Dan M. De Nose

A Heart-Centered Leader Paving Paths for the Next Generation

The Start of an Adventure: From Troubled Youth to Promising Talent

As a first-generation Haitian American child, Dan M. De Nose’s journey from a rebellious youth in Newark, NJ, to a transformative leader exemplifies resilience and purpose. His early life was marked by academic disengagement and frequent suspensions. However, at age nine, his life changed when he joined the Newark Boys’ Chorus School, leading to international performances and a newfound confidence through leadership camps.

Charting New Territories: Education and Mentorship

At age 11, De Nose relocated to Geneva, NY, to live with a host family and attend a new school, which profoundly shaped his sense of purpose. He excelled in high school, traveled internationally, and served as a student ambassador. These experiences, along with improved SAT scores, led him to Hobart and William Smith Colleges, where influential mentors helped him thrive and develop his leadership skills.

Transformative Experiences: Academic and Professional Growth

With the guidance of influential mentors like Mark Gearan, the President of Hobart and William Smith Colleges, De Nose found himself campaigning for and securing a position as a student member on the Board of Trustees. Reflecting on this pivotal period, he recognized how relocating had granted him access to a valuable network of professionals and mentors who significantly influenced his career path. This starkly contrasted with his upbringing in Newark, NJ, where resources were scarce. Understanding that such disparities were often dictated by one’s zip code, De Nose was driven to ensure that youth in low-income communities could also access diverse career opportunities and mentorship.

Career Milestones and Founding a Vision: Leaders of the 21st Century

In 2015, De Nose founded Leaders of the 21st Century (LOT21C), a nonprofit dedicated to developing civic-minded youth leaders in urban communities. LOT21C offers a tuition-free program in partnership with NJIT, providing SAT prep, enrichment programs, and college tours. By 2020, De Nose fully committed to LOT21C, focusing on its mission to support youth development. Under his leadership, LOT21C has impacted over 1,000 students with workshops on financial literacy, health and wellness, and civic leadership. Partnerships with organizations like My Brother’s Keeper – Newark have expanded its reach. His book, “The Power of Exposure: Lessons of Success from Highly Effective Mentors,” encapsulates his belief in the transformative power of mentorship and exposure.

A Heart-Centered Leader’s Legacy

Dan M. De Nose’s journey embodies heart-centered leadership. Through LOT21C, he continues to inspire and uplift young people, proving that with support and opportunities, they can achieve greatness. His vision ensures future generations are equipped with the tools to make lasting contributions to their communities and society.

Dan’s Life philosophy:

Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see. 

Hebrews 11:1

Dan’s Reflection: 

This quote for me means maintaining a firm belief in God’s promises and their eventual fulfillment, even in cases when they haven’t yet materialized. It gives me a sense of confidence and assurance over God’s kindness and faithfulness. It uplifts me when I question or have a sense of doubt when I cannot comprehend how it will come to be, but rather keep my faith and hope in God. Every big decision I have made in my life is connected to my faith in God. I submitted my resignation letter prior to getting accepted into graduate school because of my faith. I left a secured job to build the nonprofit I founded full-time because of my faith. I left my family at the age of 11 to move to Geneva, NY, with a different family all because of my faith. My faith is what keeps me going although I do not know what is on the other side, but I believe something greater is waiting for me on the other side.

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