WARREN - The Tribune Chronicle is looking to focus attention on the county's youngest and most impressive leaders with its second annual "20 Under Twenty" program.
"The primary emphasis of this program is leadership through community service, extracurricular activities and academics," program coordinator Sue Shafer said.
Similar to the Community Stars program, the paper and Akron Children's Hospital Mahoning Valley will be recognizing and honoring 20 individuals under 20 years of age for their record of outstanding volunteer work.
"We are honoring students from high school freshman through age 19, which could mean they are furthering their education," Shafer said.
Whether it is for creating programming for a seniors group, organizing short-term mission trips or leading a youth-oriented group, Shafer said the Tribune Chronicle will recognize youth who go above and beyond. Selection of the winners will be based on three areas.
"Fifty percent is leadership, 25 percent is extracurricular activities and 25 percent is academic achievement," Shafer said.
Last year's winner, James Mitolo, started Paws with a Cause, an organization focused on responsible pet ownership and ending animal homelessness through awareness, donation drives and by working with local animal shelters. The group consists of 65 students at John F. Kennedy High School in Warren, and Mitolo said he would like to eventually see a branch in every school.
At the time he won, he was 17 years old and a senior at JFK High School. He also displayed leadership through his activities with National Honor Society, Student Senate and Key Club. He was a three-year letterman in varsity soccer and also competed for JFK's speech and debate team.
A magazine featuring the chosen individuals will be published by the Tribune Chronicle and recipients of the award will be invited to a banquet in early December.
Nomination forms can be acquired at local high school guidance offices or by contacting Shafer at firstname.lastname@example.org or 330-841-1600, Ext. 696. They will also be available online at www.tribtoday.com. Along with the form, applicants are permitted to attach up to five supporting documents, such as grade cards and a narrative about how they have shown leadership through community service, academic achievement and extracurricular activities .
They can be turned in to Shafer through email or be hand-delivered or mailed to Sue Shafer, c/o Tribune Chronicle, 240 Franklin St. S.E., Warren, OH 44483. Nominations are due by Sept. 26, and winners will be announced in the Tribune Chronicle early in October.