Poughkeepsie…Dutchess County Executive William R. Steinhaus celebrated commitment of local youth volunteers and teachers as well as the accomplishments of more than fifty young people at the Dutchess County Youth Board Annual Luncheon today at Dutchess Community College.
County Executive Steinhaus said, “The Youth Excellence Awards allow us to lift up the youth of our county and collectively cheer their achievements as a community. We are proud of their accomplishments and look forward to their future successes.”
Each year, the Youth Board honors Dutchess County youth who have overcome significant challenges in their lives, improved their academic performance or volunteered for community service. The young people honored often lack effective support systems, face physical or emotional health issues or perhaps exhibited delinquent behavior at some time in the past.
The County Executive’s YEA! Awards were designed to celebrate these young people’s ability to learn, renew and recreate themselves in the face of change, challenge or adverse conditions in order to move forward with their lives. Without these awards, the improved performance of many of these young people may be otherwise overlooked.
County Executive Steinhaus presented 52 young people with the County Executive’s Youth Excellence Awards (YEA). Each student has been nominated by local schools or agencies in one of the following categories: Most Significant Improvement in Overall Performance, Success Despite Difficult Odds and Volunteer or Community Service. A complete list of the award recipients is enclosed.
Four students were each awarded $2,000 YEA Scholarships to Dutchess Community College provided in part by the Town of Poughkeepsie Police Benevolent Association, M & T Bank and the Dutchess County Youth Board Endowment Fund. The four scholarship recipients were:
Student: Nominated by: For:
Kayliegh Carson Poughkeepsie High School Success Despite Difficult Odds
Natalie Rivera Hudson River Housing Success Despite Difficult Odds
Jessica Martins Roy C. Ketcham High School Volunteer or Community Service
Ernesto Rivera Franklin D. Roosevelt High School Most Significant Improvement in Overall Performance
The Dutchess County Youth Board also recognizes several adults who have supported the efforts of these young people by providing caring support and encouragement. Five youth workers were honored in the following categories:
Professional Teacher Award
Susan Kilcrease, Beekman Elementary School
Professional Youth Worker Awards
Kimberly Faison, Martin Luther King Cultural Center
Nalo Hampton, Planned Parenthood Mid-Hudson Valley
Tate C. Nielsen, Ramapo for Children
Robin Seale, Hudson River Housing
“The Youth Excellence Awards truly represent our community’s commitment to helping youth succeed and the appreciation for the many caring adults who make it happen,” concluded County Executive Steinhaus.