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Buttafuoco

For nearly 30 years God has faithfully blessed the work of Buttafuoco & Associates to help rebuild the lives of accident, injury and medical malpractice victims.  Because of the Lord's provision, the firm has created YCL as an opportunity to help young Christians be ministers in the marketplace—whether in education, government, law, media, the public and private sectors, science or sports.

World Changers Award Winners

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Dawn Fotopulos, Associate Professor of Business

The Kings College - New York, NY

September 30, 2014
As associate professor of business at The King's College in NY, Dawn Fotopulos, teaches principles of management, business strategy, and introduction to marketing. She has over 20 years of experience in the marketplace in various industries. Dawn has also created a phenomenal website called BestSmallBizHelp.com, which has helped many small businesses and entrepreneurs.

She brings unmatched experience and expertise. She has worked in Wall Street, as Vice President of Citigroup, and various other entrepreneurial projects. Dawn has been featured on MSNBC and other media outlets as an industry expert.

Dawn shares her knowledge through various seminars that has helped hundreds of businesses grow. That same ability is what she shares with her students. She emphasizes character above all, and to not compromise that in the face of difficulty. Throughout the years, she has built and maintained many mentoring relationships with her students. Dawn Fotopulos has undoubtedly impacted the next generation of business leaders and entrepreneurs.
Ray Villegas

Ray Villegas, Director

East Harlem Youth For Christ - New York, NY

Ray Villegas and his family are urban missionaries in one of the greatest cities in the world, New York. He has devoted his life to seeing lives changed and transformed. His passion is to see young people develop into lifelong disciples. For over a decade, he has served with Youth For Christ, and is currently the director of the East Harlem branch. Read more »
Ray Villegas and his family are urban missionaries in one of the greatest cities in the world, New York. He has devoted his life to seeing lives changed and transformed. His passion is to see young people develop into lifelong disciples. For over a decade, he has served with Youth For Christ, and is currently the director of the East Harlem branch.

As the director, he provides leadership and strategic development of the ministry in East Harlem. YFC in NYC exists to reach the youth to become godly and devoted followers of Jesus. They have a heart to see them live out their faith by continually growing in their relationship with Jesus, sharing the Gospel with others, and committing to seeing social change.

One way Ray has done this was by pioneering a hip-hop camp called BlazeFest. BlazeFest is a celebration of the arts that teaches young people creative skills in a healthy and structured environment.
Len Kageler

Len Kageler, Professor & Author

Nyack College - Nyack, NY

Dr. Leonard Kageler has devoted his life to youth ministry. Having served as a youth pastor for over 20 years, he has developed tremendous insight and skills on how to effectively minister to young people. Through his experience and expertise, he has authored books as well as taught both graduate and undergraduate courses on youth ministry. Read more »
Dr. Leonard Kageler has devoted his life to youth ministry. Having served as a youth pastor for over 20 years, he has developed tremendous insight and skills on how to effectively minister to young people. Through his experience and expertise, he has authored books as well as taught both graduate and undergraduate courses on youth ministry.

Dr. Kageler has written over a dozen books including The Youth Ministry Survival Guide (Zondervan, 2008), The Volunteer's Field Guide to Youth Ministry (Group, 2011), and his latest book, Youth Ministry in a Multifaith Society (InterVarsity Press, 2014). He is currently the Professor of Youth and Family Studies as well as the Associate Dean of Faculty Development at Nyack College, which is located right outside of NYC.

Besides just teaching in the classroom, Len has been a speaker at youth conferences and youth pastor gatherings all over the country and in Europe. He has a passion to mentor and disciple youth, which he has been doing his whole life. He also serves at his home church (Living Christ Church in Nyack, NY), and assists with the youth ministry there. Len and his wife, Janet, have three daughters. He is a serious runner, and loves backpacking and skiing.
Kenda Creasy Dean

Kenda Creasy Dean, Professor & Author

Princeton Theological Seminary - Princeton, NJ

Kenda Creasy Dean is all about youth ministry. She’s an ordained pastor, a seminary professor, and a distinguished author, and her love for youth ministry fuels all three of those occupations. Kenda has been a speaker, preacher, and teacher on five continents for more than 50 denominations. Read more »
Kenda Creasy Dean is all about youth ministry. She’s an ordained pastor, a seminary professor, and a distinguished author, and her love for youth ministry fuels all three of those occupations. Kenda has been a speaker, preacher, and teacher on five continents for more than 50 denominations. Kenda served as a pastor in suburban Washington, D.C. and as a campus minister at the University of Maryland before earning her doctorate at Princeton Theological Seminary in 1997.

Kenda returned to Princeton Theological Seminary and is currently a professor of Youth, Church, and Culture. She has authored multiple books, most notably Almost Christian: What the Faith of Our Teenagers is Telling the American Church. The book gained a lot of traction, even prompting an article on CNN. Kenda’s books and articles written on her blog have inspired discussions tailored to help Christian teenagers deal with the questions they have about their faith.

Kenda also works closely with the Institute for Youth Ministry (IYM) based in Princeton, NJ. IYM collaborates with church leaders, congregations, and adolescents to revitalize ministry and promote its importance. Kenda has conducted a wealth of research regarding teens and their faith in collaboration with IYM and the National Study of Youth and Religion. Through her work, Kenda desires to equip Christian youth to make a difference in their communities.
Walt Mueller

Walt Mueller, Founder/President

CPYU - Elizabethtown, PA

Dr. Walt Mueller is the founder and president of the Center for Parent/Youth Understanding, a non-profit organization that serves to strengthen relationships between young people and those responsible for their development. Walt is a distinguished author and speaker and has been featured in various media outlets. Read more »
Dr. Walt Mueller is the founder and president of the Center for Parent/Youth Understanding, a non-profit organization that serves to strengthen relationships between young people and those responsible for their development. Walt is a distinguished author and speaker and has been featured in various media outlets. He and his wife Lisa currently reside in Elizabethtown, Pennsylvania and have four children.

Walt Mueller attained his doctorate in Ministry to Postmodern Generations from Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary in 2005. A widely-acclaimed speaker, he is constantly invited to speak at various conferences and seminars. In addition, Dr. Mueller hosts a radio program that is nationally syndicated to over 800 stations. He has written extensively on youth culture and family issues and regularly contributes to such publications.

Since its inception in 1989, CPYU has become one of the foremost resources assisting parents, youth workers, and educators in their quest to understand teenage culture. As today’s youth experience rapidly changes, CPYU enables those in contact with adolescents to stay up-to-date on the latest trends and issues affecting them. Likewise, CPYU has equipped teenagers to deal with the challenges of transitioning into adulthood. Dr. Mueller’s work with CPYU has made him a recognized authority on youth culture and family issues around the world, and he hopes to use his experience to reach teenagers for Christ.
Calenthia Dowdy

Calenthia Dowdy, Professor of Youth Ministry

Eastern University - St. Davids, PA

When most people think of anthropology, the Church is probably the last connection they'd make. But a few words with Calenthia Dowdy would certainly convince you that they go hand in hand. Calenthia is a cultural anthropologist who specializes in urban youth culture in the United States and Brazil. Read more »
When most people think of anthropology, the Church is probably the last connection they'd make. But a few words with Calenthia Dowdy would certainly convince you that they go hand in hand. Calenthia is a cultural anthropologist who specializes in urban youth culture in the United States and Brazil. She teaches about youth ministry at Eastern University in St. Davids, Pennsylvania. Calenthia was born and raised in Philadelphia, where she has been greatly active in ministry-related endeavors.

Calenthia’s experiences run the gamut from youth pastor to college prep director. In between she’s held various other positions, including grade school teacher, college chaplain, group home house parent, and community advocate. Her varied encounters have brought her into contact with a wide range of diverse individuals.

Calenthia’s most recent research was conducted with Brazilian youth in City of God, a shantytown in Rio de Janeiro. Her extensive work in the country has made her an expert on Afro-Brazilian culture and life. In the States, she is very involved in a number of initiatives in the Philadelphia area. One of these is Philadelphia FIGHT, an HIV/AIDS prevention organization where she is Director of Faith Initiatives. Calenthia also works closely with Roots of Justice, an anti-racism education program. Calenthia seeks to apply what she learns about youth to lead them to Christ.
Brock Morgan

Brock Morgan, Youth Pastor/Public Speaker

Trinity Church - Greenwich, CT

Brock Morgan’s calling to youth ministry has made him quite the all-purpose man. He is currently youth pastor at Trinity Church but he’s also a distinguished public speaker and writer. Brock has authored two books on youth ministry and frequently speaks at various youth-oriented conferences. Read more »
Brock Morgan’s calling to youth ministry has made him quite the all-purpose man. He is currently youth pastor at Trinity Church but he’s also a distinguished public speaker and writer. Brock has authored two books on youth ministry and frequently speaks at various youth-oriented conferences. In his own words, he is an avid fan of surfing, obsessed with football, and deeply in love with his wife and wonderful daughter.

Brock has been working with students for over 23 years now. His heart for youth ministry has led him from the inner cities of Los Angeles to the woodlands of Oregon, and finally to the church at which he is currently serving. Brock is a full-time youth pastor at Trinity Church in Greenwich, Connecticut, overseeing the youth ministry and helping students develop in their faith. Yet Brock still finds time to speak at camps, retreats, and conferences on a regular basis – he’s been a member of the Youth Specialties national speaking team for over six years. He has also written for various magazines and websites in addition to his published works.

Today, Brock is continuing on his mission of guiding students to a deeper relationship with Jesus. He believes that making faith something that students feel, rather than simply talk about, is the key to developing a faith that lasts. Through his various endeavors, Brock is hoping to lead more students to life-changing encounters with Christ.
Heather Lea Campbell

Heather Lea Campbell, Youth Pastor

St. Lukes UMC - Indianapolis, IN

There are several things that set Heather Lea Campbell apart. Among these are her love for amateur journalism, her fixation with arts/crafts projects, and the fact that she is a pioneer in one of the most dynamic aspects of the church: youth ministry. Read more »
There are several things that set Heather Lea Campbell apart. Among these are her love for amateur journalism, her fixation with arts/crafts projects, and the fact that she is a pioneer in one of the most dynamic aspects of the church: youth ministry. Heather serves as the Associate Director of Youth Ministry at St. Luke’s UMC in Indianapolis, Indiana. Through her activities and writings about youth, her passion for youth ministry is clearly evident.

Considering the fact that youth ministry has been a primarily male-dominated field, one would wonder how Heather arrived at the place where she currently is. In her own words, her journey started off as a teenager on the “fast track” of broadcast journalism. She became the editor-in-chief of her high school newspaper and was even voted “Most Likely to Have Her Own Talk Show.” She had every intention of pursuing that career in college – until God called her to youth ministry.

Heather attended Southwest Baptist University and graduated with a degree in Christian Ministry (Youth Emphasis), along with a minor in Theology. She immediately immersed herself in all things youth ministry, her work ranging from traditional church settings to urban group homes for at-risk youth.

After some time, Heather soon realized that her calling to youth ministry did not mean she had to forsake her love for writing. She started her own blog dedicated to everything about youth ministry in order to journal her varied experiences. Not only that, she serves as a contributor and editor at YouthMin.org, a leading resource for youth ministry workers. For upwards of five years, Heather’s life has revolved around displaying the love of Christ to youth, and she hopes to be able to do that in even more ways in the future.
Jack Crabtree

Jack Crabtree, Teaching Pastor

Shelter Rock Church - Syosset, NY

Jack Crabtree is the former Director of Long Island Youth For Christ and current Teaching Pastor of Shelter Rock Church in Syosset, NY. Jack has lived in Long Island since 1971 but is originally from Lima, Ohio. Jack served as Executive Director of Long Island Youth For Christ for 36 years. Read more »
Jack Crabtree is the former Director of Long Island Youth For Christ and current Teaching Pastor of Shelter Rock Church in Syosset, NY. Jack has lived in Long Island since 1971 but is originally from Lima, Ohio. He earned a B.S. in English Secondary Education from Taylor University and an M.A. in Communications from Wheaton College Graduate School. Jack and his wife, Becky, have been married for over 40 years and have two grown sons and one granddaughter.

Jack served as Executive Director of Long Island Youth For Christ for 36 years. The Youth For Christ movement began in 1944 in Chicago and spread across the United States and around the world. Jack started with Long Island Youth For Christ in 1971 and took the role as leader in 1975. During these years, thousands of teens attended Campus Life Clubs and found Christ on summer bike trips, winter snow camps, and Florida spring break trips. In 1990, Long Island pastors affirmed Youth For Christ’s commitment to evangelism and to build the local church by selecting Jack Crabtree to serve as the chairman for the Long Island Billy Graham Crusade.

Under Jack’s leadership, Long Island Youth For Christ helped launch the ministry to public high schools and middle schools in the 1990s. From 1995 to 2006, Long Island Youth For Christ was actively linked with South Africa Youth For Christ by hosting Team iThemba, a group of seven young people who perform and speak about racism and HIV/AIDS in Africa.

In July of 2011, after 40 years of faithful service to Long Island Youth For Christ, Jack Crabtree retired from his position as Executive Director. However, Jack is continuing to support Long Island Youth For Christ on an advisory basis. Jack looks forward to continually impacting the lives of youth, both in his church and in conjunction with Youth For Christ.
Jermel Mayo

Jermel Mayo, Senior Pastor

Vailsburg Assembly of God - Newark, NJ

Jermel Mayo is a senior pastor, husband, father of five, and a traveling speaker. He leads Vailsburg Assembly of God in Newark, NJ along with his wife Michelle, whom he met in high school. Jermel has a passionate desire for youth ministry and is eager to see the lives of students transformed by the power of the gospel. Read more »
Jermel Mayo is a senior pastor, husband, father of five, and a traveling speaker. He leads Vailsburg Assembly of God in Newark, NJ along with his wife Michelle, whom he met in high school. Jermel has a passionate desire for youth ministry and is eager to see the lives of students transformed by the power of the gospel.

Jermel Mayo did not grow up in a Christian home as a youth. However, in April 1999 he had a dramatic encounter with God while attending a Bible study in his dorm room at Montclair State University. Through a campus missionary he was quickly introduced to Jon Wegner, who was the senior pastor of Vailsburg AG at the time. His relationship with Pastor Jon continued to grow from discipleship to mentorship. Michelle also came to know the Lord then shortly after, God placed it upon their hearts to serve as part-time youth pastors at Vailsburg AG. While serving there, they developed a burden to see young people grow in their walk with the Lord. Working also as a teacher at East Orange Campus High School, Jermel witnessed many young people come to Christ and join the youth ministry. Many of these youth still attend the church. In December 2007, God called Jermel to become the lead pastor of Vailsburg AG when his friend and mentor Jon Wegner was called to serve at another congregation.

Jermel’s influence as a minister of the gospel continues to increase. Very often, he is asked to speak at youth events. He travels around the state of New Jersey speaking into the lives of thousands of young people. For the past five years he has been traveling the world with evangelist Greg Hubbard to influence young people on a larger scale. He has received the opportunity to travel to Calcutta, India, and parts of Africa where he has been able to impact the lives of many students. In the future, Jermel hopes to expand his ministry and lead more young people to Christ.
Jacob Burgei

Jacob Burgei, Youth Pastor

Faith Fellowship Ministries - Edison, NJ

Pastor Jacob Burgei is a Husband, Father, Youth Pastor and Student Director and has a relentless passion for this generation and the next generation of leaders. His passion is to raise up a generation of young people and leaders who will... Read more »
Pastor Jacob Burgei is a Husband, Father, Youth Pastor and Student Director and has a relentless passion for this generation and the next generation of leaders. His passion is to raise up a generation of young people and leaders who will go against the flow of society and change the way we reach this world. Whether he is preaching a dynamic message to youth and young adults each week or empowering leaders in a Conference or training, those in attendance are experiencing a fresh outpouring of God and being encouraged to fulfill the call of God on their lives.

Growing up in a godly home and his parents being Pastor’s, caused him to search for his identity and purpose. Knowing God had a powerful call on his life, he emerged himself in a lifestyle of drugs, sexual promiscuity and alcohol until God spoke to him to attend Bible College. He attended Valor Christian College (formerly known as World Harvest Bible College) under the leadership of Pastor Rod Parsley from 1997-1999 where he began studying Pastoral Studies and God radically transformed his life. He began to feel the call of God on his life to work with young people and this next generation, and before graduating Bible College he met his wife Tara. After graduating he began serving in full-time ministry under his Father, Pastor Rick Burgei in Kokomo, Indiana. He and his wife served as Youth Pastors, Associate Pastors, etc…. and in many different roles in full-time ministry under the leadership of his Father, from 1999-2007 until God began to speak to their hearts to relocate. In 2007 after much prayer, God spoke to them to move them and their children to Sayreville, New Jersey to serve as Youth Pastors under Pastor David T. Demola at Faith Fellowship Ministries.

Currently Pastor Jacob and his family are serving at Faith Fellowship Ministries as Student Directors and Youth Pastors where they minister to over 1,500 students each week through the Student Ministries Department. He and his wife are the Founders of “The Fuel Movement” from Fuel leadership training, fellowships, and Fuel Student Conference, which builds relationships with Youth Pastors, Senior Pastors, Student Leaders, etc….in the New York Tri-State region. His wife Tara and his three beautiful children, Isaiah, Claire and Faith love spending time together, as their first ministry is their family and marriage, but love to take a break from ministry to visit New York City to shop and eat at some amazing restaurants.