy and Camp JPAC, Annual Back to School Inclusion Event and Resource Fair, Advocacy in Action and, Parent Mentoring and Training. These programs provide needed advocacy skills training to parents, grassroots leaders and children with special needs.

SNN is recognized by state and local elected officials as the premier organization working on issues of autism in under-served communities by national and local leaders. Los Angeles County Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas, Congresswomen Maxine Waters, Diane Watson and Laura Richardson, California Assembly Speaker Karen Bass, Los Angeles City Councilmember, Herb Wesson, Jr., and California State Senate Pro-Tem Darrell Steinberg are among many legislators who have singled out SNN with praise for its innovation, leadership and effectiveness.

SNN continues to reach out and collaborate with key local organizations such as Crystal Stairs, Autism Speaks, Autism Society of America, Junior Blind of America, California Regional Centers and others.

SNN firmly believes that dignity, hope and opportunity are the birthright of all children.

For more information on Areva Martin and the Special Needs Network visit:

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