Youth Leadership Award Winner

Monte Mesidor

Programs: Emergency Bed Program, Street Outreach, and Counseling

Aside from not having a positive family or peer support, the crises in Monte’s young life have been the motivation to keep him moving forward. As a role model for other youth, he is quick to offer a light-hearted joke, an encouraging word, or a reminder for them not to give up, but to stay focused on their goals.


Achievement Award Winner

Olivia Gehling

Programs: Healthy Futures and Baby, Bump, and Beyond

Parenting can be a challenge within itself, however being a teen parent adds another dimension of difficulties. Olivia’s commitment to strive to be the best parent that she can be to her daughter shows strength and innovation.




Achievement Award Winner

Quintin Chumbley

Programs: Emergency Bed Program and Counseling

Having been recently incarcerated with nowhere else to stay, Quintin found himself at the door of YSS Iowa Homeless Youth Centers. Only two months into the program, he was working full-time and able to afford a place of his own, making significant improvements in his mental health and financial situation.



Achievement Award Winner

Makenzey Hanson

Story County Youth Advisory Board Member
Programs: Transitional Living Program and Mental Health Therapy

“A lot of people assume that homelessness is like those people who have been on the streets in New York forever, the ones who push along shopping carts and sleep behind dumpsters. But in reality there are so many cases of homelessness. And it’s much more than what people see in movies. I may not have had an extreme case in most people’s eyes, but I was living dangerously every day. I’m grateful I found safety through YSS. I’m grateful for all of the people who have helped me.”- Makenzey Hanson


Perseverance Award Winner

Shalee McCullough

Program: Aftercare

Becoming pregnant early in the Aftercare program, Shalee was faced with many challenges that showed her values, strength, and determination. She embodies resilience, great achievement, leadership, and overcomes obstacles while upholding strength in character.



Perseverance Award Winner

Elmer Garcia

Program: Aftercare

On a roller-coaster transitioning from foster care into adulthood, Elmer faced issues with depression. After participating in the Aftercare program, his focus on goals and learning life skills steered him on a positive path, and is now a role model to others and gives back to his community.

“YSS has helped me build a strong foundation for the person I am molding myself into, the person I need to be.” – Elmer Garcia

Rose McCay Award Winner

Tyana Harris

Programs: Rosedale Shelter, Aftercare, and Mental Health Therapy

Through hardships and battling depression, Tyana was able to find gratitude and reasons to care for herself in times of true adversity. As a kind-hearted, caring individual, her “can-do” spirit proved she is capable of believing in herself even when faced with crisis, and has overcome obstacles that show true innovation.



Dale McCay Award Winner

Thomas Schilling

Program: Aftercare

Having faced many adversities, hardships, challenges, and setbacks, Thomas’ story is that of great resilience. He paved his own way to a better future for himself while having a positive impact on the lives of those around him.