Podcast Episode 16 – Heather Goodlett from Youth Life Foundation of Richmond


  • Bourbon – Buffalo Trace
  • Executive Director and Founder of the Youth Life Foundation of Richmond (Darrell Green’s Foundation)
  • Went to University of Richmond
  • 3rd grade teacher in Richmond
  • Started YLFR in 2002
  • Married to Raymond Goodlett
  • beFIT
    • Played lacrosse and field hockey for university of Richmond
    • Lifts 3x a week
    • Supplements with running throughout the week
    • Important to stay healthy and active for kids, stress reliever, stay at the top of her game with her job and to do everything God has called her to do
  • beNOBLE
    • Quit her teaching job to start up YLFR
    • Always had a passion for kids who haven’t been given a fair shot
    • It’s an after school program in poor African American and Latina communities in Richmond
    • There to help develop them and introduce them to God
    • YLFR started with 10 children in 2002
    • Now 14 people on staff, serve over 100 students
  • beDRIVEN
    • trust in Christ through all things, not on herself or others
    • Committed to daily bible reading
  • beCHILL
    • Play sports with the family
    • Loves to try new restaurants with friends and family
      • Acacia Restaurant
    • Create boundaries and delegate
    • COVID has actually helped bring time back into her life to spend with her girls

Podcast Transcription:

Have you ever thought about making podcast with thought, probably too hard to get started. Couldnt be further from the truth when you use anchor. First of all, its free. So, check off box number one. It has easy-to-use, creation tools on your browser or your phone, Acura distributor podcast for you and you can make money. No matter how many listeners you have, it really is a One-Stop shop for all of your podcast knees. So stop delaying and download the free anchor app or go to Anchor. FM to get started. Welcome back to another episode of core for life. We got a very special episode for this one. As we have our first female guest, my sister had a brown. So, we all week, we do direct this core for Life podcast towards men, husbands and fathers. But just because of that is probably why weve had all men on the podcast so far but it definitely doesnt mean that we cant have women on the podcast as well who are very motivated and driven in their lives and I would say Heather. Youre probably one of the most motivated and driven women that I know. So she is currently shes married to our I guess it weve had on before Ray Ray Goodman and also mother to my three nieces and shes Current Youth Life, Foundation executive director, and founder, Darrell Greens foundation, in, in Richmond, Virginia. So happy to have you here. Welcome any first woman, this big deal, big deal here. Its all, you know, just that I wont dive at all these a little bit more as we go. But just give us a little background on, you know, your, your family life and your career and how that got got going to Pennsylvania. And when I was 13 years old, Michael Brown was born. And so I went to University of Richmond and settled in Richmond, Virginia, I was a teacher, a third grade teacher for several years and then I went back and got my degree as a reading specialist. And I was I was working in the public schools in Richmond. Virginia. Also heard a speaker, talk about the Darrell Green, use my foundation in DC, he had planted himself in the DC. Area. As a now Hall of Fame Redskins football player to really make a difference in the city. And so I was very attracted by everything he was doing and he was in my family of churches. So started training with them and started Youth Life foundation in 2002. So weve been going 18 years and in the midst of that, my husband Raymond, he served on my board for several years and as a mentor and then we got married and right away, started having children, and what are their ages right now? Theyre 13 11 and 9 more into your life Foundation here. As we go, wanted to start off a little bit on our befit pillar with you. I know youve always been very athletic and not can beat me, probably in a lot of the force that youve played lacrosse field, hockey playing field hockey for University of Richmond. But can you give us a little bit of background on your Sports career, a little of everything but what really stuck was lacrosse and field hockey, which I played in college, so played at University of Richmond and it was fun. Raymond at just seeing Michael he would come when he was 5 years old to my games, and my dad would drive down from Philadelphia eating dirt. What I heard she was good. Yeah, and still to this day, I told Raymond, we got married, one of the things I expected that you always. Let me go to the gym and work out cuz its always been a stress reliever for me. So continue to do that with water skiing yesterday up here in Lake Mohawk Road 47 years old so yeah that look good got outside the wake. I cant water ski. It also never been up on a water ski in the boat. Youll have to steal house, but, you know, I know diet and fitness has always been a big part of your life. I mean, what are you currently doing to maintain that times a week left and then supplement that with running? And I try to run a 10K every year just to make sure I can still do that. So do the Monument Avenue 10K in Richmond Virginia. Each year was staying come in and maybe its self-explanatory to some people but obviously I think you look around and might not be. So why is it important to you and your life to be healthy for my kids make sure Im around 2 just stressed. You better make sure I can continue at upper level and just my job and it just makes me feel healthy and good and able to do all I feel God has called me to do. You know its saying they acted for your job and you mentioning that were going to go to the be Noble pillar here? Cuz again I said this with raised pillar as well and everything that youve done Taz really scream nobility in your life for what youve done in your career, what you started with you, let you fly foundations. So can you walk us through a little bit of that history. Give us a little bit of how that how that started up but really just from the start of Youth Life Foundation to where its at today and whats that look like her? And I just loved getting the kids that were ones that they said this kids not going to make it and Im like well no I dont think thats right theres this huge just Stinging me, when I was in graduate school at took this class and we went through a guy by the name of Jonathon koziol, really looking into the Bronx, New York versus Manhattan. And why are there all these resources in Manhattan and the Bronx where they need it? Its not there and I started thinking of my own City Richmond, Virginia West End of Richmond versus East End and it just bothered me and the kids that I was working with you would say get out your math book or we dont have math books. John that book, you know, just the inequity bothered me a lot. So at the same time I started working in the public school system, I heard about the Darrell Green Foundation up in DC and how not only Could you teach them the basics education, but you could teach me about your face because in the non-profit world that could be a part of it. And to be honest, some of the kids, I would just look into their eyes and there was nothing there as a first grader, just blank. And, and I remember this one kid in particular, I saw him on the news 5 years ago, he had committed a murder, this kid that I knew when he was in first grade. I mean, you could see that that was kind of a trajectory, but God, and thats what our goal is with you. Fly Foundation is used CDs children, and they dont come from the best of circumstances. And their circumstances are not changing any time soon, but God. And so we introduce them to the Gods. Love them and that has a purpose for them. And so weve actually seen students, weve been going 18 years, start when they were for 5 years old and graduate from high school and go on to college, go on to a good trade and really live their lives for Christ. And so we started with 10 children back in 2003 summer of 2003. I was teacher fundraiser, janitor everything and then we have grown now to having 14. People on staff. Half part-time have full time, we serve over a hundred students are there in different communities in Richmond, African American communities Latino communities and just watching them grow. And this year, we have six students are graduating from high school. Were having a big party for them on August 14th and just really getting them to tell us. What are your dreams? What are your hopes? And then we try to help them along the way to provide them with mentor. The teachers with opportunities to realize all their hopes and dreams really cool success stories. Yeah, its its these kids that come out the other end. Its just amazing. If I want to get motivated again, since you, for my job, for the fundraising, cuz Im a lot of behind-the-scenes. Now, I have my own kids that are after school that Im with, I will go to the high school room and Ill just go talk to them for a couple minutes because Ive known them since they were Elementary, and they were a mess. They are a mess in middle school, but somehow magically in high school they just become human and everything you like poured into them for all those years finally starts to come out and they are the most interesting, amazing young men and women that were seeing come out the other end. Youre actually excited like, okay, like this. This is a good future for her and still Middle School. Im telling you, we just have girls right now. In Middle School in our program, like, oh Lord drama, are they ever going to come out the other end? But they will, thats awesome. This success stories that youve seen them, there are a ton, but Im sure theres been a lot of challenges that you had to deal with through that time. Can you think of anything specifically that stuck out to you? That? I mean, might have helped, not, not only shape you, but she ate the program itself and what you guys are gone through. So we were starting and I quit my job in the public school. Under the guise that this executive director of the Darrell Green Foundation, said do it. Were going to support you the first couple years. My pastor was On board with it. And then as soon as I quit my job, he leaves that executive director leaves and doesnt pass any of the information. On to the organization, my husband Raven was on the board at the time and it was a mess. I didnt know how it was going to be get paid. I was single at the time, it was just me. And I think it came to a day where I just broke down, and the scriptures of against you and only you Lord. Have I said I was trusting in the Darrell Green Foundation. I was trusting in this person wears. I needed to. I said, I trusted God, but I didnt really trust him. So when I that day, it was like something broke. And I said Im trusting you. It has prepared me for everything since 18 years since any time there is Are we going to make budget? You know, I have these 14 people that Ive got to make sure that they get paid going back to that trust in Christ. That its not about me, its about him. He cares about these kids, much more than I do. So I will go back to that moment time and time again we had a meeting with Cheryl Green, you know, before that. And he was like, who are you? And what do you want to do? And he remembers that meeting. Now, were good friends and hes like, yeah, I thought you were just try to take advantage of me and the organization and I didnt know you were for real. And so that was a watershed moment of you, who do I trust? So, you know, you probably hit on this a little bit so far, but if you were trying to sum it up and in a few words here, what, what is the Legacy you trying to leave with you fly Foundation? Starting to see it already as these kids are growing up but Id want to see these kids take ownership for their own communities. I want to see them on staff with you is life. I want to see them just really making a difference in Richmond. Virginia, thats kind of the Legacy. I want to see there just them coming out as strong Believers and and really making a difference in their own community and we have one student that was on staff with us for a while and hes a welder. So thats kind of his trajectory but while he was taking classes, he was on staff and Justine. That is a glimpse of what could be was really exciting about where some of those kids might be without that. A lot of their friends are dead, theyre in jail, theyre selling drugs, I mean, its real. Its, its a really its a tough, tough neighborhood that theyre from there. So, you know, to do everything that youve done. And getting that Foundation, started the challenge that you guys have gone through. You know, you youre clearly very driven with what you for what youve done so far. I mean, what, what is the biggest Dragon Force in your life through that? Like I said, is that trust in Christ? Its, I think anytime I see myself, going off the rails and getting anxious for the finances. Its when Im putting my eyes on myself that I need to be the one doing certain things and it helps me. Okay, I need to put my eyes back on Christ. So that is the first thing. And then on the flip side, when things are going well, you know, you can start saying, You know, glory for myself. Look what Ive done and very quickly that goes the wrong way, pretty fast. So I think thats the first thing is just keeping my eyes on Christ. Making sure that Im getting him the glory and then things seem to to go a lot better to do that. Like I think one of the things that we want to do is provide people with practical ways. To youre not only hear how youve done these things already know that youve done. These things are going to look like, how you how do you do that? How do you focus? Refocus yourself re-center yourself. For me, its daily Bible reading. It has to be a discipline for me. I do Community Bible Study because when Im in Gods word daily, you quickly see where youre an error, it just jumps out at you and, you know, do you know this scripture? I never saw it that way, but God uses it. Holy spirit. Uses it to show where Im an error. Where I need to repent, where Im going off, the just line of where my life should be going. So that that is huge for me. Talking to your husband. He had a lot of book references and things that he he does in his life. And what about you, anything from a spiritual or professional development typing that youve really looked into it for me, being an educator, Id always read a lot of Education books, but going into the non-profit world, its really business books that have been helpful for for me to back in the day when I started I dont know if anyone remembers Jim Collins but he wrote built to last what was his other one. Had two great. So those that model I still use get the wrong. People off the bus, get the right people on the bus, know what youre good at. So Youth Life it people will always want you to start a school. And you know, do you do all these different Things that we know this is our mission, we need to stay on Mission and so that has been huge for me and then probably the ones more recently Aram. Im always time management. Like your mom, your wife of the pastor, youre running this nonprofit, I need to get the most juice out of every minute of my day. So one of the books Ive read recently is called the one thing I think as women we tried like to check ourselves into staying, we can multitask but no one really is good at multitasking. So just what is the one thing I want to accomplish today? And that helps to focus me when I go into the office, to get that one thing done and then be able to move on. So thats yeah. I do not read all of his big fat book. In fact, the one he suggested Wayne grudem book is so thick and he on our honeymoon brought that book and he would open it up and I had my little light fiction books. Step Systematic Theology is that are open that up on our honeymoon. I was like, you had to pay the extra money for the the suitcase weight because of this giant Ray has some different ways that he likes to relax and it might be with the big, you know, Systematic Theology book. You know, what are some ways that you like to just be chill. Relax, you know, hang out with her. Be with your family or with Ray. I mean, maybe not on the geology side with Ray, but what happened? What do you like? One of my favorite things to do is to reach my girls. So I my favorite is us to all be in my bed and Im reading a book out loud to them. And then I like when we play sports as a family, when we go out and kick the soccer ball around, thats one of my favorite things and then Im a foodie so Richmond. Virginia has a ton of cool restaurants and so my girlfriends and I get together once a month and try different ones and Raymond and I when we go out on a date, will try different restaurants just push this out. Enough people you can get some shout-out to those restaurants. Sending you an email instead of stuck out to you once that youve liked a lot riding through Richmond Virginia. I mean theyve got this Acacia that we like to go to cash there. So theres so many restaurant. Scotts addition is the new like area, cool hip part of town and purchase somewhere we just went to and yeah theres a lot you are key says its borrow is his favorite meal. Time to do all this stuff. Running that Foundation. You got three Middle School girls and yeah, I mean I found myself having to be pretty bound read so I could work for 40 hours a week, but I, my job description is 420. We just crazy for an executive director but Ive just hired really good. People under me that do a lot of your good do alligator. I have learned to be a good delegator. Yeah, so I keep to that 20 hours so that in the morning when the girls go off to school before covid happens I would work out. Do my work out to my Bible reading and then go into the office and really work, just 20 hours a week on that job and then be available for them to drive them, to all their activities and listen to them and do homework. And yeah, what are you talking about? What was that? Are we talking about? Our oldest daughter is 13 and shes gotten involved in three Sports and just never seemed like she was home. We felt like we were losing her in a way, like she can be off to college soon, so it was interesting with covid happening with everything shutting down. It has been a blessing that we feel like weve gotten her back again and really gotten to spend time with her. And its been really helpful, actually wrote some books to them at night, with all of the Little Women. You know, all of those girls early books and it might not be a girl, a girls book. But Lord of the Rings, I actually didnt read those until I was older. Theyre hard to read anyway. Yeah, I just read like one chapter to my girls through way too. Young Lord, came up to my wife and said, you know, Gandalf married. One of the Disney Princesses during that day during playtime in the world. Maybe start with CS Lewis or maybe reader Christian. Awesome heatherway. Appreciate you spending some time here with us and tell him to a little bit about the youth life Foundation, how it come about. How its been shaping some lives throughout the communities in Richmond, Virginia. And I get hopefully more and more people will be able to hear that. See what you guys are doing, and thank you to you. So, you were in college and I spoke at our church and it caught him for the first time what I was really doing, like his sisters doing this, and hes going to support her ever since even as a college student, he would give every once in awhile and theyve been monthly partner. So, I want to thank you for believing in what I do to your father, always always there to support a good cause and you guys are doing awesome things. How do people get involved from icons? All that other people. So we have a website w, w w y l f r. Org, for youth by Foundation Richmond were also on Facebook. Were supposedly on Instagram and Twitter. I dont know. But yeah. So were out there on all the social media, when we get through this podcast posted and hopefully you guys can share that as well and well get it out there. Get more supporters for you guys doing. Thanks for checking out the door for Life podcast. If you like what youre hearing, Marcella friend about us, share a link for a podcast on social media or get in touch with us a tour for life or core for life.com. Thats core, four life.com, guess next time. Google for Life For Life.

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