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Dominican leaders launch program inspired by 'For the Strength of Youth'

SANTO DOMINGO, DOMINICAN REPUBLIC

In a partnership to promote strong values while preventing high-risk behavior among youth, Church leaders and Dominican Republic Vice President Margarita Cedeno unveiled on Jan. 26 a project entitled “Mis Normas,” or “My Standards.” The project includes many of the key principles found in the “For the Strength of Youth” booklet.

A traveling exhibition highlighting the “Mis Normas” project and its principles was recently introduced at the Dominican Republic Children’s Library in the nation’s capital.

Vice President Cedeno was joined at the event by Elder Richard J. Maynes of the Presidency of the Seventy, along with Elder J. Devn Cornish, and Elder Claudio D. Zivic, General Authority Seventies, and both members of the Caribbean Area Presidency.

Regarding this special project and event, Elder Maynes stated, “I was extremely impressed with the collaborate effort between the Church and Vice President Margarita Cedeno’s team. They were very successful adapting the principles found in ‘For the Strength of Youth’ pamphlet when creating the new pamphlet ‘Mis Normas,’ which will undoubtedly be a great benefit and blessing to the youth throughout the Dominican Republic.”

At the “Mis Normas” unveiling, participants were given a first glimpse of a multi-media, traveling exhibit that will be presented at dozens of community centers across the country. The exhibit is designed to promote healthful lifestyles and positive choices for Dominican youth.

While the project does not make specific reference to Church teachings, many of its guiding principles are anchored in the prominent tenets found in “For the Strength of Youth.” Like the Church resource, “Mis Normas” challenges Dominican youth to make wise choices and develop personal standards that will help them enjoy productive, safe and happy lives.

Church leaders said the “For the Strength of Youth” is a proven resource in keeping young people safe, productive and happy.

The “Mis Normas” project is co-sponsored by the Dominican youth advocacy program Prosoli. The program’s director, Dr. Altagracia Suriel, thanked Church members for their assistance, adding “I hope [the youth] can make good life decisions to help them develop and become strong.”

Elder Zivic also offered remarks at the unveiling. He challenged Dominican youth to “hold tight to their values and be kind to others” and to eschew risky behavior. Jean Carlos Reyes, a Latter-day Saint youth, said young people in the Dominican Republic face challenges such as drugs, violence, alcohol and teen pregnancy. Such challenges can be prevented “if we recognize and accept positive principles in life that can shape our character.