An Asset Champion is someone who helps build developmental assets in young people in the Faribault area. Faribault Youth Investment, known as FYI, is the sponsor of this recognition program and welcomes nominations from any community member, youth or adult. Recently, Gordon and Erin Liu were recognized as Asset Champions for their dedicated support to Faribault youth.
According to the nomination from Delane James, the Liu’s have been supporting tutoring sessions in downtown for local youth for a few years at the Faribault Diversity Coalition and Blue Bird Cakery among many other things.
“Gordon and Erin are always advocating for young people in the Faribault community,” said James. “Whether through the Martin Luther King, Jr. student essay contest, helping students at Shattuck-St. Mary’s or working with law enforcement to reach youth, the Liu’s are always thinking creatively about how to support young people in their academic and personal achievements.”
James went on to say that Gordon and Erin exude positive energy. They are creative, flexible and always bring good ideas to every interaction. Kids and anyone in the community can count on their positive presence.
“I can do my job from anywhere, but I choose to come into the office because I just like hanging out near Gordon,” Faith Jameson, a high school intern for the Kaleidoscope project at the FDC said.
The Lius came to the Faribault area following several years of service to youth on the east coast through Americorps programs. Since their arrival, the couple has been very active with young people in the community including developing lessons for hands-on projects at the Faribault Middle School and initiating an internship program for high school age students at the FDC.
Gordon has also been involved with the Rice County Sheriff’s office in a project that brings kids from immigrant and refugee communities into positive relationships with law enforcement officers. On Friday nights, Gordon can often be found supervising basketball at the Community Center.
Sam Temple, recent FHS graduate and Americorps Vista member said, “I’m absolutely enjoying my experience as a Vista with the Faribault Diversity Coalition. It’s exactly the kind of post-high school experience I was hoping for. Gordon has professional knowledge of the things I’m interested in. Erin has been part of conversations as well about professional and personal goals.”
Temple continued, “They know how to make things interesting for me to keep me intrigued and engaged, especially as it relates to professional development. I’m finding work-life balance is really important.”
Through their involvement with Faribault youth and young adults, the Lius are helping to build assets like commitment to learning, positive view of personal future and constructive use of free time. Building these assets in our young people means Gordon and Erin Liu are building asset-rich community members for the future of Faribault.
The Faribault Youth Investment Board accepts nominations for Asset Champions at any time. Community members are encouraged to recommend Champions using the form found at faribaultyouthinvestment.org/asset-champion-awards/.
Faribault Youth Investment (FYI) is dedicated to the success of young people in the Faribault area and is anchored by the 40 Developmental Assets, a framework which outlines the building blocks of healthy youth development. Faribault Youth Investment aims to increase the community’s capacity for providing a supportive “growing up” environment for all youth by convening multiple sectors in collaborative efforts.