Celebrating Local Youth: The 2019 Youth Alliance Awards

group youth alliance award nomineesVolunteer Fox Cities presented the 26th Annual Youth Alliance Awards ceremony on Wednesday, May 8, 2019 at the Red Lion Hotel Paper Valley. The Fox Cities Youth Alliance Awards seek to recognize the spirit of volunteerism as found in the future leaders of our community and encourage young people and adults to take hold of that same spirit in their own lives.

17 individuals and 6 groups of youth volunteers received recognition for their ability to make a difference in our community. Each nominee was recognized and given a certificate for their service. One overall individual winner and overall group were chosen to receive the Fox Cities Youth Alliance Award. All nominees are recognized, and one individual overall winner and one group overall winner is chosen by a panel of judges:

  • E-Ben Grisby, Green Bay Area School District and Celebrate Diversity board member
  • Lee Allinger, retired Appleton Area School District Superintendent
  • Bob Lenz, international speaker and author with Life Promotions and the Dignity Revolution
  • Erin Roethlisberger, Capital Credit Union
  • Hannah Roehrig, the 2018 Youth Alliance Awards Individual overall winner and student at Wisconsin Lutheran College

The Youth Alliance Awards are presented by Volunteer Fox Cities and sponsored by Capital Credit Union, Cellcom, and Faith Technologies.

2019 individual nominees (including their school/city, if provided):

  • Taylor Beck
  • Nathan Brantmeier (Fox Valley Lutheran)
  • Amyah Brooks (Appleton West)
  • Jordan De la Hunt (Kimberly)
  • Emma DeBruin
  • Callah Dornfeld (Little Chute Career Pathways Academy)
  • Caleb Frank
  • Alex Fritsch
  • Carter Johnson
  • Holly Krabbe (Kimberly)
  • Leah McMillen
  • Michael Mlodzik
  • Ian Moehr (Brillion)
  • Hannah Sherwood (St. Mary’s Catholic)
  • Sydney Squier (Appleton North)
  • Kelssie Steger
  • Danielle Zheng (Appleton North)

amyah brooks youth winnerThe 2019 Youth Alliance Award overall individual winner is Amyah Brooks. Amyah’s nominator writes: Amyah is a driven, young individual who always puts others before herself. Amyah has taken over as Key Club President this year and has organized many volunteer activities for our group. She has volunteered at after school programs, she volunteers at the Boys and Girls Club, she organized a Holiday Party for Harbor House, and she wrote a grant for our club so that we could buy material and make tie blankets for the homeless shelter. Amyah is continuously looking for new ways to help others and has organized for our group to volunteer at a spaghetti dinner benefitting NAMI. Additionally, Amyah cares so greatly for our school. She noticed that after the new year, students and staff needed a boost of energy. To resolve this issue, she proposed a week dedicated to promoting a healthier physical and mental lifestyle. She presented her mental health week initiative to our administration council and we are in the process of incorporating it each school year.

She has also impacted the families who stay at the Harbor House Domestic Abuse Program. Because of her hard work and motivation, they were able to give children and their mothers a holiday celebration with crafts, singing, stories and snacks. Helping the homeless is another passion of Amyah’s. Amyah was the reason that her club was able to purchase material and make blankets for them. Recently, there was a large fire in downtown Appleton. She immediately started brainstorming ideas for how they could help the individuals who lost everything in the fire.

Amyah is a goal-oriented individual who truly believes anything is possible. The time she has spent investigating volunteer opportunities for Key Club, volunteering at various events, and beginning a mental health awareness week at Appleton West is truly appreciated and undervalued. She deserves recognition for the 10+ hours she dedicates a week to volunteer opportunities.

2019 group nominees:

  • Grignon Mansion Junior Docents
  • Jillian Kohl (Appleton North), Cameron Haen (Neenah)
  • Keaton Duffeck, Montannah Weiss, Amidala Czaja (Little Chute High School Pathways Academy)
  • Sara Aldana and the Service Club
  • United Way Fox Cities Youth Board
  • WisconSibs, Inc. Volunteer Group

wisconsibs, inc group winnerThe 2019 Youth Alliance Award overall group winner is the WisconSibs, Inc. youth volunteer group (Zoe Wilda, Thalia Mann, Sophia Schinke, Jack Schinke, Randy Young, Emily Lillo, Helena Marks, Christian Merkel, Samantha Merkel, Autumn Shea, Autumn Schultz, James Jensen, Olivia Ashikino).

The group’s nominator writes: This group of teens are all growing up with siblings who have disabilities; autism, Down syndrome, cerebral palsy, or even more rare developmental disabilities. Each of them have developed leadership skills within their family in their sibling roles. Each has performed tasks to help their siblings that most other teens haven’t expected, or can even imagine, doing. They are indeed hidden heroes, though they would never accept that title. This group of teens is exceptional because they have demonstrated eagerness to take on challenges and sincere hearts for helping for others by investing time and effort to become strong leaders. All have completed at least one year of the Teen Sib Leadership program and volunteered hundreds of hours to help younger siblings through the sibling journey. Some have taken additional training to become facilitators/leaders of several of the WisconSibs programs. They support one another through rough times and celebrate the joys that only fellow siblings can truly appreciate.