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Youth Community Service Honors Students at Year-End Awards Dinner on May 26

This year, the Celebration of Service was held in East Palo Alto in the home of the College Track program by Youth Community Service (YCS). Middle school and high school service leaders were honored at the year-end program.

The event’s purpose is to celebrate the students’ completion of service with YCS after-school service & leadership clubs in East Palo Alto, Menlo Park,

Palo Alto and Redwood City schools.  The event also recognizes the completion of the year for students in the YCS-180-Degrees life skills classes.

The students and their families attended the event that included dinner, a certificate award presentation from each school facilitator, and youth entertainment.  Dinner was from Bucca di Beppo and the entertainment was a lively “Bollywood” dance choreographed by one of the students.

In addition to the year-end certificates; two annual service awards were presented.  The YCS Kay Philips Service Award is presented each year to a person or organization that has made a very special contribution to support the YCS mission. The YCS Megan Swezey Fogarty Youth Service Award goes to a student who has shown outstanding leadership in service initiatives.

The Palo Alto Weekly newspaper received the Kay Philips Service Award for long-time support of YCS programs. News coverage this yearhashighlighted YCS students’ and community efforts to promote youth well-being.  Publisher Bill Johnson and community relations’ leader, Amy Renalds, accepted the award for the Palo Alto Weekly (pictured on the right).

The Megan Swezey Fogarty Youth Service Award was presented to Gabriel Ortiz, a junior at Menlo-Atherton, peer-mentor with YCS Freshmen Leadership Corps program, and leader with the YCS Fellows’ leadership team.  Gabriel has continued with YCS programs since first joining in middle school. Megan Fogarty (pictured on left) was a founder of YCS twenty years ago. Megan now works at the Stanford Haas Center for Public Service.

Student leaders in the YCS Fellows’ program served as emcees for the program and introduced adult staff who presented certificates to their students from Sequoia district high schools, Ravenswood middle schools, and Palo Alto middle and high schools. Family members cheered enthusiastically as students stepped up to be honored for choosing their path to peace through service. Redwood City students received their certificates at a celebration at Redwood High School earlier in the week.