Youth Challenge Honors Top Teen Volunteers

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Kendra Cundiff, St Joseph Academy img087

Kendra Cundiff, a St. Joseph High junior and volunteer at Youth Challenge in Westlake, was honored last month by the Association of Fundraising Professionals Greater Cleveland with the organization’s Youth in Philanthropy Award for 2014. She has volunteered at Youth Challenge since she was 13. She is now an intern on the YC Board of Trustees. The awards luncheon was held at LaCentre.

The Youth Challenge Dance and Drama program will kick off the season with a Holiday Show on December 14 at Magnificat High School’s Performing Arts Center.

The event will include a Volunteer Recognition to honor the year’s top teen volunteers.

Youth Challenge offers free, year-round programs to over 160 participants throughout the Greater Cleveland area. The participants are children with such disabilities as muscular dystrophy, cerebral palsy, spina bifida, and hearing or vision impairments. Transportation to and from programs is also provided at no charge.

Dance and Drama is one of 350 programs that Youth Challenge offers each year thanks to the help of over 400 teen volunteers who gave over 10,500 hours of service.  The teen volunteers are trained to work with children with physical disabilities and are paired one-on-one with participants at each program.

Special recognition will be given to volunteers who have reached the levels of 25, 50, and 100 hours in 2014.  Teens who reached the milestones of 100, 250, and 500 hours of cumulative service to Youth Challenge will be honored as well.

The top 10 Youth Challenge teen volunteers of 2014 are:

Kendra Cundiff, Junior, St. Joseph Academy, 256 Hours

Zac Alberty, Junior, North Olmsted HS, 234 Hours

Olivia Rivard, Junior, St. Joseph Academy, 195.5 Hours

Maya Cundiff, Sophomore, St. Joseph Academy, 187 Hours

Summer Ohman, Freshman, Fairview High School, 158 Hours

Halle Mackert, Senior, Westlake High School, 128 Hours

Teresa DePace, Senior, Valley Forge High School, 123 Hours

Bill Bis, Freshman, Miami University (Westlake HS Grad), 116 Hours

Nick Morris, Senior, St. Edward High School, 115 Hours

Marisa Francis, Freshman, Gallaudet University (Lakewood HS Grad), 107 Hours

“Our teen volunteers are half of our mission and are truly what make Youth Challenge possible,” said Sarah Perez-Stable, Director of Volunteer Services.  “The energy, joy, fun and friendship they bring to their partners makes an incredible difference in the lives of our participants and we can’t thank them enough.”

The Holiday Show and Volunteer Recognition is Sunday, December 14, 2:00-5:00p.m. at the Magnificat Performing Arts Center, 20770 Hilliard Blvd. in Rocky River.  For more information  visit www.youthchallengesports.com or call 440-892-1001.

The Youth Challenge Holiday Show is supported in part by the residents of Cuyahoga County through a public grant from Cuyahoga Arts & Culture.

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