Racine, Wisconsin (June 7, 2016) – On the evening of June 3, 2016, approximately 50 people attended the celebration of United Way of Racine County’s Youth As Resources (YAR) program at Gateway Technical College, 1001 S Main Street. Participants and grant recipients celebrated the accomplishments during the 2015-16 program year and the 20th anniversary of Youth As Resources in Racine County.
The four youth-led community service projects that were funded during the 2015-16 program year were recognized. The projects totaling nearly $4,000 included: “Youth of Yesterday” led by the Searching Together Youth Group; “Adopt a Room At Women’s Resource Center, Hallway Gallery and Art Cart” led by Family Literacy of Racine Youth Group; “Winter Wear for Park Students” led by the Helping Everyone’s Last Plea (H.E.L.P.) youth group at Park High School; and “Fleece Blankets for Duffels for Kids’ Program” led by Jerstad Agerholm Middle School seventh grade class. Noah Mann, founder and member of the H.E.L.P project stated, “I started this group in hopes of changing others, but really this group has changed me. I am much more confident in my abilities and YAR is greatly responsible for that…Receiving the money is one thing, but the purpose of that money was so much more. All of the kids that were helped through the grant meant substantially more than you know.”
This year, the group celebrates twenty years of YAR programming in Racine County. Since 1996, YAR has invested $285,590 in more than 400 projects that positively impacted Racine County. United Way of Racine County adopted YAR as a youth initiative in 2007 and continues to manage the program. “Youth As Resources promotes the direct involvement of youth in their communities as change agents and helps them develop valuable knowledge and skills. It has had an instrumental impact on the many participants throughout the years,” shared Rodney Prunty, president of United Way of Racine County.
In addition, the celebration also featured the presentation of annual awards and recognition of significant contributions to Youth As Resources. “Fleece Blankets for Duffels for Kids’ Program” led by Jerstad Agerholm Middle School seventh grade class received the Great Grant Award. John Olson received the Ruth Bradford-Johnson Award for Outstanding Service and Leadership to Youth As Resources. Monte Osterman received the Gabriella Klein Award for Outstanding Youth Advocate in Racine County.
Youth As Resources empowers youth to make a difference in the community by funding youth-led community service projects throughout Racine County. For more information, please visit www.unitedwayracine.org/yar or call 262-898-2240.