Youth Service Awards Recognizes 2023 Recipients

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On Wednesday, November 29th, KidsMatter hosted their annual Youth Service Awards in Naperville’s city council chambers. Nina Menis, Executive Director of KidsMatter gave the opening remarks followed by a singing performance from the Bella Voce and Vella Cantare ensembles from the Young Naperville Singers. Naperville Mayor Scott Wehrli presented each award along with Naperville city council members Ian Holzhauer, Patrick Kelly, Paul Leong, Allison Longenbaugh, Josh McBroom, Jennifer Bruzan-Taylor, Dr. Benjamin M. White, and Nate Wilson.

2023 Youth Service Award Recipients

This year’s award recipients and their nominating organizations are:

360 Youth Services: Lilly Korbal and Tessa Williams

Alive Center NFP: Aayush Modi and Patrick Baldinger

Buddy Break at Good Shepherd Church: Nico Besteiro

DuPage Children’s Museum: Jaden Yau

Indian Community Outreach: Risha Bansal

KidsMatter: Avery Belgio, Anna Buchenauer, Ria Mishra, and Kendall Klimek

Little Friends Inc.: Samia Hasan and Rachel Day

Loaves & Fishes Community Services: Will Perdew

Naper Settlement: Delaney Fenlon

Naperville Area Humane Society: Dakota Ford

Naperville Environment and Sustainability Task Force: Emma Orend

Naperville Park District: Max Henige

Naperville Public Library: Aakash Kolli

The Morton Arboretum: Sheel Parikh and Saloni Parikh

How KidsMatter inspires youth

Founded in 2001, KidsMatter is a 501(c)(3) non-profit which focuses its efforts on the healthy development of young people, regardless of their backgrounds. Their mission is: “building resilient kids who say ‘No’ to destructive behaviors and ‘Yes’ to their endless possibilities.” KidsMatter offers many different programs to get kids involved in their community, providing the assets they need to grow, achieve, and thrive in school and beyond. They also provide many resources to families experiencing abuse, addiction, mental health crises such as anxiety and depression, and equip parents with support they need for their child. KidsMatter also brings many impactful events to the community such as their annual volunteer fair, community job fair, and several online webinars focused on topics of mental health, trauma, healthy relationships, and more. The Youth Service Awards acts as KidsMatter’s way to thank the youth of the community for engaging in positive change and recognizes their outstanding volunteerism.


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