Each year, Hillsborough County recognizes students who make a difference in their community through the YEA! Awards, which are presented annually by the Hillsborough County Board of County Commissioners, just as the board did for these outstanding students in 2022.

Many young people in Hillsborough County do extraordinary things each year, including overcoming difficult odds against them. Those young people deserve to be recognized. As such, Hillsborough County developed a category of awards that recognizes their contributions.

Each year, Hillsborough County opens up nominations for an award known as the Youth Excellence and Achievement Awards (YEA! Awards), which were created in 2010. Nominations are now open and applications are being accepted through Monday, September 18 at 9 a.m.

YEA! Awards nominations can be submitted for both middle and high school students in each of three categories. These include Leadership, Success Despite Difficult Odds and Volunteer or Community Service.

For the Leadership category, an application must show a student who demonstrates a positive impact on others in an ongoing endeavor, such as sports, academics or the arts.

For Success Despite Difficult Odds, this would show a student who has overcome tremendous personal difficulty to attain success and make a positive impact on others.

For Volunteer or Community Service, the category shows student volunteers who allocate discretionary time to help others or complete a project that has improved the community.

“This is a great opportunity for parents, guardians and educators to nominate and recognize a student who has gone above and beyond,” said Carmen LoBue, Hillsborough County’s Americans with Disabilities Act officer and representative of the Hillsborough County Commission on the Status of Women (COSW).

“The YEA! Awards serve as an example of excellence and honor deserving students in our county. The spirit of the award is to recognize deserving students today and also inspire students to continue to reach for the stars,” added LoBue.

The nomination form is available for submission online at www.hcflgov.net/yea.

Nominations will be reviewed by the Hillsborough County Commission on the Status of Women. The COSW was created to study and make recommendations to the Hillsborough County Board of County Commissioners (BOCC) on issues pertaining to the status of women, including discrimination, employment, education, day care and health care and is comprised of BOCC appointees and representatives from women-serving groups in Hillsborough County.

The YEA! Awards will be presented by the Board of County Commissioners in October. For additional information on the YEA! Awards, please visit www.hcflgov.net/yea.

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