IDAHO FALLS, Idaho - The Extra Mile Youth Awards ceremony recognizes the young people in our community who are nominated by friends and neighbors. It's put on by the Bonneville Youth Development Council.
I had the honor of being an MC for this year's event. What a thrill it was to read one nomination after the other for dozens youth from grade school to high school and discover the amazing things they're doing.
Nominations came from neighbors, teachers , even government officials. A few we caught up with included Mikayla Vance who, as part of the Iona Youth Council, spearheaded a New Years Eve Dance and food drive.
"It was just so much fun. I love helping out the community," Mikayla said.
Gabe Clark's teacher says he does everything from volunteer tutoring, to helping the custodian, to visiting senior citizen's at Lincoln Court.
"Because it makes me feel good that people benefit from my help," Gabe said.
11 year olds, Janie Fullmer and Kinsley Price give up their lunch hour to tutor struggling Kindergarten students.
"Because we feel it helps them learn better - it makes you feel good and warm inside," the girls said.
Clark Christensen volunteers at the zoo and spends hour as a leader for the scout's cedar badge program.
"I love scouting and I love the leadership lessons I've learned and how much they help me in my life,"
Maddy Jarvis spent hours completing her bucket list of service projects she wanted to do before she died, from singing at retirement homes to collecting school supplies for the needy.
"I thought if I could do anything, I'd do a service bucket list kind of thing, and and I thought, what's stopping me from doing that, so I just decided to do it," Maddy said.
Michael Bongianni has led up countless service projects as a leader in the Bonneville Youth Council
"It's just a warm fuzzy feeling like butterflies floating around," Michael said.
Lily Meng Adams was nominated for shaving her head to help cancer victims.
"To help raise money and find research so you can find a cure for cancer," Lily said.
A total of 26 young people were nominated this year.
If you know of any great neighbors please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.