Investing In Youth Today, Improving Conditions Tomorrow
Summer Service Awards
Congratulations to the 2013 Excellence in Summer Service Education Award Winners!
Every summer, young people lead recreational, educational, and cultural activities. They serve as camp counselors to children. They supervise the work of other youth and adults. Some even manage programs. For many young people, this is a first work experience that provides opportunities and important skill-building experiences their peers miss. Camp jobs often fuel a desire to pursue service careers or meaningfully engage in volunteer community service. Learning from the children they serve, young people are awakened to the very real needs of families and children whose lives are sometimes more challenging than their own.
A group of 11 local and national funding partners, the Summer Youth Program Fund (SYPF), recognized 25 of these outstanding individuals for their service to Indy’s local summer programs at the Excellence in Summer Service Education Award (ESSEA) Ceremony. SYPF is the first funding collaborative dedicated to supporting summer programs by providing grants, coordinating professional development opportunities, and disseminating community information to support summer programs serving Marion County youth. The fund is most well-known for their focus on “academic leaning” that takes place in summer programming; however there are many other areas in which young people grow in summer programs. Through the ESSEA, the development of the skills and knowledge it takes to work in a summer youth program are of the upmost importance.
Young people who work in summer programs serve as outstanding, positive role models for their peers and campers. They demonstrate a committed work ethic, compassion and sensitivity to the needs of others. Often working long hours, they make a difference in their program, neighborhoods and community. Many summer programs would not be able to operate without their participation and sacrifice. Many youth could make more money in other summer jobs or choose to use their summer months in different ways, but they choose instead to work or volunteer in summer programs because their service matters.
SYPF received applications from students serving youth in more than 30 central Indiana summer programs. There were 25 individuals selected to receive a $1,000 educational award each to be used for school and/or educational material.
Terri Stacy, a reporter with WIBC and judge of the 2013 ESSEAs said "I have seen for myself the power of summer camp - young campers lives transformed because of the enthusiasm, compassion, and commitment of Indiana's Camp Counselors and leaders. The Excellence in Summer Service Education Award allowed me the opportunity to see how the experience of being a camp counselor went beyond just a summer job. It's clear that the positive impact will affect them for years to come.”
The 2013 Excellence in Summer Service Education Award winners are:
Iibukun Akinrinsola Anglican Church of the Resurrection
Aisha Bowen Girls Inc. of Greater Indianapolis
Kaysee Cushenberry Westminster Neighborhood Ministries
Kyla Daniels Zion Hill Missionary Baptist Church
Abigail Emmert Horizons at St. Richards
Gabriela Figueroa Young Innovators Quest
Sara Flores John H Boner Center
Emma Foster Symphonic Youth Orchestra of Greater Indianapolis
Jonathan Gil-Ceja Concord Center
Lindsey Grammas Mary Rigg Neighborhood Center
Shaniece Hall Martin Luther King Community Center
Ashalyn Hardy John H Boner Center
Eldin Hesselgrave Salvation Army Fountain Square
Tharon Holt Mary Rigg Neighborhood Center
Shannon Link Arts for Learning (Young Audience)
David Onuska Salvation Army Fountain Square
Eleni Prewitt Concord Center
Derrick Rogan John H Boner Center
Ashley Schwartzkopf Peace Learning Center
Ashley Shufflebarger Southeast Community Services
Alyssa Smith Felege Hiywot Center
Abigail Sommer Felege Hiywot Center
Shaday Palacios Suarez Campecine Youth Academy
Alexis Tealer Algebra Project
Jenna Wiegand Felege Hiywot Center
Funded by a grant from the Summer Youth Program Fund.
A national model, the Summer Youth Program Fund is a partnership of 11 area grant-making bodies. It seasonally funds local nonprofits that provide much-needed safe, engaging summer fun to thousands of Marion County youth - like recreation, camping, arts, academics, college and job readiness, and cultural enrichment. SYPF recognizes the significant value of programs that engage young people in summer learning, expose youth to positive experiences, sustain health, and offer community service. It also recognizes the importance of caring adults who provide important mentoring through their dedication and sacrifice in summer months.