Youth Guidance mourns founder Rita Dion’s passing

VERO BEACH — Rita Dion, founder and former Executive Director of Youth Guidance, Florida’s oldest mentoring organization, died on Friday, June 8. She was 78.

Dion was a pioneer in mentoring and founded Youth Guidance over 45 years ago. Her ideas to help improve the lives of children and shape future generations of outstanding citizens have proven successful as evidenced through her accomplishments at Youth Guidance.

“Rita’s passing was a shock to me and all of the staff,” said Felix Cruz, Youth Guidance’s executive director. “I met with Rita a few times in the past six months as she shared the history of Youth Guidance and we talked about future endeavors.  She was emotionally touched to learn that we would be naming our building ‘The Rita Dion Mentoring Academy’ and she was making plans to participate in our redevelopment capital campaign.  I have a heavy heart knowing that she will not be able to see it come to fruition.”

We are currently awaiting further information regarding memorial services. More information will be released once it is available.

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