PAMELA J. ATKINSON

Daily Point of Light # 2178 Jun 10, 2002

Lisa Young has been involved with the Pleasant Grove Youth City Council and Youth Court for over five years. She serves in this capacity as a volunteer and puts in over 25 hours per week on the average. Some weeks her service is over 60 hours. Lisa does this along with being a wife to her husband, Russ, and mother to four boys.

As the city advisor to the Youth City Council, she gives the young men and women the opportunity to see how their local government works. Lisa offers them the chance to have hands-on activities to experience what it takes to be a leader. Many of these young people would never have been able to participate in leadership roles because they are unable to get elected or named to positions of leadership in school or church. Lisa comes up with innovative types of service and leadership activities for these young people to do for the community. This includes organizing and inviting parade entries into the annual city celebration, Strawberry Days. This involves over 40 young people who send out letters to prospective entries, follow up with letters and phone calls, and line up the entries on parade day. They also clean up the parade route after the event is over.

Each spring as the high water comes out of the canyons above town, people are needed to fill and place sandbags. The town can always depend on Lisa. They make one call to her and she puts the youth to work. They call and organize groups and the town has all the sandbags needed in a matter of hours. Lisa is helps teach the people, and then she stands back and lets them use the knowledge they have gained. She knows that in some cases they will make mistakes, but she always turns these mistakes into a positive learning experience.

The Youth Court is handled by this same group of youth. They serve as judges and juries for minor legal infractions involving other young people. Many times when there is a certain problem in the city that involves youth, this Youth Court will step in and hear the cases and give out the punishment. The cases run from under age smoking to vandalism, trespassing, etc. As these young lawbreakers come to court with their parents, they are given a trial and if found guilty they are assigned community work hours. If they fail to do the work they go to Juvenile Court. There are very few repeat offenders. In fact, Lisa and her group have many of these former lawbreakers who want to become part of the Youth Court program. Again, Lisa stays in the background and watches and teaches these future leaders of our community.

Lisa is teaching these young people, who would most likely never get a leadership opportunity. She works to inspire them and show them how to make themselves better leaders for our future. She has helped more than 500 young people since she has begun to serve her community.

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