Commission on Youth Awards for Outstanding Service to Youth

Good deeds deserve to be recognized. That is why the Commission on Youth (COY), a Salt Lake County Mayor appointed board, started the annual COY Awards. COY is a volunteer advisory board of Youth Services comprised of 32 individuals in business, government, school districts and the community who advocate for youth policies.

Next Salt Lake County Mayor Peter Corroon will be presenting the 2012 COY awards to some very deserving individuals. Here is what they did to get them nominated:

Madi Palmer with Salt Lake County Deputy Mayor Nichole Dunn

Youth Individual: Madi Palmer is an advocate for youth homelessness and serves as Communications Officer with the Salt Lake County Youth Government. She has volunteered for The Road Home, Ronald McDonald House and the Utah Food Bank. She also has worked with special needs children at Camp Kostopolus. She enjoys working with the refugee population, giving her time and efforts with the organization Real Life. She is a mentor to others and will soon spend 2 weeks in Cambodia giving service to young people there.

 Youth Group:The Kearns Youth Council has volunteered hundreds of hours to beautify and improve the Kearns

Keans Youth Council with SLCO Deputy Mayor Nichole Dunn

Community. Under the direction of Kathy Larrabee, the members of the council provide an example for other youth in the Kearns area. The council promotes unity and works hard to improve young people’s access to community services. Last summer the Kearns Youth Council volunteered at the Summer Lunch program at the Kearns Recreation Center, giving out hundreds of free lunches each week to the children of the community. They also volunteer at the Kearns Skate Park, the Kearns Health Fair and are currently working on hosting a community talent show. 

Melissa Brunisholz with Salt Lake County Deputy Mayor Nichole Dunn

Adult Individual:  Melissa “Missy” Brunisholz has spent years with the YES program (Youth Employability Services) helping youth find jobs and helping them transition to the adult world. When the YES contract was taken over by the state, she remained optimistic and continued helping those youth through Youth Services LYFE contract, where she organizes mentoring projects and workshops. She continues working with Youth Government and also helped organize the “No Empty Setats Today” truancy awareness program for COY. Missy has partnered with the Utah Youth Mentor Project and continues to assist young adults that are homeless or aging out of foster care.

PJ’s Forgotten Children, local nonprofit, with SLCO Deputy Mayor Nichole Dunn

Adult Group: PJ’s Forgotten Children is a nonprofit group run entirely by volunteers. Their mission is to help families struck by mental illness. They recognized a need when NAMI noticed high suicide rates amongst parents with mental illness who couldn’t provide holiday gifts for their children and gave holiday gifts to 1,200 families last year. They also provide hygiene, baby and school supplies by utilizing personal contacts and resources.  

Kudos and Congratulations to the 2012 COY Award Winners!

Know someone else who is doing great work for youth in Utah? Share it with us here! Nominations open each March for the COY Awards.


About Tammy Champo

Youth Services became my second home six years ago as I ventured into the social services world. As the Public Relations and Communications Coordinator, I manage the online and offline communications materials, organize special events and coordinate volunteers and donations. In my "free" time, I enjoy singing/songwriting, snowboarding and swimming.
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