Youth Focus Inc.’s “Salute to Youth” program honored 61 young people on Tuesday, March 28 for their outstanding accomplishments in a variety of categories. Over $7,000 in educational scholarships were awarded including the following special awards:
- James J. Guido Spirit of Youth Award & 2017 Salute to Youth Ambassador: Ethan Yan, Mountain View, CA, attending Menlo School
- James J. Guido Spirit of Youth Award, 1st Alternate: Sohini Kar, Saratoga, CA, attending Saratoga High School
- James J. Guido Spirit of Youth Award, 2nd Alternate: Ryan Isobe, Santa Clara, CA, attending Santa Clara High School
- James J. Guido Spirit of Youth Award, 3rd Alternate: Ana Sofia Garay Querada, Mountain View, CA, attending Mountain View High School
- James J. Guido Spirit of Youth Award, 4th Alternate: Sirinda Wongpanich, Palo Alto, CA, attending Los Altos High School
- James J. Guido Spirit of Youth Award, 5th Alternate: Jordan McGilvey, Morgan Hill, CA, attending Santa Clara High School
- Lonnie Toensfeldt Community Service Award: Jerod Collins, Santa Clara, CA, attending Santa Clara High School
- Suzette Galloway Most Inspirational Award: Paula Garcia-Tellez, Mountain View, CA, attending Mountain View High School
- Tom Galloway Science, Technology Award: Rachel Won, Saratoga, CA, attending Saratoga High School
In addition, three Youth Mentor Awards were presented to three outstanding voice teachers: Bobbie Hosfeldt Ward from Scotts Valley, Myrna Emata from Los Gatos and Jessica Ford from San Jose. These women have been volunteers with the Youth Focus organization for many years and encourage their students to follow their dream, work hard, and be the very best they can be.
Dominick Barandica was also recognized on this evening as California’s 2017 Young Man of Distinction. Dominick is a Senior at Gregori High School in Modesto and his list of accomplishments, both in school and throughout the community is extensive. However, he may be best known for authoring a grant for $5,800 to purchase thirty-six impact sensing helmets for his football team in 2014. The program was a great success and he received an additional $300,000 grant which enabled him to include every football player in the Modesto City School district in 2015 — approximately 900 units.
As an organization totally committed to the advancement of youth, Youth Focus, Inc., is proud to sponsor this event where these young people and adults are recognized and celebrated. Dan Lansford, Deputy Executive Director for Youth Focus Inc says, “We believe that recognizing young people of merit will enhance their self esteem and inspire them to continue to pursue their passion, motivating others to set a positive example in their communities.”
Youth Focus, Inc. is a non-profit organization in San Jose, California that provides well-structured programs and competitions to benefit the youth in our community and provide scholarships for higher education. It was started more than 47 years ago with the goal to engage young people in activities and programs and recognize their accomplishments.