By Jim Newell
Some may seem routine, others monumental, but every act of caring, be it a stone or a boulder, helps build a mountain of goodwill in the Orion community.
The Orion Area Youth Assistance (OAYA) wishes to honor students who dedicate their time, talents, and heart to helping others in the Orion community and is seeking nominations for their 29th Annual Youth Recognition Awards.
The awards pay special tribute to outstanding young people in the community who have given of their time over the past year.
“Our Youth Recognition Awards are one of my favorite youth outreach programs in the Orion area and close to my heart as a community leader,” said Dawn Ames, Board Chair of the OAYA. “Our annual awards recognize youth in the Lake Orion community who have volunteered over the past year, far exceeding what is required for service-learning or other service requirements.
“Research tells us that young people who volunteer have a greater sense of purpose, gain more empathy and expand their worldview. Volunteering also helps in learning new life skills such as leadership, reliability, time management and decision making.
There are two categories and all entries must be submitted by 5 p.m. on March 18.
Those nominated for the Community Service Award will have a passion for volunteerism and will have exceeded volunteer expectations. Examples include helping the elderly or people with disabilities, working with younger students who need support, and leading or organizing extracurricular activities or community events.
Paid services and secondary school community service requirements or other community organization service requirements are not eligible for this award. A student who goes beyond the required number of hours is certainly a worthy candidate.
The Personal Excellence Award is intended for young people who have “demonstrated a dramatic positive change in attitude or behavior, overcome a significant obstacle (health, family situation, etc.) or who have made a strong and positive academic shift”.
“It’s wonderful to see how young people impact our community and make a difference in the lives of others. We also recognize students who have demonstrated a dramatic positive change in attitude or behavior, overcome a significant obstacle such as health or family situation, or have made a strong and positive academic turnaround with the Personal Achievement Awards,” said Souls.
At this time, OAYA is unable to make a final decision on whether the awards ceremony will take place in person or be recorded for viewing on its Facebook page. Details regarding the awards ceremony will be communicated as they become available.
“We need the help of the community to identify these exceptional young people. If you would like to nominate a young person to be recognized this year, the deadline to submit a nomination form is Friday, March 18,” Ames said.
Forms can also be downloaded from the OAYA website: www.lakeorionyouthassistance.com. Return forms by email, fax at 248-693-1494, or mail to Orion Area Youth Assistance, CERC Building, 455 E. Scripps Rd., Lake Orion, MI 48360.
Contact the Orion Area Youth Assistance Office at 248-693-6878, or email firstname.lastname@example.org with questions.