Spirit of Youth Nominations
The Spirit of Youth, a campaign to recognize Alaska’s teens, seeks nominations by December 31, 2011. The Spirit of Youth recognizes Alaskan youth, ages 12-19 statewide. Nominations can come from anyone who wishes to recognize a hard-working Alaskan teenager.
The Teen Action Council has created 11 categories for nominations and awards. Council members use these definitions and the following criteria to evaluate each nomination:
- Nomination describes a project that is youth-initiated or youth-led.
- Nomination highlights individuals or groups who are organizing and leading unique activities or projects that typically don’t get noticed.
- Nomination describes youth who help others and improve the quality of life in the community.
The categories for nomination include:
Business and Government
The Business and Government category recognizes youth who have turned their creativity and knowledge into an economic venture or are active in local or state government. Previous nominees have managed political campaigns, served on school boards and youth courts, built and hosted campaign websites, or have started their own movie theatres, coffee shops and delivery services.
The Cultural Pursuits category recognizes nominees who actively engage and promote traditional cultural practices and arts. Previous nominees keep their culture alive through teaching Native dance, sewing, beading, carving totem poles, and practicing subsistence skills.
Faith Based Service
This category recognizes service performed in behalf of, or as part of one’s faith. Previous nominees have provided fellowship and support to their peers, as well as service to those in need locally, and across the globe.
The Fine Arts category honors youth who excel in the visual or performing arts. Many teens represented in this category express their concern about the problems facing today’s youth through personal expression and performance. Previous nominees have organized musical ensembles, dramatic presentations and facilitated art events and benefit activities.
Lifesaver and Prevention
This category salutes teens who have surpassed “the call of duty” by preventing injuries and saving lives. Previous nominees have shown courage by pulling hypothermic tourists out of a raging river, taught life-saving skills, conducted seat-belt programs and served as volunteer firefighters or first responders.
This category salutes youth who display exceptional determination and stamina as they overcome significant life challenges. Previous nominees have raised funds to help others with an illness, have succeeded despite disability, or helped their families address difficult circumstances.
Science and the Environment
The Science and Environment category highlights stories of youth exploring the world of science or advocating for the environment. Previous nominees include youth studying Humpback whale DNA, creating a planet walk, mapping the Kenai flood plan, restoring Kenai River banks or advocacy/education projects through the Alaska Youth for Environmental Action network.
Service to Community
The Service to Community category acknowledges the relentless efforts of youth who are making the community a better place. Previous nominees in this category have organized fundraisers, designed playgrounds, repaired houses, helped elders, and given tirelessly to those in need.
Service to Peers
Teens nominated in this category lend a helping hand to other youth through their leadership, advocacy and volunteer efforts at school and in the community. Teens serve as teachers, counselors, judges, attorneys, planners, organizers and role models as they build assets in themselves and their friends.
Service to Young Children
The Service to Young Children category honors those who help the youngest, and in doing so become inspiring positive role models. Previous nominees include tutors, mentors, classroom assistants, coaches and instructors in a variety of fields.
Technology and Media
This category celebrates the accomplishments made by youth exploring the frontiers of technology and media in all forms. Previous nominees include students making a traffic safety video, teaching computer skills, creating websites, hosting radio programs or working at the local newspaper.
Recommendations often come from school staff and board members, youth clubs and organizations, the business community or other teenagers. Any community member inspired by a teen’s efforts can submit a nomination. Visit www.spiritofyouth.org for more information and to nominate a teen.
About Spirit of Youth
Spirit of Youth is dedicated to creating, promoting and recognizing youth involvement in communities across Alaska. The organization began in 1997 to address the growing negative image of teenagers. Since then, hundreds of positive stories about Alaska youth have spread through television, radio and local newspapers. These stories come from nominations made by the public. The organization also provides programs that empower teen voice in Alaska, including the Alaska Teen Media Institute.