OPINION

Volunteer Center presents 10th-annual Youth Volunteer Awards

Staff Writer
Tri-County Times
Volunteer Center presents 
10th-annual Youth Volunteer Awards

On April 26, the Volunteer Center of Story County presented the 10th annual Youth Volunteer Awards. The awards were presented to 15 individuals and community groups of young people under age 25 in recognition of their service to their community.

Naz Mitrou-Long, ISU men’s basketball captain, opened the evening by sharing how he developed his passion for giving to others and “giving back” by watching his parents put the needs of himself and his nine siblings before their own. Mitrou-Long was then joined by other members of the men’s basketball team to present the awards and congratulate each of the recipients.

Anne Owens, executive director of the Volunteer Center of Story County, presented the awards to the following individuals and groups:

n Emma Clark, Ames Middle School, nominated by the Boys and Girls Club of Story County for her service and leadership by example to involve her friends and younger members in club service projects and other homeless service projects, like making blankets.

n Justine Rosburg, Gilbert High School, nominated by educators at Gilbert High School for her tireless enthusiasm and support with the FCCLA, adaptive PE courses and involvement in Kyra’s Koffee at school.

n Amber King, Ballard High School, nominated by educators at Ballard High School for involvement in the school Wellness Committee, Diamonds and Dudes programs, and her endless enthusiasm for helping others.

n Landra Reece, nominated by Story County Conservation for her service and involvement with environmental education programs, trail maintenance, invasive species removal, assistance with large events and her willingness to advocate for the organization and natural environment.

n Caleb Purcell, Ballard High School, nominated by educators at Ballard High School for his dedication as a mentor over the last two years, service in local clothing and food pantries, involvement in Meals for the Heartland packaging opportunities and missionary efforts.

n Woo Young Joo, Ames High School, nominated by the Volunteer Center of Story County for his dedication and involvement as a regular volunteer in the Summer Enrichment program over the last two years, and his growth and development as a role model and mentor to the participating youth.

n Makayla Houser, nominated by the Ames Historical Society for her initiative to reach out and contribute her times and skills to an ever-increasing set of volunteer responsibilities focused on preserving Ames history and making it accessible to everyone in the community.

n Marc Mbofung, nominated by the Boys and Girls Club of Story County for his selflessness, compassion and willingness to learn new skills, step up and serve when he sees a need — learning to knit to make scarves for foster children, shingling roofs for neighbors in needs, helping to raise a church building and inspiring future club members to be helpful and be a friend.

n Creshae Johnson, Iowa State University, nominated by the Volunteer Center of Story County for attitude, dedication and passion for service in the Summer Enrichment Program in Ames, efforts for the Ames Public Library and many other community organizations and events.

n The Ames High School Key Club officers, nominated by the Town and Country Kiwanis Club Advisor for their efforts to lead and inspire 84 club members to serve for local, state, national and global benefit.

n The ISU Student Athlete Advisory Committee for their continual efforts to give back and inspire the communities who support them as student athletes through food and clothing drives, fundraising for holiday programs and support of Special Olympic athletes, along with other individual and team efforts balanced among commitments as both students and athletes.

n The Mentoring and Volunteer Services Club at Iowa State, nominated by Youth and Shelter Services, Inc. for its ambition to develop a new club focused on mentoring programs and identifying ongoing, sustainable volunteer opportunities in the greater Ames and Story County community beyond campus.

n The National Society of Black Engineers/Engineering the Future Program, nominated by Ames Middle School administrators for its initiative to introduce the program and inspire middle school students through projects and presentations involving science, technology, engineering, agriculture and math.

n Natalie Tryon, Roland-Story High School, nominated by her friend and classmate for her compassion and dedication to turn an assigned school service project with goal of benefiting 50 patients into a holiday gift drive that provided gifts for over 600 patients at Blank Childrens’ Hospital, so they would know they are not alone in a time of need.

n Quinton Bose, Iowa State University, for his accomplishments leading and organizing service projects for groups of several hundred incoming students participating in Destination Iowa State, assuming ever-increasing positions of leadership in the Alternative Breaks program, donating time to local nursing homes, helping area families relocate in the area for a fresh start and participating in Skunk River clean-up projects.

Throughout the evening, “words like ‘serve, give, patience, compassion, passion, special, leader, selfless and humble’ were repeated over and over. For these recipients, they are not empty phrases – they are actions, inspirations and challenges to the rest of us in the community,” said Owens. “The accomplishments and commitment to improving our community demonstrated by these young people makes me very confident that future of Story County and our communities is in very good hands.”