HAUPPAUGE, N.Y. – Suffolk County teenagers will once again have an opportunity to be recognized for their community service and personal accomplishments with the return of the Suffolk County Legislature’s Distinguished Youth Award program.
Created in 2017, the Distinguished Youth Award program invites teenagers ages 13 to 18 to set and work toward goals in at least two of four areas: Volunteer Service, which requires volunteering 200 hours to benefit members of the community; Personal Development, which requires assessing one’s own skills and spending 100 hours toward personal improvement; Exploration, which requires visiting 15 Suffolk County parks; and Physical Fitness, designed to increase participants’ level of physical activity through 100 hours of promoting physical and mental well-being. Participants work closely with local elected officials and mentors to lay out goals for each category as well as a plan to accomplish them. Participants have a year to complete their tasks.
Individuals who participate will be rewarded with one of the three medals based on the number of categories they complete. The Bronze Medal will be awarded to participants who complete two of the four listed program areas, while the Silver Medal will be awarded to individuals who complete three of the four areas. Participants who successfully complete all four areas will be rewarded with the highest level of achievement, the Gold Medal.
“Young people in Suffolk County continue to inspire me with their resilience and dedication, even as they cope with the challenges of a changing world. The ability to rise to challenges is exactly what the Distinguished Youth Award program aims to cultivate,” said Suffolk County Legislature Presiding Officer Rob Calarco. “We want to encourage young people to get involved in their communities, to challenge them personally, and to teach them the value of setting goals and working diligently to achieve them – not just during this program but also throughout their lives. Through this program, students will use their time to serve others and the community at large through volunteer service; they will develop their personal interests as well as social and employment skills; and they will venture out into Suffolk County parks to explore nature and our ecosystem, all while working to improve their mental and physical health. It is a pleasure to work with these young people year after year.”
Registration for the 2020-2021 Distinguished Youth Award class is open through November 30, 2020. Applications and an information packet are available online at the Suffolk County Legislature website at www.scnylegislature.us/896/Distinguished-Youth-Award. For more information, email DistinguishedYouthAward@suffolkcountyny.gov. The medal presentation ceremony will be held in the summer of 2021.
Above flyer: The Suffolk County Legislature’s Distinguished Youth Award program promotes and recognizes achievement, initiative and service in Suffolk County youth. Registration for the 2020-2021 program is open through November 30.