Three honored with Youth Recognition Awards
The Quincy Activity Center was decorated with all things bright and festive on Nov. 29 for the Youth Recognition Awards reception.
The aroma of pulled pork was an invitation for the attendees to share a meal before sharing thoughts on the past year’s accomplishments. Dylan Kling, the Quincy Partnership for Youth coalition president, had brought the meat and the buns for the potluck event.
Quincy Partnership for Youth is a coalition of local organizations, currently with 25 signed-up members. It also has an Instagram following of 38 people and a Facebook following of 55 individuals.
The organization’s goal is to ensure that the youth in the Quincy area “live drug free with the support and interest of their community” as the coalition director, Dayana Ruiz said in an interview published on Feb. 23 in the Quincy Valley Post-Register.
While the coalition is focused on supporting the youth, it directs their energies toward the community as a whole. In 2018, QPY had 992 events to interact with their hometown, such as Freshman Orientation on April 1 and National Night Out on Aug. 1.
Twenty of their youth participated in the YAI Fall Leadership Retreat and seven attended the Access & Opportunity Conference.
On Nov. 29, three individuals received special recognition, two of whom were youths and one an adult.
Piper Horning was the recipient of the Youth Civic Service Award. She has been involved in community work since the 7th grade. Horning is a young lady of few, but impactful words.
The Horning family started a fundraising guild named Pearly Whites in 2008, when Piper was 6 years old.
“I grew up being part of the guild,” she said. “It has shaped who I am today, making me more passionate, caring and hard-working.”
Silvia Esparza received the Youth Leadership Award. She is well suited for a leadership role with her attention-catching speeches.
“My passion and drive make a difference in my community,” she said. “I have created several life-long connections with leaders in Quincy. I plan to return to this community after pursuing my career.”
The Lifetime Youth Advocacy Award was presented to Kaye Baumgartner, who couldn’t attend due to illness. Her husband, Chris, accepted on her behalf.
Kaye Baumgartner had said earlier in the week that “the award is quite humbling to me. … I simply see needs within our piece of the world and have it in my heart to respond.”
She has been responding to such needs since 1987, when the Baumgartners moved to Quincy. She helped develop a Family Support Network and much more. In 2010, she was involved in the forming of Youth Action Interact.
Kaye Baumgartner points out that we need to “change the view of youth from being problems to fix,” to seeing them as “assets and role models within the community.”
While once a year is not enough thanks for the benefit that these three individuals and QPY give to the community, it certainly was an occasion for heartfelt appreciation and renewed inspiration.
By Jaana Hatton, For the Post-Register