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Nominations needed for outstanding youth in Douglas County

By Amy Shanahan

The Douglas County Youth Initiative (DCYI) is actively seeking nominations for exemplary youths in Douglas County to receive the Outstanding Youth Award.  In its second year, this awards ceremony recognizes youth ages 13 through 19 who have overcome adversity and are making positive changes in their lives.

The DCYI began in 2005 and is a wonderful partnership of representatives from Douglas County government, the Douglas County School District, the City of Lone Tree, the Town of Castle Rock, the Town of Parker, the Douglas County Library District, and the Highlands Ranch Metropolitan District.  These groups collaborate in order to coordinate local youth serving efforts.

The Douglas County Outstanding Youth Awards Ceremony is intended to recognize and reward ten of the youngest members of our community who have triumphed over hardship or challenges and now serve as inspirations to others.

Marsha Alston serves as the youth services program manager for DCYI and has seen some incredible stories unfold firsthand.

“Last year one of the youths that we recognized raised their GPA from a .6 to a 3.2, while another went from riding in the back of a police car to the front of the police car,” Alston remarked.  “The Douglas County Outstanding Youth Awards is a great event, celebrating and recognizing kids in our community who are doing their best during difficult times.  We solicit nominations from the entire community, not just schools, so we all have an opportunity to recognize the great things these kids are doing!  When you hear their stories and see what challenges they have faced or are facing, and how they continue to go to school, give back to the community and just keep going, it is very inspirational to say the least!  It is an honor to meet them, congratulate them, and applaud their efforts!”

The youth who receive the awards will be recognized at a dessert reception on April 29 and winners will receive county-wide recognition of their award, as well as a $100 certificate for educational or activity fees.

To nominate an outstanding youth, or for more information, please contact Marsha Alston at  The deadline for nominations is March 27.



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