Lily Santiago was brought up with humble beginnings in the inner city of Little River (Miami, FL). As a child of a single parent home, she watched her mother work tirelessly to make ends meet and provide for her and her younger brother. Lily, like so many other children, grew up without a relationship with her father and she was well aware that he thought that she was a mistake. Lily was introduced to the Catholic faith at a young age by her mother and she relied on it to see her family through from day to day. Even with her faith, Lily still felt lost and without purpose. She understood that the absence of mentoring, life skills, educational resources, and minimal encouragement left her destined to repeat this cycle and that something had to change.
Over the years, Lily embraced every opportunity to educate herself and worked her way up to various roles in leadership and management. Her heart still felt heavy when she thought about the countless children who may never have the opportunity to escape the struggles that she faced as a child. Her passion for breaking this cycle compelled her to research career opportunities that focused on empowering and educating our youth, but her qualifications and the job market opened other doors for her. She continued to move forward and relied on her faith to lead her to the right path. That moment of clarity came for Lily when she converted from the Catholic faith and accepted Jesus Christ as her Lord and Savior. She immediately felt the weight being lifted from her shoulders and experienced a feeling of peace that she had never known. As Lily pursued her relationship with God, He began to reveal His plan and purpose for a youth ministry that Lily was to lead. Once God showed her His vision, Lily ran with it.
The one thought that continues to cross Lily’s mind is “Where would I be if this had happened earlier in my life?” That single thought paired with God’s purpose for her life is the driving force behind the ministry. Lily is now Founder and CEO of Youthkind™ - Scholars for Christ. Youthkind™ is an independent youth ministry committed to reaching children early and preparing them to successfully navigate life’s obstacles and stay on the path of righteousness. The programs are designed in part to provide mentoring, success coaching, and life skills development, to empower our youth as they pursue and honor God in their lives and their communities. Lily also has over ten years’ experience in leadership and recruiting for large healthcare organizations. Her expertise in those areas significantly benefits those who participate in the services Youthkind™ provides.
Lily's professional LinkedIn All-Star profile can be found here: https://www.linkedin.com/in/lilysantiago.
Lily is a licensed and ordained Youth Minister, in addition to being an active member of the National Association of Christian Ministers. She is a Certified Professional Life Coach (CPCLC) by the International Board of Christian Care (a branch of the American Association of Christian Counselors); the highest credential for the specialty. When she is not studying to complete her Graduate studies, she enjoys spending time with her husband and three children in Hollywood, FL.
Inspirational Bible Verse: Philippians 1:6
Lily Santiago has completed a total of 200 hours of Christian Life Coaching courses. Along with Continuing Education Credits, she has completed specialized courses in: