METUCHEN — Three youth volunteers from area YMCAs in Middlesex County were recently recognized for their service and commitment to their communities.
Jordan Joseph, from the Raritan Valley YMCA in East Brunswick; Simie Zhu, from the YMCA of Metuchen, Edison, Woodbridge and South Amboy (MEWSA); and Kaylee Scott, from the Raritan Bay Area YMCA in Perth Amboy, were named Youth Volunteer of the Year at their respective branches.
The youngsters were honored at the 17th Annual New Jersey YMCA State Alliance Celebration on Oct. 19 at Forsgate Country Club in Monroe.
Jordan has provided the Raritan Valley Y with three years of dedicated service in volunteering his time with the summer day camp program, according to a statement provided by the Y.
Simie volunteers her time during the week and on weekends at the Metuchen YMCA as an assistant teacher with the Metuchen YMCA Ballet program sharing her talents and knowledge of dance. She has been taking on a volunteer teaching role at the Y in the fall.
“Volunteering at the YMCA has been such an eye opening and wonderful experience but one that could have never been possible without the wonderful staff at the YMCA,” Simie said in the statement. “It has always been a dream of mine to combine both my love for dance and helping others and it is all thanks to the YMCA.”
Kaylee, a volunteer with the Raritan Bay Area YMCA, has been a program participant since kindergarten. Now as a teenager she has a dedicated role in helping the Perth Amboy community as part of the Summer Stars Day Camp Counselor in Training Program, according to the statement.
“Volunteers are the backbone of our organization,” Rose Cushing, CEO of the YMCA of MEWSA, said in the statement. “And without them, many of the programs that we offer would not be possible.”
Gina Stravic, CEO of the Raritan Valley YMCA, expressed thanks to the branches’ board and program volunteers who have contributed so much of their time into the community.
“Volunteers are the lifeblood of any nonprofit organization,” she said in the statement. “We are able to do greater things for the community and expand our reach with our volunteers.”
Stravic said the youths have been selected for being positive role models among their peers and for modeling the Y core values of honesty, caring, respect, and responsibility.
For information on volunteering at the Y, visit www.njymca.org for a listing of Ys and their contact information.