Message from Founder

During my time growing up as a youth I was exposed to a lot of negativity that at times took me down the wrong path. Throughout my youth I experienced being expelled from school on three separate occasions. I was considered a “bad” student and on numerous occasions I was told that I couldn’t make it to college nor would I graduate from high school. Not only did I graduate from high school, I also earn my Bachelor’s Degree in Accounting from Randolph-Macon College.

To overcome my personal struggles, I leaned on the expertise and wisdom of older adults throughout my community. These interactions provided me with coping skills that not only helped me get on track educationally, but also provided me with a sense of giving back. My experiences as a youth and the relationships built with older adults inspired me to establish an organization that would create and sustain generational relationships.

Through our programs and services that include, visits to Nursery and Assisted Living Facilities, Therapeutic Recreation, and Intergenerational Volunteer Community Service Projects, many young and older volunteers will be exposed to different outlets that will allow them to build and sustain healthy relationships. Youth volunteers benefit by gaining a sense of empowerment, developing leadership skills, and providing companionship. Older volunteers benefit by providing mentorship, stimulate learning, and improving their health by staying active.

Many of those who’ve grown up in unstable homes, exposed to drugs, violence, lack of education and peer pressure form self-doubt and lose confidence. 1 Change was created to restore positive belief in youth and adults to inspire them to lead and serve effectively, compassionately, and collectively.

– Founder and Chairman Leonard Abbott


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