We had the good fortune of connecting with Zevi New and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Zevi, what do you attribute your success to?
Hello, thank you for the opportunity.
The ability to identify the potential in each person and circumstance is a fundamental attribute of our growth and success. With this proactive approach we resolve and prevent teenage issues devolving into suicidal ideation, crime and incarceration, self-harm, drug abuse, abandonment, social anxiety, depression, technology addiction, grief and family dispute as we connect teens to a greater purpose, exploring positive perspectives on modern-day adolescent challenges. We imbue a sense of individual value, self-respect, and responsibility that ultimately leads teens toward a successful, meaningful life. It has always been my vision to change the way young people connect to themselves and each other in a meaningful way.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
The Youth Action Movement is a teen development program with thirteen initiatives true to our mission to create meaningful (Jewish) experiences for teens. Teens play an equitable role in our unique models of engagement that fosters a sense of belonging and purpose. Our initiatives are teen inspired, developed and executed. For example, Resurf- a sustainable kindness initiative, provides inner city youth with tools to lead a positive and productive life by way of surf and film. The program is equally enriching for the recipients – as well as its volunteers. YAM has established a strong inclusive community of varying individuals, passions and locales. Our members come from 31 different High Schools and are encouraged to seek out similarities as opposed to differences. When you are part of the Youth Action Movement community, you belong.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
My favorite spot is to sit at the Ellen Browning Scripps Pier on the UC San Diego campus. I believe visitors should make a point of powering down their phones for an instant and inhale fresh ocean air. There are miles upon miles of coastline in San Diego to enjoy.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I must give the most credit to my wife, Musy — she keeps me grounded and supports my passions to help teenagers every single day.
I also give credit to the author/book: Man’s Search for Meaning, by Viktor Frankl. The whole concept of ‘meaning’ is relevant to myself and my work. I identify with the fact that each individual is never denied the ‘choice’ to perceive every situation –positively or negatively– as a means to learn more and grow to our greatest potential. When going through this thought process at a young age, we become more receptive to ideas, and become more patient and grateful people. This is the key to success.