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Summer Service Awards

Congratulations to the 2013 Excellence in Summer Service Education Award Winners!

2013 ESSEA 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.

MCCOY is a proud member of the following organizations:

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