(ENEWSPF)– More than 250 guests were on hand to honor the South Suburban Disproportionate Minority Confinement (SSDMC) Youth Foundation, Second Annual Youth Awards Dinner. Young people from various South Suburban villages were honored for their outstanding achievements.
SSDMC Project Director Angela Greene shared how proud she was to recognize these individuals, “Our young people tonight have earned their awards. We are proud of the success Stories our SSDMC young people are achieving. Each time we are able to help one of our young people, we are able to do so because of your support."
Greene also took time out to thank the many civic and community leaders for their help, “Without the community’s support, the SSDMC would not be able to succeed.”
She also took time to give kudos to two men who have helped her throughout her tenure at the SSDMC. These two board members were Board Chairman Judge Michael Stuttley and the late Joe Mayo of the Illinois Juvenile Justice Commission.
Judge Stuttley is an advocate for children. He was very pleased with the program and the awards. According to the SSDMC, Stuttley is well-known in the South Suburban Community as a firm but fair judge. He has always kept the benefit of children as his forefront.
“ I am pleased with the accomplishments of our young people. Without you it would not be possible. I am proud to be giving back to the community along with my SSDMC Board,” Judge Stuttley said.
Judge Stuttley was also concerned about the presence of guns in the community. He has stressed alternatives to gangs, guns and drugs. “We must provide our youths with positive alternatives if they are to be successful. Something is seriously wrong, when youths are able to acquire guns fasters than they can obtain schoolbooks. I still believe given the opportunity to dream our youths can succeed," said Judge Stuttley.
Like Greene, Judge Stuttley took time to acknowledge the late Illinois Juvenile Justice Commissioner and SSDMC board member Joe Mayo. Mayo passed away recently after a long illness. Mayo had retired as a Former Deputy Superintendent with the Chicago Police Department. He served on the Department for over 32 years. While on the Department, he founded the “We Care Role Model Program." He was also honored for his national program on missing children. Joe Mayo was known for caring deeply and passionately for the welfare of young people.
Mayo was awarded with a musical tribute from one of the recipients, Johnathan Little. The Mayo family also received an award. “He was my rock, and he always had my back, I could always count on Joe for support,” said Greene.
Politicians in attendance Thornton Township Supervisor and Democratic Committeeman Frank Zuccarelli, who also received the MICHAEL W. STUTTLEY HUMAN SERVICE SPIRIT AWARD. Also in attendance were State Representatives Al Riley 38th District, Will Davis 30th District, Cook County Commissioner Tony Periaca, 16th Dist. & Mayor Zenobia Evans of Riverdale.
The program was navigated by the Mistress of Ceremonies, Miss Felicia Calvin, a recent graduate Marian Catholic High School. Miss Calvin will be attending Langston University in the fall on a full scholarship.
“This is just an example of what our young people can accomplish through their hard work," Judge Stuttley added.
Other Awardees were Riverdale Police Dept. Deputy Chief John Brosius, Jr, “HUMAN SPIRIT AWARD," Dr. Ruby Roberson, Superintendent, Riverdale-Dolton District #148 was presented with the “VISIONARY AWARD." The “ROSE PETAL AWARD” went to Ms. Geneva Bell of The Chicago Area Project. The “JOE P. MAYO AWARD” went to Ms. Betheny Lyke, Principal of Thornton High School. The SSDMC “COMMUNITY SERVICE AWARD” went to the Saul Village Concerned Citizens, Mr. Lewis Towers President. Finally, the “SPECIAL RECOGNITION AWARD” was given to Jean Rogers.
The following youths also received awards: Latayshia Bently, Mariah Coleman, Denzel Clayton, Tia Dolyn Dillion, Kevin Nash, Killyle Jones, Tamarra Portis, Latoya Atkins, James Cunningham and Christiana Warren.