ST. PAUL, Minn. (February 2, 2017) — The National Youth Leadership Council is pleased to announce the winners of the 2017 National Service-Learning Awards. These awards recognize youth and adult leaders who have made positive change in their communities and across the world through service-learning. Award winners will be recognized at the 28th Annual National Service-Learning Conference®, Dare to Dream, on March 24, 2017 in Anaheim, Calif. Awards are presented with support from UPS.
“It is my honor to recognize these individuals for their contributions to the field of service-learning through their outstanding work in communities across the country,” said NYLC CEO Amy Meuers. “These individuals exemplify everything we aim to showcase at the National Service-Learning Conference.”
Named for a British humanitarian, the Alec Dickson Servant Leader Award honors leaders who, by example, have inspired the service-learning field. The 2017 award will be presented to Bill Basl, former director of AmeriCorps. Basl has worked to broaden the reach of volunteerism and national service initiatives throughout his career. From an early start as a VISTA volunteer in 1970 to heading the Washington Commission for National and Community Service to leading AmeriCorps , Basl has exemplified what it means to be a servant leader. Last year, AmeriCorps members included more than 75,000 men and women at more than 15,000 locations including nonprofits, schools, public agencies, and community and faith-based groups across the country.
The Serving-Learning Practitioner Award recognizes those who have equipped young people to lead and serve in their communities. This year’s recipient is Tiffany Searles, Director of Programs at New Foundations Charter School. As part of her role at NFCS, Searles has helped integrate service into their school programming. Some of her achievements include creating an annual K-8 Service Day and facilitating over 250 student service-learning projects.
Receiving the Youth Leadership for Service-Learning Excellence Award is Cammie Lee, Isabelle Zheng, Hannah Weinstein, Phyllis Liao, and Maristella Tojong of Project Prelude. This award honors service-learning programs and projects that show an exceptional level of youth initiative. Project Prelude, a student-run music education organization, offers free after-school violin lessons to disadvantaged youth living in Portland. The program currently serves 36 fourth-sixth graders and five volunteer teachers.