During April 2007, the Sacramento County Office of Education (SCOE) held celebrations to honor recipients of its annual Youth Inspire! Awards. More than 320 students participated with their families in awards ceremonies held throughout the county.
Students ranging in age from five to 21 years were presented with special Youth Inspire! certificates recognizing their efforts, achievements and character. Each of the local celebrations featured an awards ceremony and a "build-it-yourself ice cream sundae" event. Recipients also took a few minutes to write "thank you" notes to their anonymous nominators, who will receive the notes at a later date from project staff.
"Youth Inspire! sends a message that young people need to be recognized for the positive things they do," said Sacramento County Superintendent of Schools David W. Gordon. "We welcome the chance to celebrate their contributions to their communities."
Ceremonies were held April 10 at Orangevale Community Center, April 17 at Pannell Meadowview Community Center, and April 24 at Joe Mims, Jr./Hagginwood Community Center. Award recipients came from more than 90 local elementary, middle and high schools, as well as community colleges.
Since the start of Youth Inspire! in 2001, more than 1,300 local youth have been lauded for demonstrating heroic resilience, involvement in community service projects and/or strength of character. The typical Youth Inspire! Award recipient performs volunteer service, plays a leadership role at school, maintains good grades, and/or exemplifies a positive attitude in spite of challenging circumstances.
A program of SCOE's Prevention and Student Services Department, Youth Inspire! offers everyone in the community an opportunity to honor young people who are making positive contributions to their communities. Any adult—including parents, teachers, employers, community members and clergy—may submit a nomination. Nominations may also be submitted by an organization. The names of nominators remain confidential.
Youth Inspire! was developed by SCOE through the collaborative effort of local community organizations, school districts, students and adults. The project was advised by a Youth Inspire! Partnership Council, which set forth a goal of recognizing the value and potential of all young people.
Youth Inspire! Partnership Council members include representatives from Elk Grove Unified School District, Folsom Cordova Unified School District, California Parks and Recreation Society, Sacramento City Department of Parks and Recreation, and the Sacramento County Office of Education.
Those interested in further details about the Youth Inspire! program should call (916) 228-2449.