Quincy youth recognized with CTC awards
By Dayana Ruiz
With a vision of “healthy, drug-free, and successful youth,” our Quincy Communities That Care (CTC) Coalition prioritizes recognition of the goodness others do because their hope-generating effort and positive impact is appreciated.
Every year we have the honor of recognizing a few community youths and an adult for their volunteerism, advocacy or leadership. Last year, we had the pleasure of recognizing Therese Sawyer for her youth advocacy throughout the years and most recently as the Quincy High School health teacher.
Defining youth leadership as the “ability to lead others or get others to work together toward a common goal or vision” (Rutgers Cooperative Extension, 2003), this year’s Youth Leadership awardee demonstrated excellence in modeling leadership. Sandra Huezo is described as a “natural leader,” with impressive achievements as a 2017 early graduate from Quincy High School and currently a freshman at Wenatchee Valley Community College.
Nominated by Mildred Barrios, Sandra’s leadership is seen in various roles including youth representative on the Quincy Communities that Care Coalition, QJHS government, QHS Health Club, and her youth group.
Honorable mentions are Rafael Vazquez, Aileen Perez, Aurelia Guerrero and Francisco Velasquez. Thank you to the following adults for detecting youths’ leadership capacity: Jacque Rasmussen, April Murray and Greg Martinez.
Youth civic service
When selecting a promising altruistic youth, we looked for demonstration of outstanding community service within the Quincy Valley that positively benefited the student, as well as the community. This year’s Youth Civic Service awardee was described as someone who is “involved in many different activities throughout the year” and “cares about Quincy a lot.”
Jazmine Benitez, a Quincy High School senior, was nominated by a fellow classmate and an impressed adult friend. Her actions reflect a heart of service in her willingness to represent the student body by serving on the Quincy City Council as the Senior Student Representative. Other examples of her civic service are how she commits her time with various community groups including Quincy Communities That Care coalition, DECA, her youth group and sport volunteer opportunities.
Honorable mentions are Elena Lopez, Kylie Breeden and Patrick White. Thank you to the following adults for acknowledging youths’ charitable hearts: Mildred Barrios, Jacque Rasmussen, Leticia Rivera and Dylan Kling.
Adult lifetime youth advocacy
This year’s Lifetime Youth Advocate awardee has been championing efforts that help young people make informed and responsible decisions. Learning from what would have made the difference in his own life, Manuel Ramos is a Quincy High School alumnus and teacher.
Nominated by one of his early students who met him when he was a Para Educator at Monument Elementary School, Adriana Lerena says that “daily, he reminds students that anything is possible.” From sharing his own story, modeling success and truly believing in his students’ potential, Quincy is fortunate to have this local, bilingual male active in molding our next generation.
An honorable mention goes to Penny Wininger, nominated by Leticia Perez.
A special thank you to the following businesses for supporting this project: Quincy Valley Post-Register, Quincy Pita Pit, Quincy Time Out Pizza and Ephrata’s Lee Theater.
If you would like to recognize someone for their work, please email the coalition at firstname.lastname@example.org. Easily, we can make this a regular conversation piece in our community.
Dayana Ruiz is the director of Quincy Communities That Care and can be reached at 509-787-3523, ext. 263.