Daily Point of Light # 2653 Apr 6, 2004

Andrew Huschka is an outstanding youth volunteer. He is very active in Ottawa’s Youth Action Council (YAC) and Youth in Government (YIG) programs, and currently serves as the Vice-President of YAC. Within the last 10 months, Andrew has completed more than 150 hours of community service with YAC, doing things such as working on Habitat for Humanity houses and attending sporting events with at-risk youth. In YIG, Andrew has donated more than 200 hours of volunteer service.

Through YAC, Andrew has served on several committees. He was an active participant in the National Volunteer Week planning committee and helped plan activities for the seven-day event. He also participated in each of the activities. He serves on the Fundraising committee, where he has helped raise more than $1,000 for several projects. He has participated in all of the National Days of Service and has been to numerous other communities, including Topeka, Arkansas City, Junction City and Washington D.C. to speak about youth involvement. Andrew has also been selected to serve on the Kansas Volunteer Commission.

Andrew’s participation in YIG has been remarkable. The eight YIG members spent five months planning a 7th and 8th grade Youth Leadership Camp. They wanted to show youth that they could be leaders in their own community, no matter what age they are. Andrew was one of the most active organizers of this event. He worked three days a week on the project, spending as much as 10 hours a week organizing everything. Andrew single-handedly recruited 20 students for the event, along with four volunteers and raised more than $10,000. With the money raised, they were able to make the camp very inexpensive, so as not to discourage low-income youth from participating. The camp lasted three days and two nights and Andrew was there throughout the entire event. He did all of this while fulfilling his other duties for YIG.

Andrew was also selected by his peers to serve on the Recreational Task Force Commission. He spent 40 hours designing, distributing and analyzing a survey, which the entire middle and high school took. The results of the survey were instrumental in the final recommendations of the task force. He not only took on the responsibility for the task force, but went above and beyond his duties.

Andrew’s participation in YAC and YIG meets a real community need. He is connecting youth with opportunities to serve. He plans service projects and recruits his peers to join him in improving his community. As a direct result of the Youth Leadership Camp, five new youth joined Youth Action Council, and all have applied to join Youth in Government. Through promotion of the program by Andrew and several other members, 40 youth have expressed an interest in joining YAC. Andrew has always been concerned with adults’ negative attitudes and opinions of youth. He strives to break down the barriers that separate youth and adults by showing them youth can make a difference if they are given the opportunity.