This evening at 6 p.m. at Laurel Hall, MCCOY and the partners of the Summer Youth Program Fund will honor 23 local young people with the Excellence in Summer Service Education Award (ESSA).
Craig MacFarlane, Founder of the 20/20 Inner Vision Foundation, will be the keynote speaker at the ceremony honoring the work, commitment and service young people provide our community as full-time staff or volunteers in Marion County summer youth programs. The mission of 20/20 Inner Vision Foundation is to increase high school graduation rates and create positive employment futures by instilling a sense of pride and dignity in the youth of America. MacFarlane, a victim of a tragic accident that left him totally blind at the age of 2, is a superstar in the hearts and minds of anyone who has watched him take on of life’s greatest blows and turn that into a tower of inspiration for the world to see. He founded 20/20 Inner Vision Foundation to inspire a sense of value for high school completion as well as to motivate young people to have a high degree of self worth.
Summer programs are essential to decreasing the learning loss that occurs when students take time off from studies, as well as helps to keep youth engaged and busy with positive activities. The young people that work in these summer programs work hard to ensure that their programs are of the highest quality and hold a constructive role in the summer schedule of youth. Whether our award winners are working as camp counselors, program manager, lifeguards or educational staff, they serve a very important role for their organizations and to their peers and the youth they serve.
“At a time when young people are often criticized for being concerned only about themselves, the Summer Youth Program Fund partners and MCCOY are pleased to recognize and honor these 23 young women and men who have given so much of themselves to our community and its young people. Through their efforts, literally thousands of young people in neighborhoods across our city had the chance to participate in summer programs that taught them new skills, gave them new experiences, and exposed them to new opportunities. Most of all, what these exemplary Summer Service Award winners showed the students that they worked with is that somebody cares about them and is interested in their growth, well-being and future success.” said John Brandon, MCCOY President.
Elizabeth Gore, President of the Indianapolis Public School Board and retired US Airways Reservation Supervisor, served on the Excellence in Summer Service Award Selection Committee for the second year in a row. Gore says, “I enjoyed reading about the experiences these young people had during their summer work and volunteer time, and how their interactions with other young people and the staff members of their organization made a true difference in their lives.”
Gore along with seven other community leaders served on the ESSA Selection Committee. The committee, led by Anne Hudson of Good Seeds Consulting, met after the application deadline, to read through the applications and select the 23 winners. The committee shared a tremendous responsibility of choosing from such a high caliber of applicants.
Award winner Jessica Wolfe, a senior at Butler University and captain the of Bulldogs volleyball team had an inspiring summer working with the young women from Girls Inc. of Greater Indianapolis. “I am somebody who feels they were born to help others; I find myself responsible to others in the community because I think everyone deserves a chance at a bright future. I found pleasure working the girls this summer, and helping them become independent women with success in their minds and love in their hearts,” said Jessica of her experience working with Girls, Inc.
Forty-nine young workers from summer programs submitted applications for the Excellence in Summer Service Education Award. At the awards ceremony, the 23 winners will receive a certificate of recognition and $1000 to be used for education-related expenses such as buying books or equipment, paying tuition, or making a deposit in an educational savings account.
The 2010 Excellence in Summer Service Education Award winners are:
Damilola Awonusi, Anglican Church of the Resurrection LEAP Summer Camp
Ronald Frye, Concord Neighborhood Center
Dylan Wallace-Maxwell, Concord Neighborhood Center
Calasia Williams, Coppin Chapel African American Episcopal Church
Bridget Price, CYO Camp Rancho Framasa
Claudia White, Dayspring Camp Discovery
Gavin Rucker, Dayspring Camp Discovery
Marc Hardy, Fay Biccard Glick Neighborhood Center
Paige Leigh Thomas, Fay Biccard Glick Neighborhood Center
Jessica Wolfe, Girls Inc. of Greater Indianapolis
Amber Remeeus, Herron School of Art & Design
Austin Crawford, Indianapolis Algebra Project
Jasmine Dominique Walton, Indianapolis Algebra Project
Brie Anderson, Indianapolis Algebra Project
Katherine Janowski, Jameson Camp
Joanie Dawson, Marian University Math & Science Club
Lauren Graham, Martin Luther King Community Center
Mandy Walker, National Junior League of Indianapolis
Riley Phillips, The Y
Courtney Coleman, Westminster Neighborhood Ministries
Mandisha Wells, Westminster Neighborhood Ministries
Warren Stokes, Y-Press, Inc.
Jessika Officer, Y-Press, Inc.
For more information on the Summer Youth Program Fund and the Excellence in Summer Service Awards, please visit www.mccoyouth.org.