Young Women Making Washtenaw County Better (YWMWB) Grand Prize Winners
Fifth Third Bank and the Detroit Red Wings just concluded another year of the S. H.O.T.S. program (Students Helping Others Through Service). This initiative encourages Southeast Michigan High School students to volunteer their time in an effort to make a positive impact on the local community.
The judging committee consisted of Detroit Red Wings play-by-play announcer Ken Kal, who also served as ambassador for the program, Fox Sports Detroit’s Shannon Hogan, Hot 107.5’s Dr. Darrius, and Pat Caputo of 97.1 The Ticket, and members of Fifth Third Bank. Student community service projects were judged on the following criterion: project creativity, community reach and community impact.
On April 11th the final four service teams gathered at Joe Louis Arena to present their project to the panel of judges before the Detroit Red Wings game. The four schools represented were Loyola High School, South Lyon High School, Pinckney High School and Ypsilanti High School.
Ypsilanti High School’s Young Women Making Washtenaw County Better (YWMWB) a group facilitated by the Washtenaw County Sheriff’s Office Community Outreach Coordinator, Natalia Harris was chosen as the Grand Prize winner. Ypsilanti’s service project took place in February where the group established a community based mentoring program for young women throughout Washtenaw County. To initiate the program the group put together a luncheon and invited professional and non business women from all over the county, from all walks of life. Mentors included a Michigan Works Service Coordinator, a housewife, an OBGYN, stay at home mom, accountant, midwife, pastor, college professor, U of M student, volunteer, accountant and financial managers. At the luncheon the students engaged in “speed style” meet and greet to learn more about their adult mentors, their career choices, barriers they faced and opportunities for success.
The winning team won i-Pads for each team member and a check for $530.00 to the school to be used as seed money for a future project.
“Fifth Third Bank has always been passionate about community service,” says Fifth Third Bank Senior Vice President of Marketing, Jack Riley. “We encourage employee volunteerism in our communities year round, and with the Red Wings and S.H.O.T.S., we incent high school-age students to learn about the value of their services in their communities as well.”
“Thank you Fifth Third Bank and the Detroit Red Wings for providing such a wonderful program,” stated Natalia Harris, Community Outreach Coordinator for the Washtenaw County Sheriff’s office. “Winning this competition meant a lot to our students and the school. The young women attending the mentoring session were grateful to have an opportunity to talk to and ask women from a variety of professions about the steps they took to achieve success in their lives and jobs. The service project was so well received by the young ladies and the mentors that we plan to have several more sessions this year,” she concluded.
The S.H.O.T.S. program was available to students in grades 9-12 that attend high school in Genesee, Livingston, Macomb, Monroe, Oakland, St. Clair, Shiawassee, Washtenaw or Wayne County. This year’s program started in September, 2012 and ran through February of this year.
Fifth Third Bank, the Detroit Red Wings and judges panel would like to thank and congratulate all of the schools that entered a project into the SHOTS program this year. Your efforts are making a difference!