Story County Youth Volunteer Awards

2017 Story County Youth Volunteer Awards

Awards presented at 6 p.m. on April 27, 2017


Nevada, Iowa

Nomination Form

The nomination is due March 10

2016 Story County Youth Volunteer Awards

The 10th Annual Story County Youth Volunteer Awards were given April 26, 2016 to 15 individuals and groups who performed outstanding volunteer service in Story County in the past year. The awards are given by the Volunteer Center of Story County and the Iowa State University Student Activities Center.  Naz Long, ISU Men's Basketball player, was the keynote speaker for the evening.  

Middle School Category:

Emma Clark

Emma is in Middle School and is always asking how she can help, and thinks of others before herself. She helps the staff at the Boys and Girls Club of Story County with folding envelopes and writing letters to Club friends. She helps younger kids with their homework and encourages them to give back at the Club. Not only does Emma want younger members to help, but she makes sure they receive credit for their efforts. Emma has also made blankets for the homeless. Emma is positive, cheerful and helpful according to her nominators. According to them we had better “put our sunglasses on, her future is very bright.” When she is around, she lifts your spirits and makes you smile.

High School Category:

Justine Rosburg

Justine is a very active volunteer at Gilbert High School. She has served with the FCCLA at the Spaghetti Supper, Recycling Program, Veteran’s Day Program and on their Adopted Highway. She assists with the Adapted PE course too. She is very involved with Kyra’s Koffee and has been since it started in 2014. She has given up her study hall in the mornings to come and help set up, make coffee and help a wheelchair bound student deliver the beverages. Then she helps with the clean-up and preparing for the next day. Not only does she physically serve, Justine shows care and patience with her fellow volunteers. Her efforts in the adapted PE class help students prepare for Special Olympics competitions. She never hesitates to jump in and volunteer and her interactions help make everyone feel important.

Amber King

Amber is an essential volunteer in Ballard. She is very involved in the Wellness Committee and Diamonds and Dues programs. She is described as the “go-to volunteer” and the energizer bunny. What better combination for someone as a volunteer? She always smiles and moves around to see who and what she can help with next. Amber is committed to her school, her community and her family. She spends every Wednesday at the local retirement center to play bingo with the residents. She is the only student who never missed a Wednesday during the school year. Amber has also been a big part of the Backpack Buddies program that packages food for sent home with students for the weekend. She is a dedicated and dependable volunteer. Her smile, tireless and energy and HUGE appetite for helping others makes her a special volunteer we would all want to serve with.

Caleb Purcell

Caleb is a sophomore at Ballard High School and has already been a mentor for two year. His nominator describes him as kind and dependable. Caleb takes his responsibility as a mentor very seriously, never missing an opportunity to get together to have fun and make his mentee feel very special! In addition to being a mentor, Caleb serves food to the homeless, plays bingo with local retirees, works in the local clothes pantry, packs food for Meals for the Heartland, helps with Sunday School and has completed mission trips to the Rosebud Reservation. And these are just some of the service projects Caleb participates in. Caleb is on a path to being a very dynamic individual and will definitely make the world a better place for all of us. His genuine intent to do for others to help and make a difference is truly an inspiration. Thank you Caleb, your service does make a huge difference.

Landra Reece

Landra is a volunteer with Story County Conservation. She has served at large events, helped with trail work and invasive species removal. She also helps with the environmental education programs. Landra has event been willing to serve at the last minute when extra help is needed. Landra’s excitement is contagious and she is a wonderful advocate for Story County Conservation. She always serves to the best of her ability and with “plenty of enthusiasm.” She is not afraid to assume a leadership role as a volunteer, even as a young person. Staff members who have worked with Landra “RAVE” about her willing attitude, how it’s contagious and she inspires everyone to do more. Landra was described in her nomination as “everything we hope for in a volunteer, passionate, eager to take action and make a different and be a spokesperson for our organization and the natural environment.”

Woo Young Joo

Woo Young has served in the Ames Little Cyclone Camp for two summers. In 2014, he served almost every day in the program for six week in the 3rd and 4th grade classroom. In 2015, he served 40 hours over three weeks, the second highest total for individual service in the program. Woo Young grew into his confidence and ability to lead and work with younger children, and be their friend. Woo Young’s commitment to the program and being a male role model in the program makes him a very special volunteer. When Woo Young was not in the program, campers were asking staff if they “could bring him back,” and started a special chant for him when he came for the last day.

Makayla Houser

Makayla reached out to the Ames Historical Society at the beginning of the school year about wanting to help as a volunteer. She “enthusiastically” committed to coming in at least one day a week for a few hours after school. Her first projects were working in the archives to organize, sort, file and be of general assistance as needed. She was quick and diligent at her work. From that, she moved on to her current project that involves researching every business that has ever been on Main Street in Ames, going back to the 1860’s. Community service is obviously important to Makayla, in addition to school, sports, and theater she still finds time each week to honor her volunteer commitments. Makayla’s interest in history is inspiring and her efforts help the Historical Society preserve and share Ames history.

Marc Mbofung

Marc has capitalized on opportunities to serve and give back to our community here in Ames. From Dance Marathon, shingling roofs on three local homes, knitting scarves for foster children, participating in raising a church building and helping out at the Boys and Girls Club of Story County, he obviously enjoys leading activities and shows leadership skills by example. Marc’s nominator describes this young man as caring, helpful, talented, selfless and humble. Marc leads by example, he uses is his talent for imitating famous people and knowledge of superheroes to brighten days at the Boys and Girls Club, learns what to do when people need help and steps up to help people he hardly knows.

Natalie Tryon

Natalie turned a school assignment into an impressive service project this year. As part of the new J-Term at Roland-Story, students had to pick a topic and then plan and implement a project in one week. After spending time earlier in the year hospitalized out of state, Natalie decided her project would be something that benefited others in that type of situation, so they would know they aren’t alone. She started “Blessings for Blank.” Even before J-Term, she began taking donations for toys and funds to collect gifts for 50 children staying at Blank Children’s Hospital in Des Moines. Her passion and excitement about helping others with this project was evident throughout the holiday season and she was very proud of the table full of gifts purchased from Target, according to her nominator. She so wanted these children to have a happier time in the hospital. Now – when she delivered the gifts in January – she was sure she had met her goal and would at least be able to benefit 50 children. Instead, Natalie raised enough toys and donations to get gifts for 600 children at the hospital. You’ll see shortly, this went from her table, to the couch, and the floor, with clothes, blankets, dolls, movies, and nail polish – something for everyone. Natalie did not do this for herself and any attention she might receive. She just wanted the chance to make a difference, showing kindness for the sake of being kind. A copy of the report Natalie wrote about her project was included in her nomination and in it she wrote: “I will always remember the emotion of that day. It is so amazing to think about how an act of kindness can dramatically change a child’s life forever. Being in the hospital can be very scary and stressful, and thanks to all of the help from the wonderful donors in the community, we have been able to brighten hundreds of children’s days.” Natalie has a volunteer spirit and her desire and commitment to helping others is more than inspiring.

Ames High School Key Club Officers

This group has taken on the responsibility of leading 84 official club members to serve and make a positive impact in our community. In this last year they have quite a list of service under their belts: Handing out wellness alternatives to candy at Trunk or Treat; Trick or Treat for UNICEF, raising $1,000 to eliminate neo-natal tetanus worldwide, leaf raking and disposal for the community, joint service with the Ames Middle School Builders Club in Teen Maze and the Kiwanis Pancake Day, adopted South Highway 69 for the D.O.T. Adopt-A-Highway program, host birthday parties at the Emergency Residence Project, fundraise for Heartland Senior Service in the Community Trivia Night, participate in the American Cancer Society’s Relay for life, and they organize an end-of-year celebration for the club.

College Category:

Creshae Johnson

Creshae has been an active volunteer since coming to Iowa State. She was one of the most consistent volunteers in the Summer Enrichment Program here in Ames last year. She only missed six days in the six week program. Many of those days, she was responsible for food service and clean-up all by herself. Creshae’s commitment to volunteering is also obvious through her involvement with several agencies and willingness to help with community events in the area. When she has been asked “Why she volunteers,” she answers that “it’s the right thing to do” or “why not.”

Quinton Bose

In his nomination, Quinton is described as a selfless, conscientious and inclusive person, who is always willing to serve others. He leads others through servant leadership and his selflessness. He has an attitude that inspires others to serve because of the intrinsic value of helping other and our community. Quinton has been busy both here at Iowa State and in the greater community. During Destination Iowa State, he rose up as an informal leader among his peers on the community service committee. The committee creates educational community service projects to engage over 2,000 new Cyclones transitioning to our community. To do this, Quinton, reached out to new organizations for project, managed all the details for a 400-student project himself that day, and was a mentor to his fellow Cyclone Aids to ensure the success of their projects too. The more than 2,000 students served over 5,000 hours in our community, making blankets and coloring books, thanking police, firefighters and our troops, cleaning up campus, Campustown and the HIRTA/CyRide buses and increasing awareness for sexual assault prevention. WOW! Quinton isn’t done yet though. He serves as an integral part of the Alternative Breaks program on campus. He helps with the program marketing and interviewing process which grew to include nine week-long service projects this year. In addition, to this behind-the scenes work, Quinton also stepped up to be a Site Leader Intern for one of the trips – the week before the trip. He did this so the service opportunities would be successful, and that more participants would be able to serve and make a positive impact. He helps with planning the retreats and training for Site Leaders to create a well-rounded experience since he has served in all the different roles. This year, Quinton was selected, as a graduate student, to lead a team to Harvest Farm in Colorado, in a rehabilitation program for men with substance abuse dependency. His service, in addition to his maturity, problem-solving ability and dependability, prepared him for this opportunity. But Quinton – still isn’t done as a volunteer in our community – He donates items to nursing homes, helps families moving for a fresh start, cleans up the Skunk River, and oh – he is a member of the ISU Cheer Squad too.

Community Category:

ISU Student Athlete Advisory Committee

This group takes their ability to use their influence in our community (locally, statewide, nationally and globally) to make a difference in the lives of other seriously. They use their status as student athletes to help others, balancing that in among tight and chaotic schedules and make it a priority, sometimes sacrificing their only free time for that day or week. Specifically, this group organizes and participates in four main service projects: CyCans – collecting canned goods and monetary donation to benefit the Food Bank of Iowa (1,321 pounds of food and $7,245 for over 30,000 meals for Iowans), Youth and Shelter Services Holiday Giving Program (supporting 9 families and 3 youth shelters for a total of 60 individuals) by fundraising within their teams, shopping and gift wrapping, Bowling with the Arc of Story County in support of Special Olympics athletes and their families, and the Soles for Souls Shoe Drive, with a goal of collecting 45 pairs of new or gently used shoes in good condition to be distributed to people in need around the world. In addition to collecting the shoes, this group prepares them for distribution by checking the quality, bundling them together and packing them for shipping. The nominator for this group explains, it is not only their experience as a student-athlete that makes an impact, their volunteerism makes a positive impact for both those being served and those serving.

National Society of Black Engineers

This group of engineers reached out to the Ames Middle School to establish a connection and bring the Engineering for the Future Program into the building. This program seeks to increase the number of culturally responsible black engineers who excel academically, succeed professionally and positively impact the community, and expose middle school students to careers in science, technology, agriculture, and math, while encouraging high school and college preparedness. Activities include presentations, activities and mentoring. In addition, the initiative, these volunteers took making the connection, they also have impressive classroom management skills and make the hands-on activities relevant to middle-school students. Club members are participating in this program on their own free-time. The students are excited to meet with the Engineering the Future program volunteers, and the parents appreciate the encouragement from and connections with the group. The nominator for this group also wanted the committee to know about the HUGE impact on students of color seeing other students of color in college pursuing and being successful in their interests.

Mentoring and Volunteer Service Club ISU

The MAVS Club at ISU is a newly formed student organization with a mission to to give back to the Iowa State Community by establishing mentoring and other long term volunteering opportunities and relationships for MAVS Club members and partnering agencies.. They have held a t-shirt contest and participated in the Coach’s Mentoring Challenge this year, managing to recruit 40 potential members to serve as mentors. In addition to mentoring, this club strives to provide long-term and sustainable service opportunities the hope to foster meaningful relationships.