Scholarships awarded during the “Night among the stars” of the Youth Center
By Gina Elephante
Eleven young philanthropic volunteers from nine local nonprofit organizations were recognized at the Youth Center’s 10th Annual A Night Among the Stars Awards on April 2 for their incredible commitment to giving back to their community.
The night was filled with moving stories about the many causes students have given their time to over the past year, such as raising awareness and funds for animal care, fighting hunger, tutoring elementary and middle school students, writing letters and collecting donations for veterans, and giving hope to children and teens struggling with isolation and difficult challenges.
The eventful room was inspired by each contestant’s efforts to make this world, challenged by so many difficult issues, a better place. As Lina Lumme, Executive Director of the Youth Center shared, “It’s easy to give up and do nothing. These stellar volunteers volunteer their time and talents to provide us all with a brighter future by making a difference in our community.
Recognized nominees for this year’s awards were: Autemn Coleman, Amelia Drukker, Ally Hatakeyama, Adam Jorge, Michael Jorge, Katelyn Loh, Evan Moore, Quincy O’Connell, Alice Phee, Katie Velez and Marina Zhao.
The Youth Center awarded $2,000 in scholarships to four stellar volunteers. The SETH Lion’s Scholarship was awarded to VBA Leos nominee Katie Velez. Amelia Drukker, nominated by Girl Scouts of Orange County, and Ally Hatakeyama, nominated by The Youth Center and LAHS, received scholarships from the Rossmoor Woman’s Club. Katelyn Loh, nominated by the Los Alamitos Education Foundation, received a scholarship from the Rotary Club of Los Alamitos for her “courage in volunteering”.
“We thank all the dignitaries, community members and families who came out to support these wonderful young volunteers,” shared Shelly Clark, Director of Youth Programs, “That support is what makes our community strong.
For more information about The Youth Center, please visit www.theyouthcenter.org