You don’t need to be a celebrity like Michael Jordan or a Bill Gates and give millions to charity to be a champion in your community. Below are ordinary people who were nominated by their peers as Hamilton County Community Champions for Youth. They exemplify success in their neighborhoods by the choices they made to share their resources with others. They share what they have; an ability to listen well, to show caring, to create opportunities for others, and to organize. Some share their time. Some share their financial resources.
Youth in your community need you. Power Up YOUth hopes that by reading about these champions, you realize your potential to deliver one or more of the Five Promises to youth by sharing your time, talents, or treasures; be it with the youth in your family, neighborhood, or to someone yet unknown to you. Be inspired. Then look around and take a step toward connecting with youth and community.
Problem: 31% of Hamilton County, IA youth report that adults don’t help them
Promise: Caring Adults and Safe Places M---’s job is to provide a safe place for youth to gather. He not only sees to their physical safety, but also makes wherever he is a safe place emotionally. They know they are valued by him because he takes the time to learn and greet them by theirname. And there are a lot of names to learn. He teaches youth how to win and lose with good sportsmanship. He emphasizes having fun first over competition. M--- takes on the role of mentor or older brother with the kids. He even supports them after he is off work. (although he might define work differently than most of us.)
Problem: 21% of youth do NOT feel committed to school and learning.
Promise: An Effective Education
C--- has served on the board of education for multiple years. Although he has a busy schedule as a business executive he makes his school board activities a priority. His ability to relate to people of all ages and backgrounds makes him an exceptional mentor for youth. By helping to create policy that improves the schools, he looks out for the future of our youth in school today and for years to come. Finally, he puts his words into action by continually seeking to better himself by taking collegiate level classes in his field of work.
Problem: 29% of Hamilton County, IA youth report 0 hours each week in activities outside of school.
Promise: an Effective Eduation; Safe Places
As a teacher, J--- tried to make his students’ learning relevant and engaging. He had a soft spot for the individual who is struggling and he was always willing to go the extra mile with them. He has coached a variety of sports in the school district and in the midget leagues while stressing the importance of good character. He was instrumental in bringing the Youth Sports Foundation to Webster City, then served as its director. He will do “whatever it takes” to make students succeed while expecting every child to demonstrate the pillars of character.
Promise Kept: Healthy Starts, Safe Place
She recruits volunteers, finds referees, schedules the games, and tallies league scores. C--- must be doing something right because kids just keep on coming back to the youth soccer league that she organizes as a volunteer. An estimated 1000 youth, from third graders to high school youth, have been served by the league. Kids are learning the joy that comes from being active from C---.
Problem: 30% of Hamilton County, IA youth report not helping others.
Promise: Opportunities to help others
S--- is a social worker who works in a middle school. She sees the strengths in kid. She is always thinking of ways for kids to be successful. So when her sister’s community was hit hard by Hurricane Katrina, S--- saw an opportunity for youth to help. She spearheaded an effort by getting local kids involved in soliciting, donating, and packing items. Ultimately, a semi truck and a trailer were delivered to Mississippi and local youth gained a great sense of pride in their accomplishment.
Problem: 41% of Hamilton County, IA youth report adults don't spend time talking with them.
Promise: Caring Adults and Safe Places
B---- is a business woman, working mother and a role model. She manages an endeavor that draws hundreds of girls to her doors. What makes B---- enterprise so outstanding is the time she takes from running her expanding business to talk and listen to the youth who come to her. Sometimes she even listens to the worries of their mothers. She provides a safe place for youth to go and put their problems behind them while teaching skills that they take with them to an elite level in the wider world.