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Meet Shirley Plantin of U-turn Youth Consulting in Aventura

Today we’d like to introduce you to Shirley Plantin.

Shirley, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
I believe I have always had a heart for service, particularly for youth. I truly believed that I would go on to Law School and become criminal or corporate attorney, never did I think that I would end up working with gangs and at-risk youth in North Miami, North Miami Beach, and Little Haiti. As I immersed myself in the body of work we call youth prevention, I honestly believed the call on my life was revealed. Lord knows how many times I quit, fired myself, or simply walked away, but over and over I was pulled back in. The need is great, and the cries of the youth for success, attention, and love pierced my heart to my soul. So, ultimately I dived deeper in hopes of being able to intervene and advocate our youth.

We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
Absolutely not. There have been many struggles where many did not believe I was good enough, and constantly having to prove myself and my body of work. The hardest thing for me however, was the fact that I did not want to address youth violence by sugar coating the realities, and often times I was met with the criticism of being too “harsh” or too “real”, until we found ourselves in an absolute epidemic and state of emergency around the issue of youth and gun violence.

Please tell us about U-turn Youth Consulting.
I am a Youth Advocate, who specializes in at-risk youth particularly. I am a published author of “The Backstories of A New Reality: The Jaw-dropping Unmasking of Urban Youth Violence”. I am most known for always speaking truth to power about the backstories and root causes leading to youth violence that we as adults refuse to hear or want to learn. I am a fervent fighter for our youth, giving voice to what they wish adults would understand but think no-one cares to hear.

Through my firm, U-turn Youth Consulting (UYC) we specialize in urban youth conflict resolution by: advocating for changes that benefit at-risk youth, their families, and communities; facilitating in-person trainings, conferences, and webinars for entry-level and career professionals serving youth & families in any capacity; and educating students studying in youth-related fields.

Our ultimate mission is to curb youth violence by unmasking urban youth realities through education and advocacy.

I believe that what sets me apart is the fact that I served youth and families for over 15 years, prior to switching hats and wanting to train providers of what youth and families really experience that we seldom get to see, and how those backstories hinder or serve as barriers to successful program completions or ultimately producing wholesome youth.

Tell us about your childhood, what were you like growing up?
I have always been blunt and a bit sarcastic, but always willing to lend a helping hand. My interest were always criminal justice, debate, and drama and Theaters.

I have always been a member and part of leadership of the youth choir. I did and still adore traveling, specifically to the islands.

I have a passion for mentoring since I was young and still am mentoring both youth seeking guidance as well as entry-level professionals who want to work and engage with youth.

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