Keisha Engley Inspiration Award

Nominations are now Closed!

Thank you for your nominations to help us with this very important selection of the recipient of the Keisha Engley Inspiration Award (KEIA). 


Keisha's Story:

In 2012, our second year of Youth United, we were sifting through Youth United applications, determining the recipients of the various levels of awards, when it occurred to us that there was an individual who really stood out in the service work she was doing. She didn’t have the highest number of hours to earn the Volunteer Student of the Year award, but to let her passion for her community go unrecognized wasn’t something we were willing to do. This young lady, with the help of some friends, created a movement called the EHS Self-Worth Project to promote self-acceptance and awareness. Through Keisha’s vision, thousands of youth were touched and inspired by her leadership and ability to mobilize others to recognize the beauty and talents inside of each person.

Today, the KEIA is presented to a senior (who has completed the United Way – Youth United Program) for contributions to their community that surpass those of their peers and invokes inspiration and action in others; someone who aspires to make a difference and "proves it" based on their work and motivations; someone who makes a plan to effect change and make an impact and puts the plan into motion.

Learn More about EHS Self-Worth Project:

on Facebook
on Blogspot
on YouTube

The award recognizes someone who meets one or more of the following critera:

(Please note that for the purpose of this nomination, we define "community" as a social group of any size whose members share a common location, culture or objective)
A. Demonstrated sustained commitment to meeting community* needs
  • We believe every student who completes the Youth United program has demonstrated a sustained commitment to meet community needs. By giving 145 hours or more of their precious time to their schools and communities, they show their commitment.

B. Developed and fostered the virtues and skills of civic engagement and social responsibility
  • A bit more involved that criteria A, students meeting this criteria are doing more than volunteering "because it's the right thing to do" or because they will receive an award. Civic engagement and social responsibility help define this individual and is evident in their attitude and passion to make a real difference through their service. Their personal goals (both immediate and future), passions and actions are readily obvious and would further prove they possess a heart of service.

C. Engaged in the creation, organization, and/or mobilization of volunteers, groups and/or resources
  • Students meeting this criteria are ultimately "movers and shakers" and do so voluntarily and independently. They are the individuals responsible for mobilizing groups of people to do great things (volunteering, resource gathering, organizing) without the umbrella of a club or other group motivating them to do so. 

D. Utilized unique and creative approaches to meeting needs
  • The pinnacle of the Keisha Engley Inspiration Award, students meeting this elusive criteria will likely have identified issues in their community, then created a unique method to address those needs. They are the individuals who did not wait for others to come up with answers or solutions, they took that responsibility upon themselves. They are the individuals who research, develop and then spearhead projects, independent of structured clubs or groups (like EHS Self Worth Project, One Love Project, creating training for police officers to better meet the needs of children in abusive situations) to address pressing issues in our communities.