California State Youth Accolades to award $10,000 each to Miss California State and California State Ambassador

More than $30,000 will be available in scholarship awards at the 36th annual scholarship competition July 2016




Media Contact: Kristina Stamper
(209) 612-6930


SAN JOSE, Calif. — Dec. 1, 2015 — Youth Focus Inc. is pleased to announce the 2016 Jessie Brandenburg Memorial Scholarships to be awarded July 18-23, 2016, at the California State Youth Accolades scholarship competition. More than $30,000 in scholarship awards will be available for youth from across the state of California.


Young people ages 9 to 22 are invited to participate in the program in one of three age divisions selecting Junior Ambassadors (ages 9 to 12), Teen Ambassadors (ages 13 to 16) and Miss California State and the California State Ambassador (ages 17 to 22).


Miss California State and the California State Ambassador, at the upper age division, will each receive a $10,000 educational scholarship.


“While the cost of education continues to rise, our state is still in need of more college graduates to propel the economy forward,” said Executive Director of Youth Focus Inc., Bill Smethers. “We believe that offering scholarships is a critical component in encouraging enthusiastic young people to pursue an education that can change their lives. The Cal State experience together with meaningful scholarship opportunities has the potential to inspire youth to take on leadership roles and make significant change in their communities.”


The Cal State program seeks to award outstanding young people for their participation and leadership in community service activities. The weeklong program in July includes a schedule of leadership, interview and public speaking workshops culminating in an on-stage competition at the Santa Clara Convention Center. Those selected as youth ambassadors will represent Youth Focus Inc. through a year of community service programming.


Imagine a program where youth are encouraged to dream and empowered to reach their goals. This is what Youth Focus Inc. endeavors to accomplish this through programming that provides a unique and challenging leadership curriculum in addition to networking and self-confidence building opportunities.


“We know that young people in California have the potential to make a difference in their communities and in the world,” Smethers said. “We hope that their participation in the California State Youth Accolades program will instill a sense of accomplishment that will spur them to greater heights of achievement.”


The philosophy of the program aims to encourage youth to make positive contributions to their communities. Emphasizing community service, the competition includes phases in public speaking, interview, speech presentation or stage arts, and community service. There is also an optional academic achievement scholarship available.


Youth leaders from across the state of California are invited to participate in the California State Youth Accolades scholarship competition. They may represent a local program or enter the competition as participants at large representing their community. Every participant in each age division is awarded a scholarship.


For more information about the program and to complete an interest form, please visit




Youth Focus Inc. is a non-profit, 501(c)3 organization dedicated to providing meaningful youth programs for the benefit of California youth for the purpose of educating, motivating and stimulating them to greater heights of accomplishment in the areas of specialized programming, community service and leadership development. Over the past 46 years, Youth Focus Inc. has awarded nearly $1 million in education scholarships. Learn more about our programs at