Lexington, Kentucky (May 5, 2021) – YMCA of Central Kentucky staff, along with volunteers, board members, donors, program participants, and their families tuned into the Y’s virtual Annual Celebration event on Thursday, April 29, 2021 to reflect upon the outcome of the Y's efforts to meet the challenges presented by the pandemic and celebrate the many individuals and partners who shined at serving the community this past year.
“2020 tested us daily. There’s no doubt it was one of the most challenging years in our history and it will take us a while to recover from the financial impact of the pandemic, but it also strengthened our focus, and made us a stronger, more innovative, more nimble organization,” said Paula Anderson, president and CEO of the YMCA of Central Kentucky.
From Black Achievers to Y Academies for virtual learning to reaching out and supporting our most vulnerable members, to outdoor and virtual group exercise classes, the YMCA continues to be a pillar of support for our community.
“We leaned into what the YMCA does best in 2020 and served our community where they needed it,” Anderson added.
Below you will find a recap of the celebration if you missed the live event.
The individuals and partners who were recognized during the annual celebration include:
YMCA Black Achievers Youth Achiever of the Year
This student, has exemplified strong leadership skills within their tenure in the Black Achievers Program.
Kennedy Little, Bryan Station High School
YMCA Black Achievers Pursuit of Excellence Award Winners
Jontavious Hill, Tates Creek High School
Sophie Jatau, West Jessamine High School
The Pursuit of Excellence Recognition is awarded to those Achievers that have shown excellence in their participation in Black Achievers, as well as their academics. These Achievers have modeled their lifestyle to display excellence in all areas of their lives to include extracurricular activities and community service. The Pursuit of Excellence recipients are well-rounded and strive each day to achieve excellence.
YMCA Black Achievers 2021 Graduating Seniors and Scholarship Winners
- Aja Coffey, Bryan Station High School
- Grant Duerson, Paul Laurence Dunbar High School
- Jontavious Hill, Tates Creek High School
- Sophie Jatau, West Jessamine High School
- Karington Little, Bryan Station High School
- Kennedy Little, Bryan Station High School
- Amari Mitchell, Frederick Douglass High School
- Maya Robinson, Henry Clay High School
- Rheagan Steele, Paris High School
- Savannah Stevens, Bryan Station High School
These seniors went through a vigorous scholarship process, including resume writing, letters of recommendations, community service and outside achievements as well as a final project on how they would implement changes to benefit the community in which we live. Based on successful completion of the process, seniors are awarded scholarships made possible by generous individual and business donations.
Red Triangle Award
The Red Triangle Award is given to a YMCA of Central Kentucky volunteer whose actions exemplify the YMCA triangle – spirit, mind and body – and whose length of service and devotion to our mission have made a lasting impact on the Association. It is the highest volunteer honor given in recognition of outstanding personal leadership and service over many years.
Volunteers of the Year
- Al Isaac, Association Office
- Lesley Hatfull, C.M. Gatton Beaumont YMCA
- David Mahoney, Frankfort YMCA
- Patrick Lucas, High Street YMCA
- Rob McGoodwin, North Lexington Family YMCA
- Linda Granacher, North Lexington Family YMCA
- Marci Kloiber, Whitaker Family YMCA
- Monique Gilliam-Avery, Black Achievers Program
- Katy Prather, Scott County
- Moses Radford, Jessamine County
The Volunteer of the Year award is given at each YMCA of Central Kentucky location to a volunteer whose actions helped his or her Y achieve extraordinary impact in the community.
Rob Taylor Spirit Award
Stephanie Arnold and Allison Moore
This award is given to a YMCA of Central Kentucky part-time employee whose actions exemplify the Y and whose service and devotion to our mission have made a lasting impact on the Association.
Corey Donohoo and Amber Serres
This award is given to a YMCA of Central Kentucky employee whose actions inspire and motivate others to greater impact. The awardee exemplifies the highest of Y values, models social responsibility and exhibits devotion to our mission – culminating in a lasting impact on the community and association.
Community Impact Award
Commonwealth Credit Union
The Community Impact Award is given to an organization who has left an indelible mark on the YMCA of Central Kentucky through their financial support and continued advocacy of the work that we do.
“It was an absolute pleasure to honor our remarkable volunteers, talented Black Achievers and community partners during this year’s celebration,” said Leslie Flynn, board chair of the YMCA of Central Kentucky. “Their service to the Y, accomplishments, and devotion to the well-being of the communities we serve is truly inspirational.”
Photo: Kennedy Little, YMCA of Central Kentucky Black Achievers Program 2021 Youth Achiever of the Year