This year's Mayor's Youth Council Leadership Symposium was held on Saturday, April 14 and included keynote speaker Sandy Hatfield Clubb, Director of Athletics for Drake University and the presentation of the MYC Youth Awards.
Hatfield Clubb spoke about what it takes to become a leader and that is it an ongoing process. She encouraged the audience to develop their leadership skills with a list of characteristics of successful leaders and determining each individual’s purpose.
The Mayor's Youth Council gives out two annual awards recognizing exceptional youth in Ankeny. Nominations are submitted in February and winners are selected by members of the council.
The Youth of the Year award is given to an individual whom has made positive life choices and enriched the Ankeny community through their service. The Youth Group of the Year is given to a local youth organization that has served their fellow citizens and created an environment for others to serve.
Youth of the Year
This year’s MYC Youth of the Year is Sam Hinman, a senior at . Sam is involved in multiple sports, served on the student council and spent many hours of service at this church. He is also an active volunteer devoting time to tornado cleanup in Joplin, Missouri; Meals from the Heartland; working at multiple homeless shelters and spending his summers volunteering at a Christian camp for kids.
Sam was unable to attend the award ceremony in person because of summer camp training and his parents, Keith and Joyce Hinman accepted on this behalf.
Youth Group of the Year
The MYC Group of the Year was The Junkyard, a service youth group at . This is the second year in a row the group was recognized for their volunteer work and issue awareness.
The group started 14 years ago with just a handfull of students and got their name because of the donated "junk" from church members that furnished the room where they meet. The group is now over 200 members strong and includes students from sixth grade to seniors in high school.
One recent examples of their work was called a “Day of Love” and included nearly 100 members going throughout the community collecting food for the local food bank, making baby blankets, serving at the local Goodwill store and made carnival props that were used to help raise money for a private school on a Native American reservation.
They meet weekly and plan a service activity monthly, serving those in need in Ankeny, throughout the United States and abroad. The Junkyard is directed by Doug Applegate, youth director at Prairie Ridge Church, which is located at 825 N.W. 36th St. in Ankeny.
This year's Youth Leadership Symposium was made possible in part through the Polk County Betterment Grant program, which supports local non-profit organizations that provide cultural, recreational, educational and human needs services to the citizens of Polk County. Additional support for the event was donated by , , and the .
The Mayor's Youth Council is a group of fifteen volunteer high school students who advocate on behalf of Ankeny's youth and plan an active rold in the city's youth oriented efforts.