Daily Point of Light # 3018 Aug 30, 2005

Erin Rogers truly deserves a Daily Points of Light award. She is very active in Ottawa’s Youth Action Council and Youth in government programs, and currently serves as the President of YAC. Within the last year, Erin has completed over 250 hours of community service with YAC, doing things such as participating in a food drive and attending sporting events with at-risk youth. In YIG, Erin has put in over 200 hours.

Through YAC, Erin has served on several committees. She was very active planning events for Make a Difference Day activities last year. She has participated in all of the National Days of Service and has been to numerous other communities, including Spring Hill, Kansas and Nashville, Tennessee to speak about youth involvement. She is a strong advocate for youth.

Erin’s participation in Youth in Government has been remarkable. The eight YIG members spent five months planning a 7th and 8th grad Youth Leadership Camp. They wanted to show youth that they could be leaders in their own community, no matter what age they are. Erin was very involved with this event, working extra hours each week making sure it was successful. The group raised over $5,000. With the money raised, they were able to make the amp very inexpensive, so as not to discourage low-income youth from participating. The camp lasted three days and two nights and Heather was there throughout the entire event. She did all of this while fulfilling her other duties for YIG the group is currently planning their third Youth Leadership Camp to take place in June.

One example of Erin’s desire to address social issues was a Valentine’s Day Dance that she helped coordinate. YAC decided they would like to address the issue of the gap between older and adults and youth. They decided to put on a Valentine’s Day Dance for older adults and youth to attend. Under Erin’s leadership, the group met with older adults to see what they wanted at the dance, such as what type of music, decorations and food. The dance was a huge hit, with 65 people in attendance and all of the older adults wanting to attend another one. Erin spent four weeks organizing the event and made it a huge success. Since then, YAC has had five other dances and Erin recently applied for a Good 2 Grant to try to help sustain the dances. She was co-author for the grant.

Erin’s participation in YAC and YIG meets a real community need. She is connecting youth with opportunities to serve. She plans service projects and recruits her peers to join her in improving her community. As a direct result of the Youth Leadership Camp, five new youths joined Youth Action Council. Through promotion of the program by Erin and several other members, 40 youths have expressed an interest in joining YAC this year.