Youth honored for service

Jessica Sims (center) is congratulated by SDC CEO Deborah Blanks (right) as well as her proud mother and younger sister.

Youth completing service to the community have been recognized for their efforts. Young people who completed programs through the Social Development Commission’s Youth and Family Development Program were singled out during an End of the Year Celebration.

Rhonda Ware of Alverno College addressed the gathered youth at SDC to tell them they carry the potential to be great. She urged the young people not to be distracted by anyone, saying “it doesn’t matter what people call you, but what you answer to”. She urged them to continue to go to school, connect with supportive people, and to build a positive self-image. Deborah Blanks, SDC CEO, also congratulated the youth for their efforts and told them to stand strong in their efforts to positively change their lives.

One young person singled out for recognition during the celebration was 16year-old Jessica Sims. She came to the youth program several years ago and completed it before returning as a volunteer to help other young people.

Ms. Sims became an active member of the Youth Advisory Board and participated in many activities including college tours and making presentations to adults on school violence. At the ceremony, she was presented with a certificate recognizing her efforts in the program.

Partners who helped the youth during the past year were also honored including Alexian Village, Craig Montessori School, Project Focal Point, the Milwaukee Christian Center, and Rosemary Pearson, an art therapist who has volunteered to offer youth art therapy workshops for the past several years.

For more information on the Youth and Family Development Program, visit the SDC website at, click on the “Programs” page and then on the link for “Youth and Family Development”.