Riverside County youth receive Jamil Dada Character Excellence Youth Awards

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Recipients of the 2019 Jamil Dada Character Excellence Youth Awards include Tabitha Parrish of the Rubidoux Youth Opportunity Center, Marlene Ozuna and Alexander Mulvaney, of the Hemet Empower Youth Opportunity Center, Ana Luna-Flores and Jordan Leverette of the Lake Elsinore Planet Youth Opportunity Center, Yunuen Ibarra of the Indio WIN Youth Opportunity Center, Steven Serrano of the Moreno Valley Youth Opportunity Center, Guadalupe Rodriguez of the Riverside Learn 4 Life Center, Analinda Heredia of the Perris Oasis Youth Opportunity Center and Rebecca Marie Lara of the Indio Teen Center. Courtesy photo

RIVERSIDE – The recipients for the 2019 Jamil Dada Character Excellence Youth Awards include 10 Riverside County youths who displayed exemplary character while overcoming adversity, such as poverty, child abuse, drug addiction, abandonment and homelessness. Each youth was awarded a scholarship of $2,500 toward their education.

“These young people have made a difference not only for themselves, but they’re working to make a difference for everyone in their circle, or along their journey,” Jamil Dada, chairperson of the Riverside County Workforce Development board, said.

This year’s award recipients are Tabitha Parrish of the Rubidoux Youth Opportunity Center, Marlene Ozuna and Alexander Mulvaney of the Hemet Empower Youth Opportunity Center, Ana Luna-Flores and Jordan Leverette of the Lake Elsinore Planet Youth Opportunity Center, Yunuen Ibarra of the Indio WIN Youth Opportunity Center, Steven Serrano of the Moreno Valley Youth Opportunity Center, Guadalupe Rodriguez of the Riverside Learn 4 Life Center, Analinda Heredia of the Perris Oasis Youth Opportunity Center and Rebecca Marie Lara of the Indio Teen Center.

The Jamil Dada Character Excellence Youth Awards have awarded scholarships to more than 110 Riverside County youth over the past 13 years. Despite the honorees’ challenging and sometimes tragic situations, the recipients are recognized leaders in their respective communities. Despite their adversities, they are determined to earn a high school diploma and are in pursuit of a post-secondary education.

Nominees for the award must take part in a formal selection process and display the following attributes for strong character in their daily lives: trustworthiness, respect, responsibility, fairness, caring and citizenship.

A celebration honoring the recipients included a keynote speaker, Darrel Thomas from the Los Angeles Dodgers’ 1981 World Series Championship team, as well as trophies, certificates of recognition from elected officials. The scholarships will help the youth with tuition, books, transportation, and living expenses in their pursuit for post-secondary education.

The annual event is made possible by the Riverside County Board of Supervisors, the Workforce Development Board, ResCare, the California Family Life Center, the Workforce Development Centers and Economic Development Agency staff.

For more information about the Jamil Dada Character Excellence Youth Awards, contact assistant marketing manager Nathan Hultgren at (951) 955-3485 or nhultgren@rivco.org.

Submitted by Riverside County.