JV Hampton-VanSant has worked with BRIDGE in many capacities since 2008. Originally as a volunteer, he would help at events during summer breaks from college. As an intern, he managed the summer camp at Hevreh in 2011. Since graduating from Lesley University in 2012 with a B.A. in Holistic Psychology, he has worked as a part of the administrative team as well as the primary youth leadership trainer. JV received his diversity training certification from the National Coalition Building Institute (NCBI) in the summer of 2012. Since then, he has received numerous other certifications, including sexual health and youth leadership. JV is also a professional merman performer, teacher, model, and soon-to-be children’s book author working to encourage kids to actively engage with the world around them and make positive choice around diversity, environmentalism, and leadership.
In September 2001 at the mature age of 11 (and a half), JV Hampton-VanSant, being of completely sound mind and sound body, set a goal for himself: by the end of that year, he would write a book. After all, what else was a boy to do, especially one who was constantly using his imagination to build various worlds that only he could see, and stories only he could re-enact. Whether it was creating his own set of wizard friends (a la Harry Potter or Diane Duane’s Young Wizard series), or inventing his own superheroes. He reasoned that it would be selfish not to share these thoughts with anyone who would read them.
In addition to writing for BRIDGE, JV is the BRIDGE Youth Diversity Leadership Coordinator/Trainer and the IT/Social Networking Coordinator. On his own time, he is a Professional Merman Performer, educator and model, as well as a (human) Model with Berkshire Beauty, LLC. He is also in the process of writing a series of children’s books about life lessons learned by miniature merfolk living in a small aquarium, to be called “One Tail at a Time”. His main passion for working with young people is providing guidance for them toward a good path, inspiring them to be the best they can be at anything they do, reaffirming their potential and individuality, watching them succeed, and giving a little nudge forward here and there if needed.
JV is a lifelong Berkshire County native, and hopes to remain in the area for a very long time.
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