Local Youth Honored For Outstanding Community Service

Thirty-one youth who have given outstanding service to others will be honored at the Caring Youth Recognition event  March 17 at the Minnetonka Community Center. The Caring Youth Recognition salutes young people in grades 7 through 12 who have unselfishly involved themselves in a cause or situation benefiting others. Caring Youth supports the attitude of giving without expectation of reward or recognition and attending the needs of others by responding in a personal, caring way.

The event, beginning at 7 pm, will feature speaker Kathryn Higgins, who volunteers extensively in the Hopkins and Minnetonka community. As a Hopkins Rotary member, Higgins participates in that organization’s Thrive Mentorship Program (similar to Big Brother Big Sister). She also coaches an adult adaptive basketball league through Reach for Resources, assisted with the ResourceWest annual gala, painted homes with Hearts and Hammers, and is one of 15 directors of Minneapolis’ Pub and Putt event that raises money for local charities. Higgins is originally from Plymouth, Minn.

This event is a collaborative effort among the cities of Golden Valley, Hopkins, and Minnetonka, the Minnetonka and Hopkins school districts, and the Glen Lake Optimists of Minnetonka. The Minnetonka Community Center is located at 14600 Minnetonka Blvd, Minnetonka.

Civic and service organizations, schools, and faith community members in the Golden Valley, Hopkins, and Minnetonka communities nominated the 2011 Caring Youth recipients, who include:

  • Farhiya Ali, a Hopkins High School student and Hopkins resident, nominated by Children’s Hospitals and Clinics of Minnesota in Minneapolis for her work with young patients.
  • Sarah Baker, a St Paul Conservatory for the Performing Arts student and Golden Valley resident, nominated by Children’s Hospitals and Clinics of Minnesota in Minneapolis for her work with young patients.
  • Caitlin Beauchamp, a Minnetonka High School student and Shorewood resident, nominated for her work with the Minnetonka High School Optimists Club.
  • Erin Breen, a Minnetonka High School student and Minnetonka resident, nominated for volunteer work with the school district’s Youth Development Council.
  • Bentley Clarke, a Minnetonka High School student and Golden Valley resident, nominated for his work at Speak the Word Church International in Golden Valley.
  • Sarah Cook, a Minnetonka High School student and Chanhassen resident, nominated for volunteer work with the school district’s Youth Development Council.
  • Caroline Doherty, a Minnetonka High School student and Minnetonka resident, nominated for her volunteer work at the West Suburban Teen Clinic in Excelsior.
  • Bridget Friendly, a Minnetonka High School student and Shorewood resident, nominated for volunteer work with the school district’s Youth Development Council.
  • Scott Gleason, a homeschooled student and Golden Valley resident, nominated for his volunteer work at the Church of St Margaret Mary in Golden Valley.
  • Fiori Goitom, a Hopkins High School student and Hopkins resident, nominated by Children’s Hospitals and Clinics of Minnesota in Minneapolis for her work with young patients at Children’s Hospitals.
  • Megan Gonzalez, a Hopkins High School student and Minnetonka resident, nominated for her volunteer work with children in the Hopkins School District.
  • Kira Hanna, a homeschooled student and Minneapolis resident, nominated for her volunteer work at St Luke Presbyterian Church in Minnetonka.
  • Emily Herrmann, a Benilde St Margaret’s High School student and Hopkins resident, nominated for her volunteer work at St John the Evangelist Catholic Church in Hopkins.
  • Alexandra Johnson, a Hopkins High School student and Eden Prairie resident, nominated for her volunteer work with an after-school homework program at Eisenhower Elementary School in the Hopkins School District.
  • Brendan Johnson, a Minnetonka High School student and Eden Prairie resident, nominated for volunteer work with the school district’s Youth Development Council.
  • Tyler Keller, a Minnetonka High School student and Excelsior resident, nominated for his volunteer work at the Animal Humane Society in Golden Valley.
  • Ryan Kemp, Minnetonka High School student and Minnetonka resident, nominated for his volunteer work at the ICA food shelf in Minnetonka.
  • Alexander Kimball, a Hopkins High School student and Minnetonka resident, nominated for his volunteer work at the Minnetonka Library.
  • Denzel Kla Diihbah, a Hopkins North Junior High School student and Hopkins resident, nominated for his volunteer work with the Hopkins Police Department’s “face2face” community event.
  • Zoe Korengold, a Hopkins North Junior High School student and Plymouth resident, nominated for her volunteer work with Students Promoting Positive Actions. Her most notable accomplishment has been working with other youth to persuade the city of Minnetonka to declare certain youth-oriented park facilities in the city as tobacco-free.
  • Nick Lunde, a Minnetonka High School student and Minnetonka resident, nominated for his volunteer work with the Minnetonka United Methodist Church.
  • Courtney McDougal, a Minnetonka High School student and Deephaven resident, nominated for volunteer work with the school district’s Youth Development Council.
  • Malika Musa, a Hopkins North Junior High School student and Minnetonka resident, nominated for her volunteer work with the Hopkins Police Department’s “face2face” community event.
  • Soraya Nassiri, a Minnetonka Middle School East student and Minnetonka resident, nominated for her volunteer work with the Minnetonka Heights Community Program.
  • Ryne Nichols, a student at the Robbinsdale School District’s Cooper High School in New Hope and a Golden Valley resident, nominated for his volunteer work at Valley Community Presbyterian Church in Golden Valley.
  • Hannah Pearson, a Hopkins High School student and Minnetonka resident, nominated for her volunteer work with the Girl Scouts.
  • Jeni Pederson, a Hopkins High School student and Edina resident, nominated for her volunteer work with All Saints Lutheran Church in Minnetonka.
  • Skai Plotnick, a Hopkins High School student and Minnetonka resident, nominated for her volunteer work with the West Suburban Teen Clinic in Excelsior.
  • Katie Segner, a Benilde St Margaret’s High School student and Golden Valley resident, nominated for her volunteer work with a wide range of organizations, from Feed My Starving Children to food shelves to the Autism Society of America to student opportunities at her high school.
  • Maray Singleton, a Hopkins North Junior High School student and St Louis Park resident, nominated for volunteering at First Church in St Louis Park.
  • Matthew Stetler, a student at the Robbinsdale School District’s Armstrong High School in Plymouth and a Golden Valley resident, nominated for his volunteer work with the Golden Valley Library.

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