The YMCA of the Greater Twin Cities, a leading nonprofit dedicated to strengthening communities through youth development, healthy living and social responsibility, presented Naimah Muhammad (pictured) with a Youth Thrive award that recognizes her impact on the community while demonstrating a commitment to the Y’s core values of caring, honesty, respect and responsibility.
The 39 2018 Youth Thrive honorees from across the metro area strengthen the Twin Cities as volunteers, peer leaders and Y team members. This year’s award winners all demonstrated they play a role in the change they want to see in the world. At the Mezile North Community YMCA Naimah Muhammad was one of three winners of the Super Bowl LII Super Snack Challenge. She was also awarded $10,000 to donate to a charity of her choice and earned second place team award in the Iron Chef Jr. competition. Her commitment to share her knowledge and passion for cooking is helping to break down barriers by demonstrating that young people are capable of empowering their peers by teaching how to make healthy choices.
“I believe I can be the change because I’m not afraid to use the power of my voice to make a positive impact. I use what God has given me and what my family has taught me to do what is right by giving back and helping others,” said Naimah.
The YMCA also presented Diego Vasquez and Anisa Ali, representing the YMCA Beacons Program, with a Youth Thrive award that recognizes their impact on the community while demonstrating a commitment to the Y’s core values of caring, honesty, respect and responsibility.
Diego is a self-motivated youth worker and positive role model for middle school youth at Brooklyn Center Middle School who is dedicated to creating positive relationships with his peers and youth at school. Anisa runs the Edison High School Somali Culture Club, working to organize events and educate her peers about her culture.
“I believe I can be the change because I have the ability to communicate my ideas to people and influence people to be better,” said Diego.
“I believe I can be the change because I have already made the change and made good things happen. I am the change I want to see,” said Anisa.
“The YMCA continues to invest in helping youth thrive because we know youth are the real change-makers building stronger communities,” said Glen Gunderson, president and CEO of the YMCA of the Greater Twin Cities. “Youth are getting connected and making a difference through their active participation in the Y’s many youth development programs along with their commitment to serving all in our community.”