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Seminole tries to recognize youthful achievement

The idea is to honor youngsters who distinguish themselves.

By CRISTINA SILVA
Published October 18, 2006


ST. PETE BEACH - The requirements range from volunteering with the elderly to starring on the school's basketball team to overcoming a personal hardship.

If your child calls St. Pete Beach home, and is 10 to 19 years old, he or she could qualify for a St. Pete Beach Youth Recognition Award.

The City Commission an-nounced the Youth Recognition Program last month, but so far residents have yet to nominate a local youth. Honorees do not have to be full-time residents of the city, but should spend at least part of the year in St. Pete Beach.

Anyone can submit an application recommending an outstanding youth at any time, said Natalie Strong, a spokeswoman for the city. If the youth is selected, he or she would be invited to the city's annual volunteer dinner in January, and will receive a plaque recognizing their achievements.

Commissioner Michael Finnerty, who came up with the idea, said he thought the program would be a way to promote community pride.

"It kind of gives the community a good feeling that there are some good people around here," he said. "It can be something these kids can fall back on and look back and say 'hey, my whole town was behind me in this particular moment in my life and I shouldn't feel like a failure when I'm really winner.' "

Forms can be obtained at City Hall or at: stpetebeach.org/agenda/08_08_06_youth_recognition_program.pdf. Applications can be mailed to City Hall or dropped off during business hours.

To further engage its youngest citizens, the city also plans to create a youth council later this year. The council will give children a chance to see how the city operates and allow them to contribute to the City Commission. The council will also review applications submitted to the Youth Recognition Program.

Cristina Silva can be reached at csilva@sptimes.com or 893-8846.

[Last modified October 17, 2006, 21:42:39]


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