Do You Know an Exemplary Youth Who Volunteers in our Community?

(Stark and Carroll Counties, OH) September 20, 2021 – United Way of Greater Stark County is now accepting nominations for the 2022 Inspired Youth award.

“Youth volunteers are future leaders,” says Maria Heege, United Way of Greater Stark County President & CEO. “They volunteer because of their compassion, willingness to help and positive attitude. In doing so, they gain confidence, build character, develop important life skills and learn how to work through real-life challenges. We are very fortunate to have such an active, empathetic youth volunteer community. They strengthen our neighborhoods.”

Besides personal growth and satisfaction, benefits to youth volunteering include building a network, meeting mentors, building leadership and organizational skills. Youth also lend their perspective to important civic issues such as inequity and economic mobility.

2021 award recipient Gavin Clay was nominated by his mother because of his past three years of work with St. Baldricks Foundation, raising donations for childhood cancer research. “The first year I signed up to raise money, I set the goal at $500, and raised around $2,000,” said Gavin. “You set the goal, sign people up to your team, have them pick to be a volunteer who helps or someone who shaves their head to raise awareness to the cause. It’s a lot of hard work. Often, we speak at public events, pass out pamphlets, or create events to support the cause.”

Inspired Youth Award: United Way’s Inspired Youth Award recognizes an exceptional young leader who demonstrates outstanding volunteer leadership in their school, community or group and is 18 and under. Criteria for the award include: demonstrates initiative, leadership and creativity in their service to others; serves as a role model for others in their community; inspires others to join them in their effort; helps improve the overall quality of life of fellow citizens and the community in the areas of health, education or financial stability. The nominee must have been engaged in a volunteer activity that occurred at least partly during the 12 months prior to the date of nomination; be a resident of Carroll or Stark County; 18 and under.

Other past recipients of this award include Bradley Mull of Oakwood Middle School (2019) and Isabel Lombardi of St. Michael School (2020). You can learn more about them at and

Know someone you would like to nominate? Nominations close November 24, 2021. Final recipient will receive an award and be featured on our website in the volunteer section. Visit today to submit your recommendation.

About United Way of Greater Stark County
For nearly 100 years, United Way of Greater Stark County has served Stark and Carroll Counties. During that time, we have continued to build a better, equitable community where every person has the potential for a healthier life, a better education and more financial stability. We look to the future through our investment priorities, which ensure our community will have the foundation it needs to thrive: Access to Health, Childhood Success, Youth Success, Economic Mobility and Basic Housing Needs. With the support of volunteers, community partners and donors, we invest donor dollars efficiently and effectively into local community programs serving the most critical needs. Learn more at .