We had the good fortune of connecting with Perry Yee and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Perry, is there something that you feel is most responsible for your success?
Success has a lot of different meanings. To some, it’s the amount of money they generate, to others it can be how widely know their brand is. For us at Active Valor, the measure of success is very apparent and it’s the amount of impact we have on the people we serve. With our mission, we have created a program that takes transitioning veterans and places them in a mentorship role to children that have lost a parent while serving on active duty (referred to as Gold Star Families). We felt that there was a very important need to give our veterans a new purpose and meaning in life after they discharge from the military and venture on a new path back into the civilian world. Using their years of acquired skill sets and knowledge, we wanted to give them a chance to pass it down to children that no longer have access to that type of learning anymore no that their military parent is gone. We have created new and unique ways for these kids to learn important and valuable life lessons while also spending time with people that have walked in the same shoes as the parents they lost. Over the past 3 years, we have been able to bring together 45 pairs of veteran mentors and their Gold Star mentees as well as 27 Gold Star spouses. Each and every one has become an important part of our lives and will continue to be a big part of who we are.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
My personal transition from the military world to the business world was very challenging. I would say that the hardest part was finding where I belonged and what I had to offer the world ahead of me. My most important thing that led me down the right path was surrounding myself with good people. People that would lift me up when I fell, that helped guide me down different directions and people who supported me no matter what. Being successful doesn’t have to rest on your shoulders alone. Coming from the military community, it was challenging to get out of the way of my own pride and realize that I had other resources that were willing to help.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
It’s extremely difficult to pick out all the great places that San Diego has to offer. Being from out of town myself, I have been able to get a lot of visitors that haven’t experienced life on the west coast. First off, you can’t have anyone visit with out enjoying the beaches. For me, that would be down in Coronado. Even though I have experienced a lot of pain there while going through SEAL training, it is a very beautiful and peaceful place to be. For food, that’s an easy answer and it’s letting people experience a California burrito and fish tacos. There are many, many different spots I go to for those and it’s hard to choose a favorite. Even though I have had to go through it many times with different guests, there are always the popular touristy sites like the San Diego Zoo, Safari Park, or walking through Balboa Park.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
Our organization wouldn’t be anywhere it is today without the dedication of our veteran mentors. These are people who stepped up and took on a very important role. Being a positive role model is not always easy. And every one of our participating mentors has gone above and beyond to taking their role seriously and being present in the lives of people who have gone through great tragedy.