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Meet Sean Patterson

Today we’d like to introduce you to Sean Patterson.

So, before we jump into specific questions about the business, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
At the age of twelve, my Father passed away from cancer so, throughout most of life, I had always thought about ways to honor my father. What I found out growing up without a parent is that the death of a parent can be one of the most significant losses that you can encounter and can be accompanied by a longing for more time, shared experiences and connection. At a moment in life, in which kids are just starting to define their personal selves, the death of a parent can unsettle the expectation and promise of what the future may bring. There are ways for you to commemorate the important role that a parent played in your life, maintain your connection to them and integrate their memory into your existence. Because my father was always active in the community, kind to people and active with coaching I tried to do those things as a young adult and early adulthood. As I got older, the best way I felt I could honor my father was creating The 411 Foundation, my father was only 4’11” and he was rock a FOUNDATION in his community and in our family.

Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
The biggest obstacles/challenges is the beginning when no one knows who you are and you are trying to get support. Fundraising as a small non-profit organization can be tough at times because of how other organizations have misused funds people are reluctant to donate to small/not well-known organizations.

Please tell us about The 411 Foundation – what should we know?
The 411 Foundation was founded in November 2010 in honor of my father, James Edward Patterson, who passed away in 1986. My father stood 4’ 11”, but had a “giant” presence in our community and outreach programs. The 411 Foundation is dedicated to the life and works of my father who as a father, friend and coach was passionate about helping others. He worked to inspire young adults to reach their full potential. Along with my mother, Eula Mae Patterson inspired my sister and I to always give back and help others and The 411 Foundation is the direct result of their inspiration and encouragement.

The 411 Foundation mission is to help young adults become self-sufficient and contributing members of their communities. “4-1-1” is also recognized as a way to get assistance or information. We have a passion for helping young adults develop employability skills, make informed career choices and fulfill their dreams through assistance with skill development in the areas of employment, healthy relationships, self-identity, and volunteerism. We will do this by providing relevant and usable employment information and by assisting with direct contact with real workplaces. We will help make the goal of training and a rewarding career a believable reality.

The program format is designed to teach young adults independent living skills and life skills workshops so that they are able to succeed on their own. The 411 Foundation will work with young adults that are age 16-24 and the classes will be one day a week for two hours and all the material would be covered over a 6-8 week period.
The ultimate goal of The 411 Foundation is, essentially, to foster young adult’s sense of independence and so that they can grow to become responsible, successful and productive members of society. The 411 Foundation will teach young adults those things by teaching them independent living skills and life skills they need to learn in order to be successful at living independently the first time they are on their own.

The 411 Foundation will also work with young adults to teach them about giving back to their communities through community service projects. Our community service projects include handing out Blessing Bags and Survival Kits for the homeless, serving lunch at the Ronald McDonald House, Back to School Supply Giveaway and giving Christmas gifts to those in need.

The 411 Foundation staff and volunteers are focused on showing young adults that they are a priority and we want them to be productive members of society.

What I’m most proud of is The 411 Foundation is carrying on the legacy of my father. I am proud that the people who support and work with The 411 Foundation to help make the world a better place.

Is there a characteristic or quality that you feel is essential to success?
The 411 Foundation is made up of free-thinking individuals with different opinions and backgrounds, but the same passion for helping people. We have come together to create an organization whose foundation is built on mutual trust, passion, drive for what we do and enthusiasm for the young adults that we serve. We work hard and laugh often. Ultimately, we collaborate with incredible people and companies who share the common goal of helping others. We work to immediately earn the trust of the individuals we serve and exceed their expectations. We invest all of our energy in making events unforgettable. We strive to do the best job for our young adults each and every time we assist them.

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