The DeKalb County KEYS Initiative (Keep Encouraging Youth to Succeed) recently awarded 21 young people throughout DeKalb County with the Leaders of Tomorrow award. This award was created to recognize and honor the valuable contributions that young people are making in our community. The KEYS Initiative recognizes that youth volunteerism is a win-win for our communities. Charities and not for profit organizations get help carrying out their mission, and the youth that are volunteering get valuable hands on experience, a sense of purpose, and a wide variety of benefits that help prepare them for their future.
Mary Hess, Asset Specialist for the KEYS Initiative said, “We are very pleased to have received a large number of nominations from all over DeKalb County and are grateful to the organizations that welcome youth volunteers. Through this process we learned that there are some amazing young people living in DeKalb County and they are very graciously giving back to their communities at a young age. Their stories are inspiring!”
The 21 Leaders of Tomorrow awardees were recognized and presented with a plaque during city council meetings in their respective hometowns. During this time, city council members expressed appreciation to their young citizens for their positive work and leadership.
2012 Leaders of Tomorrow Awardees (by hometown):
DeKalb: Joe Rathke, Jakeob Folowell, Samantha Parker
Genoa: Kayla Craig, Jared Barton, Jessica Kurpius, Andrew Brening, Alex Siksna, Aidan Simmons,
Trevor Simmons, Heather Gathman, Rachel Gathman, Michael Kral, Jack Kral
Kirkland: Kelly Aves, Courtney Bolin, Dan Monaco
Somonauk: Joe Warhurst, Grace Ballas
Sycamore: Brejani Owens, Jordan Berger
The DeKalb County KEYS Initiative is an organization that addresses the question “what do kids need to be successful”. KEYS utilizes the framework of the 40 Developmental Assets to help adults understand what factors young people need to grow up healthy and responsible. The 40 developmental assets have a powerful, positive impact on young people. Children and teenagers who have a lot of assets get involved in very few risky behaviors, the kinds of problems we worry about. And when young people have a lot of assets, they are much more likely to do the positive things we value.
The KEYS initiative invites all community members to join them in fully embracing the notion that raising successful kids takes more than just a single family or school; it takes an entire community. An engaged community requires many people—educators, faith leaders, community leaders, parents, governmental figures, and others—to come together to support youth. Everyone can, and does, play a role in building assets for youth. Asset building is about relationships. It’s about being purposeful and taking the time to do good things with and for youth.
Click Here To Submit A News Tip Or Story