Interview with Felicia Benzo – At-Risk Youth Charity Founder & Social Entreprenuer
In this episode, we will be taking a deep dive look into successes and stories from a charity founder. Our guest has been an active social entreprenuer helping to improve the communities in Volusia County Florida. Her desire to serve is discussed in the interview, Also, the interview gives a unique perspective into what it takes to successfully start up a charity. My interview with Felicia Benzo is eye opening yet entertaining and I hope you gain alot of insights for what drives you.
Who is our guest this episode?
FELICIA BENZO, MHA – FOUNDER and CEO, CATALYST Global Youth Initiatives, Inc.
Ms. Benzo created CATALYST Global Youth Initiatives, Inc. in 2010. It has developed programs like The DREAM Club and the Summer Literacy and Leadership Academy to bring hope to children and to inspire them to greatness.
Benzo believes that the mentoring relationship demonstrates to children that they are valued. Further, it is important and helps them to develop positive opinions of themselves and others, and encourages them to excel. As of 2018, CATALYST mentoring is active in 27 Volusia County Schools.
CATALYST mentors come from varying professions, businesses and experiences, and like mentees, are of different race and ethnicity. Each mentor shares a willingness to make a difference in a child’s life by spending as little as 30 minutes a week with them focusing on their academics, self-esteem and communication skills.
My Interview with Felicia Benzo and more about her charity…
CATALYST mentoring helps mentees, from ages 8 to 19, understand that their circumstances don’t define them. They teach children how to become problem solvers and to find purpose in their future. Mentors play an essential role in encouraging children to develop the skills and tools. This is necessary to broaden their perspective to see a world of opportunities, and to assist them in successfully navigating their way through adulthood.
Benzo knows firsthand the struggles of being raised in a single-parent household for she lost her father to cancer at age 10. She experienced utilities being cut off and at times not having enough food. However, with the help of many adult mentors in her life, and her fierce determination, she discovered her circumstances did not define her. Benzo was able to create a life of greatness and now inspires others to do the same.
Benzo holds a Master of Health and Hospital Administration from Long Island University. After practicing medicine for decades in New York, Benzo became a financial advisor. She authored two books, Raising Kings and Parents AND You Are Your Child’s Problem. She is a motivational speaker as well as male and minority achievement speaker. Further, she is a seminar / academy facilitator; a mom of four successful sons and a grandmother of nine.
Despite all of her accomplishments, Ms. Felicia Benzo will tell you her greatest achievement is mobilizing the adult community to engage with children and inspire children to greatness. Become a CATALYST Mentor.
The CATALYST Effect – My interview with Felicia Benzo
Benzo and her team of mentors want only the best for CATALYST mentees. Benzo expects greatness in attitude, behavior and academics. When mentees are asked what is expected of them, the collective immediate response is always “GREATNESS.” They believe it, become it and live it.
One sign of success in this relatively young organization, is that mentees who have gone through the program have finished high school. Numerous of the mentees are now wanting to become mentors themselves. They have experienced the positive impact mentoring has had on their own life and want to do the same for someone younger. That is the CATALYST Effect!
Interview with Felicia Benzo, Charity, 501c3, Volusia County Schools, Mentors, Mentorship, Central Florida, Business and Social Interviews with Ed Pisani Jr.