Jul. 22—The Community Foundation of Otsego County has announced the 2022 Student Voices, Student Choices Awards, a program for high school students "to sharpen their focus on local needs and issues and encourage them to become leaders in their communities," according to a media release.
The project is facilitated by Tim Lord, co-executive director of Dream Yard, an arts and social justice education organization in the Bronx, the release said.
"At Dream Yard, we have seen first-hand the power of real-world learning experiences for high school students as they develop their collaborative and communication skills while also impacting local communities in meaningful ways," Lord said.
Four teams from participating high schools — Cherry Valley-Springfield, Edmeston, Gilbertsville-Mount Upton and Richfield Springs — will identify the greatest needs in their communities, research organizations that address the needs, then present their causes to a panel of local leaders and educators, the release said.
"SCSV gives students the opportunity to expand on community service that will not only support a local specific nonprofit organization but also assists students in developing a plan from start to finish and having to follow through to reach their goal," said TheriJo Snyder, superintendent of Cherry Valley-Springfield Central School.
Each team will receive a monetary award for the organization it represents — $5,000 to the top presentation team, $3,000 for the runner-up and $1,000 each to the other entrants.
"The group members are excited about this project," said Sierra Stafford, advisor of the Gilbertsville-Mount Upton team. "They have stated that it will be nice to finally be able to give back in a big way since COVID restrictions made it difficult to do so the last few years."
The awards program is scheduled for Monday, Nov. 21.
The CFOC envisions the program as an annual event, expanding to all Otsego County high schools, the release said.