January 29, 2004 at 1:00 p.m.
Recipients of the 2003 On Behalf of Youth Award are Dawn Kichler, a senior at Forest Lake High School, and Betty Hestekin, Community Health and Outreach Services Manager at Fairview Regional Health Care. Kichler and Hestekin will be recognized at the Youth Service Bureau’s Annual Service to Youth Recognition Event, which will be held March 4 at the Scandia Community Center. The public is invited to attend. Tickets for youth and adults are $10 each, dinner is included in the ticket price. Call 651-464-3685 for more information. The RSVP deadline is February 23.
Kichler is a senior at Forest Lake High School. Although she works two part-time jobs, she always has time to make a difference in her community. She has been an active member and leader in the YSB’s Youth Advisory Board for the past three years. In this role she arranged an opportunity for Youth Advisory Board members to distribute positive messages and red ribbons to the community while bagging groceries at Rainbow during Minnesota Chemical Health Week.
Kichler has also volunteered her time as a junior counselor at the YSB’s Safe Kids Confident Kids Day Camp as well as at the Forest Lake Safety Camp. During each of these events, she is responsible to lead a small group of children through the day’s planned camp events and activities. In addition to this, she has also been very involved in planning and implementing the Dreams with Wings Conference for Girls and their Mothers and the Jingle Bell Jamboree holiday party for families. She also finds time to hang out with her friends. They describe her as a creative, helpful person who loves to laugh, loves music and reaches out to others who are feeling sad or left out.
Hestekin is the Community Health and Outreach Services Manager for Fairview Regional Health Care. Hestekin is a person who listens to community needs and then works to find ways to meet them. Her ability to creatively solve problems has enabled her to develop a wide variety of partnerships to address issues in the community; these include the Introduction to Health Care course, which is offered at Forest Lake, North Branch and Chisago Lakes High Schools. Hestekin developed this course in response to a shortage of health care workers in our community. She was also one of the founders and is still actively involved with Tri-County Youth & Family Partnership. This partnership of health care, social services, educators, parents, businesses, youth and citizens has actively promoted healthy lifestyles in the Forest Lake area since 1989.
For the past six years, Hestekin has assisted the YSB in the implementation of the Dreams with Wings Conference for Girls and their Mothers. She has worked with the YSB staff and a committee of students to develop the conference as well as coordinated the use of the Fairview facility as the host site for the conference events. Her assistance on this project has been much appreciated by the conference presenters and participants each year.
In 1998, she created the Friends Make a Difference Mentoring Program where community members are paired with a student and go into schools on a regular basis to have lunch and build relationships with students in need of an additional adult in their lives. In the past six years this program has expanded to 13 schools with a total of 165 youth being mentored.
Hestekin has been quietly developing, implementing, and supporting programs and services for youth for many years. She is a valuable resource for the community and a much-appreciated partner in working on behalf of youth.
The Youth Service Bureau is a non-profit youth and family services agency committed to prevention and intervention in problems affecting youth. Programs include counseling and support services, early intervention, self-esteem, conflict resolution, anger management, family communications, and other skill building services, and restorative justice/diversion services. Youth and adult volunteer opportunities are available.