Grace Shannon, 17, was completely surprised when she won the 2013 Youth of the Year award for the St. Charles County Family YMCA.
“I didn’t even know the award existed. It was a big surprise,” said Grace.
Each year Lindenwood University generously awards a scholarship of approximately $62,000 to the young person named the Joseph P. Sunnen Youth of the Year and approximately $33,000 in scholarships to each of those selected Branch Youth of the Year. Jordan Deitering, 17, of Chesterfield is the Sunnen Scholarship Winner. Grace Shannon won the St. Charles County Family YMCA award.
“I feel very honored.” said Grace.
Grace, a student of St. Charles High School, received the award at a ceremony on February 13th at the Lindenwood Club in St. Charles. Her parents and brother accompanied her. As a recipient of the award, Grace also received a $33,000 scholarship from Lindenwood University.
There to congratulate her from the St. Charles YMCA were Renee Tillman, Executive Director, and Adam Styer, Sports and Camp Director.
“This is such a great award and we are so proud of Grace,” said Tillman.
Service is no stranger to Grace. She has spent a number of years helping out
at summer camps, working with all age groups. She was only 13 when she began volunteering at the Y as a Counselor in Training. She did this for three summers and then became a Junior Counselor.
“I fell in love with the kids and with the opportunity,” said Grace. “The YMCA is like my second home.”
Adam Styer and Angie Layne, Camp Directors for the Y, nominated Grace for the award. “Grace's contributions to camp and her work with the children of the St. Charles YMCA was a fantastic gift,” said Styer. “She constantly brought great energy and a passion for the day.”
Grace continuously goes above and beyond as a leader among her peers and serves as a great role model for the CIT's. Outside of the Y, Grace is an active member of her church, leading multiple community projects at places such as Emmaus House and the St. Charles Preservation Organization.
After Grace finishes high school and college, she plans to spend her time helping troubled teens.