#h#Preparing Youth for the Global Marketplace#/h#

The powerful influence one teacher can have in turning a child’s life around is exemplified by Bill Granville, retired executive vice president of Mobil Corporation’s Middle East subsidiary and founder of the Granville Academy, a free after school program for inner city kids. Its mission is “Preparing Youth for Success in the Global Marketplace.”

Granville grew up in Trenton, the leader of a street gang. According to the story, one teacher saw his potential and persuaded him to change his direction in life. Today the Granville Educational Program operates after school programs in several cities including Trenton and Plainfield, as well as in Baltimore, Cleveland, and northern Virginia. The curriculum covers the fundamentals of business, finance, technology, entrepreneurship, character building, and community service. Many of its alumni have gone on to become successful corporate managers, business owners, educators, and community leaders.

The Granville Academy’s annual national youth conference will take place Thursday through Sunday, March 22 to 25, at the Hyatt Regency Princeton. The keynote speaker is Vernon Jordan, Jr., an author and leader in business and national policy, has served as former president of the National Urban League, an advisor to former President Bill Clinton, and currently serves as a senior managing director of Lazard, Frere & Co. Recently Jordan served as a participant in the Iraq Study Group.

Other guest speakers include Phil Wilkins, author of “Own Your Business, Own Your Life”; Bridgette P. Heller, president of global markets for Johnson & Johnson; Tyrone Taborn, founder of Career Communications and architect of the Black Engineer of the Year Awards; William Crouch, president of Georgetown College; and George B. Thompson, author of “Millionaires in Training: The Wealth Builder.”

Annual National Youth Conference, Thursday, March 22, 6:30 p.m. Granville Academy, Hyatt Regency, Carnegie Center, West Windsor. “Preparing Youth for Success in the Global Marketplace.” Vernon Jordan is the keynote speaker at lunch on Friday, March 23.Workshops, professional networking sessions, guest speakers, meals, activities, prayers, tour of Princeton. Through Sunday, March 25. Register. 609-688-0034.

#h#Bull’s Eye: Charity#/h#

What do you think the following people have in common: Gary Yourman of Ewing, who works at Bristol-Myers Squibb; Bill Cobb of Ewing, who works at the New Jersey School Boards Association in Trenton; Mike Dillon of Hamilton, IT supervisor at NJM Insurance Group in West Trenton; Amy Rittler, who owns a silkscreen and logo design company, Infinity Shirts, and works out of her West Trenton home; Therese O’Brien of Hamilton, a teacher at Empire Beauty School in Bordentown; and Chris Bade of Ewing, who works at Newtown Clock Shoppe in Newtown, PA.

All are members of the Greater Trenton Darts League, which hosts its second annual Make-A-Wish Foundation charity event on Saturday, March 24, 2 to 8 p.m. (pictured above, last year’s event at Conduit), at VFW 3525, 77 Christine Avenue, Hamilton. All league members are collecting pledges but admission to the event is open to everyone for a $5 donation. www.njdarts.com/gtedl/index.htm.

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