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25 of America's Outstanding Youth Selected as the Nestlé Very Best in Youth

Submitted by: Nestlé

Categories: Philanthropy & Corporate Contributions

Posted: Apr 05, 2005 – 12:00 AM EST


Winners of National Contest Recognized for Academic and Community Service Excellence

GLENDALE, Calif. - After reviewing hundreds of applications from remarkable young people across the nation, Nestlé USA is proud to announce the winners of this year's Nestlé Very Best In Youth. The search for the most outstanding kids in America has culminated in the selection of 25 with significant achievements in both academics and community service.

Co-sponsored by Nestlé USA and Reading Is Fundamental (RIF®), this biannual program honors youth 10-18 years old whose extracurricular activities and academic record demonstrate their strength of character. Competitive nominees are exceptional students, good citizens, and avid readers who share their passion for community service with others.

All of these children have a unique and inspirational story of their own, and are relentless in their goal of helping others. From collecting and donating more than 4,000 books to the Ronald McDonald House to contributing funds from a recycling program to help pay families' heating bills, the winners of this year's Nestlé Very Best In Youth have demonstrated leadership and compassion. They have proven that kids, too, can make a positive difference in the world.

Nestlé USA and RIF are honored to support America's youth by recognizing the following young individuals with the 2005 Nestlé Very Best In Youth Award. With representation from 14 states across the nation, these winners truly characterize the very best in America.

Alexa C., Griffin, GA - age 13 - Volunteered as a junior counselor at BlazeSports summer camp, a program that helps maximize the potential of children and adults with physical disabilities through sports.

Allyssa O., San Juan, TX - age 10 - Volunteered every morning at the school library to help students who struggle with reading.

Amy S., Woodbridge, CT - age 17 - Co-authored a book with her siblings entitled Our Dad Died. Ten percent of the book's proceeds are donated to Hospice By The Sea, a non-profit organization her father supported.

Arquavious G., Sunflower, MS - age 14 - Helped with the reconstruction of a learning center building in his community.

Arlene B., North Miami, FL - age 17 - Taught a group of eight- and nine-year-olds to read by using the Bible as their textbook.

David C., Simi Valley, CA - age 12 - Built five raptor perches to replace the natural perches destroyed by the Simi Valley wildfires in 2003.

Diana S., Phoenix, AZ - age 17 - Volunteered over 130 hours of service at the Arizona Science Center.

Elizabeth B., Tucson, AZ - age 16 - Presented chimpanzee research at professional organizations on the local, national and international level.

Eunice B., Lake Forest, IL - age 15 - Founder of Culture for Youth, a nonprofit organization that promotes tolerance by sharing knowledge of world cultures with children of all social and economic backgrounds.

Faith M., South Holland, IL - age 12 - Spends countless hours after school visiting local homeless shelters and teaching children how to read.

Jeffrey L., Gardnerville, NV - age 16 - Partnered with Waldenbooks to collect over 10,000 books for various pediatric hospital wards.

Joshua M., Parkland, FL - age 17 - Selected by Governor Jeb Bush to develop and implement reading/mentoring programs in elementary schools in his community.

Karissa G., San Juan, TX - age 12 - Assembled goodie bags for American troops stationed in Iraq.

Leah A., Staten Island, NY - age 13 - Tutored a dyslexic neighbor in reading once a week.

Logan S., Joplin, MO - age 16 - Creator of the "Canned Heat" project, a recycling program designed to help pay families' heating bills.

Margaret M., McComb, MS - age 13 - Promoted literacy in the community by collecting children's books and magazines and placing them in strategic locations, such as laundromats and doctors' offices.

Micaela W., Fort Worth, TX - age 17 - Staged dance performances for residents of nursing homes and Cooks Children's Hospital.

Michael D., P.J.S., NY - age 13 - Raised over $2,000 for Ride For Life, a non-profit organization created to raise public awareness of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.

Miranda W., Mexico, MO - age 15 - Sought donations from local businesses in order to sponsor a child in Ecuador for one year.

Nicholas M., Linwood, NJ - age 13 - Lived and volunteered on a Navajo Indian reservation for a week to learn more about their culture.

Patrick D., Linwood, NJ - age 12 - For his birthday, asked friends to give gifts to the children at Penn State Milton S. Hershey Medical Center instead of him.

Richard P., Baton Rouge, LA - age 17 - Volunteered as assistant coach of middle school math team and tutored fellow classmates in math and science courses.

Sarah L., Memphis, TN - age 17 - Founder of Make-A-Wish programs at her schools.

Stephanie U., Marlton, NJ - age 11 - Collected over 4,000 books for the Ronald McDonald House.

Tessa V., Columbia, MO - age 10 - Founded Euphoria, an organization that allows children to decide how to give back to the community.

"These children are simply amazing," said Ken Bentley, vice president of community affairs at Nestlé USA. "They have accomplished what takes others a lifetime to achieve and I can only imagine the important goals they will accomplish in the future. They are leaders, role models and an inspiration to us all.

In recognition of their accomplishments, winners will receive an all-expense paid, five-day trip to Los Angeles for an awards ceremony in July 2005 and $1,000 to donate to a charity of their choice. Winners will also be featured in the 2005 Nestlé Very Best In Youth book, which will be published in July 2005 and distributed to schools, libraries, community based organizations and members of Congress. For more information on how to obtain copies of the 2005 Nestlé Very Best In Youth book, write Nestlé USA, Community Affairs, 800 North Brand Blvd., Glendale, CA 91203.

Since its inception in 1997, Nestlé Very Best In Youth has honored more than 130 young people from around the nation, published four Nestlé Very Best In Youth books and donated more than $300,000 to support winner's charities. The Nestlé Very Best In Youth program was created to recognize and support responsible citizenship on the part of America's youth. It is promoted through a nationwide network of teachers, parents and community volunteers.

Founded in 1966, RIF works to build a literate nation by helping young people discover the joy of reading. RIF's highest priority is to serve the nation's underserved children and families through the development and delivery of literacy programs and campaigns that motivate youth to read regularly. Through a national, grassroots network of community volunteers at 25,000 RIF program sites, 5.1 million children are provided with 16.5 million new, free books and other essential literacy resources each year. For more information and to access reading resources, visit RIF's website at

Named one of " America's Most Admired Food Companies" in Fortune magazine for the eighth consecutive year, Nestlé USA provides quality brands and products that bring flavor to life every day. From nutritious meals with Stouffer's® Lean Cuisine® , to baking traditions with Nestlé® Toll House® , to advancing life for pets with Purina® , Nestlé USA makes delicious, convenient, and nutritious food and beverage products that enrich the very experience of life itself. That's what "Nestlé. Good Food, Good Life" is all about. Nestlé USA, with 2004 sales of $12.5 billion, includes Nestlé Brands Company, Nestlé Prepared Foods Company, Buitoni North America and Nestlé Purina PetCare Company. Nestlé USA is part of Nestlé S.A. in Vevey, Switzerland--the world's largest food company with sales of $69.9 billion. For product news and information, visit or

Editor's Note: To schedule interviews with the Nestlé Very Best In Youth, please contact Tiffany Cho at (206) 270-4653.

For more information, please contact:

Tiffany Cho Publicis Dialog
Phone: (206) 270-4653


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