Awards ceremony honors local youth who’ve made a difference

Published on March 29, 2018 

The awardees included high school students who had started STEM workshops for middle school girls, created a nonprofit organization providing tutoring to English language learners and more.

The annual Youth Impact Awards, hosted by the Placer County Youth Commission, were held this month to recognize local teens making a difference in the community. The Placer County Youth Commission is a group of Placer County high school students appointed by the county Board of Supervisors to encourage youth voice in local decision making. This year, the commission partnered with the Sacramento County Youth Commission to create a regional event.

Commissioners chose winners in four categories from a pool of applicants:

- In the "Overcoming Adversity" category, Meridian Thompson: a senior at Placer High School who overcame extreme social anxiety. “It was great to meet so many people who are making a difference in our community," she said.

- In the "Applied Talents and Knowledge" category, Teevyah Yuva Raju: a senior at Mira Loma High School who, after facing resistance to her participation in robotics clubs as a young girl, created STEM 4 Girls workshops for middle school students and mentored teams. “This night means a lot, and this award means a lot to girls everywhere," she said.

- In the "Leadership" category, Katherine Hanson: a senior at Del Oro High School who served as drum major and participated in other band leadership activities. “It’s really cool what the Placer County Youth Commission is doing for everybody. I think it’s encouraging people to really get out there and be leaders," she said.

- In the "Community Service" category, Raymond Forbes: a senior at Granite Bay High School who founded Dos Lenguas Una Voz, a nonprofit that helps tutor English language learners and others. "[This event] showed that our generation is really powerful and has a voice in the community. We are the future," he said.

Award recipients each received a $300 scholarship, decorative plaque and a Black Top Comedy show pass.

“Together these teenagers have addressed the needs of their communities, created opportunities and distinguished themselves as confident yet attentive leaders,” said commissioner Claire Jordan. "Most of all, they have inspired those around them."

The awards banquet and dessert were attended by local dignitaries and also featured a performance from motivational speaker and entertainer Eddie Barraza.

View photos from the event.

View more about the youth commission. Commissioners are available for presentations about the Youth Impact Awards or the commission in general.