A Global Leader's Perspective

My name is Andony, and I have been a DGL student for the last five years. DGL has been one of the greatest things that has happened in my life. These years have been amazing, both in school and in ministry.

Growing up, I was normally one of the best students in every class. After high school, I had the option to work during the day and go to college at night. While this seemed difficult, I knew I had the capacity to be a good student while balancing work. Later, I met Christ through Young Life. This completely changed my trajectory and I wanted to serve Him by being a Young Life leader for others. I knew I had three options: work and go to college, work and lead in Young Life, or be a leader and go to college. Thanks to DGL, the last option that seemed impossible became possible.

While participating in DGL, I was able to lead in my hometown of Granadilla. It was common in this town for kids to drop out of high school and then fall into drug addiction or become thieves. It is very rare for people to go to college and earn a degree. In the midst of this, I have started a new club in a neighborhood just like the one from my childhood. This has been an incredible opportunity for me to set a different example for these kids and teach them that they don’t have to be like the people they see around them.

I'm the first person in my immediate family to graduate from college. My grandparents weren't able to finish elementary school because they needed to work. My parents didn’t finish high school, and my older siblings started but couldn’t finish college. I am so grateful to God for letting me be part of DGL, which gave me the opportunity to graduate from college and be an example for my younger siblings, nephews and nieces. There aren't enough words to describe how thankful I am for the opportunity that Young Life gave me to follow Christ, lead for Him and make a difference in my family, my neighborhood and my Young Life kids.

— Andony

For Andony’s DGL mentor, Kevin, it has been a privilege to watch this young man grow and mature in relationship with Jesus and in leadership. When this normal “barrio” kid met a Young Life leader who introduced him to Jesus, his life was changed. Andony ended up studying computer science while serving as a volunteer leader of a Young Life club in a tough area of town. He has recently turned that club over to the younger leaders he trained and is starting another club in an even tougher area. On top of this, he is a college graduate who was just hired by a corporation in Costa Rica. This is just the beginning for this smart, hardworking man, and he will continue to affect all those he encounters.