Shrewsbury – The Community YMCA’s youth and teen leadership programs, including Teen Achievers, Model United Nations, Youth & Government and Girls Circle, encourage the development of strong leaders with positive civic attitudes, skills and behaviors. At the Y’s Youth Achievement Award Celebration on June 6 at the Y’s Administration Office in Shrewsbury, participants were awarded for their commendable displays of leadership in their respective programs.
This year, over 500 area youth benefitted from the Y’s youth and teen leadership programs, which are designed to help prepare them for college and jobs.
“We are truly proud of all that our youth and teens achieved this year through our leadership programs,” said Jo Ann Rountree, The Community YMCA Senior Director of Community Outreach. “Above all, the Y believes that all kids deserve the opportunity to discover who they are and what they can achieve.”
Tristan Sweeney, Middletown, was awarded the Model United Nations (Model UN) Leadership Award and Aisling Howley, Brick, for Youth & Government. Sara Eng and Kaitlin Noel, both of Holmdel, were recipients of the Civic Engagement Award for their participation in both Model UN and Youth & Government. Kyle Rodney, Middletown, also a participant in both programs, received the Outstanding Middle School Participant Award.
Teen Achievers offers practical guidance about preparing for college and provides students the opportunity to improve academically and develop a successful career path. The Achievers Program provides the participating teens with mentoring, assistance with college readiness and support for a successful school to work transitions. This year, Achievers expanded to schools in Lakewood and Long Branch.
Model UN provides middle and high school students the opportunity to research and debate issues of international relevance. This program aims to help students gain an appreciation for international affairs and cultural differences.
The Youth & Government program affords middle and high school students the chance to become involved in the legislative process while working with other teens. Participants have the opportunity to write and defend their own bill in the New Jersey Senate/ House Chambers in Trenton.
Girls Circle, the newest leadership program, has expanded to Red Bank. This program encourages the development of strength, courage, confidence, honesty and communication skills in girls ages 12-18. The goal of this program is to give girls the ability to take full advantage of their talents, academic interests, career pursuits and potential for health relationships.
The Youth Achievement Awards ceremony also featured guest speakers, Jackeline Fuertes and Sean Byrnes, both YMCA volunteers, who shared their experiences with students and the positive personal impact of their involvement.
For more information about The Community YMCA’s teen leadership programs, please visit TheCommunityYMCA.org.