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ISU Athletes Recognized for YSS Volunteer Service

Several Iowa State University student-athletes were recognized for their volunteer service to YSS at Iowa State’s annual O.S.C.A.R.S. (Outstanding Scholar-Athletes Celebrating Achievements & Recognition Showcase) on April 18 at Stephens Auditorium.

Gabe Kalscheur, YSS Ambassador and member of the ISU men’s basketball team, received an Innovation Spotlight Recognition for his impact at YSS during the past year. According to a press release from the ISU Athletics Department, the Innovation Spotlight “recognizes innovations and actions that student-athletes have taken to positively impact the lives of others during their time at Iowa State.”

Credit: Iowa State Athletics Department

“With new legislation around name, image, and likeness, Gabe Kalscheur embarked on an opportunity with YSS as the first-ever YSS Ambassador. The mission of YSS attracted Gabe to the organization as a way to use his platform and give back, serving as a positive role model to youth in our community,” said Morgan Kane, ISU student-athlete and presenter of the award. “This innovative idea, with Gabe’s genuine interest in supporting others, made an impact and legacy that truly changed lives.”

Kalscheur was announced as the first-ever YSS Ambassador in spring 2022. Since then, he has used his platform to elevate YSS’s mission and raise awareness for important topics such as mental health and substance use.

Over the course of the year, Kalscheur volunteered at the YSS summer supply drive, wrapped holiday gifts for the YSS Adopt-a-Family program, and visited the equine therapy ranch at YSS of Marshall County. Kalscheur took a special interest in the organization’s Ember Recovery program, which provides substance use disorder treatment for youth. He often visited the boys’ home in Ames, eating dinner with the teens and offering encouraging words.

Credit: Iowa State Athletics Department

“As a student-athlete, Gabe was balancing practices, games, traveling, and school. Yet he always found a way to fit YSS into his busy schedule,” said Andrew Allen, President & CEO of YSS. “It’s impossible to measure the impact he’s had on YSS, from serving as an inspiration to our youth to spreading awareness about the important work we do each day.”

Kalscheur wasn’t the only YSS volunteer recognized at the Cyclone O.S.C.A.R.S.

For the second consecutive year, Ruby Chou, a student-athlete on the ISU women’s golf team, was honored as the individual with the highest total volunteer hours. Ruby is one of YSS’s most dedicated volunteers, frequently visiting youth at Rosedale Shelter in Ames and helping at YSS’s Adopt-a-Family drop-off event in December.

The ISU swimming and diving team was presented the award for most service hours of any team, with 763 total volunteer hours. Much of that time was spent at YSS—eight athletes from the team serve as YSS Mentors, meeting weekly with their mentees at local elementary schools.

Additional ISU student-athletes were recognized for their service to YSS, from the ISU cross country/track and field team donating 150 pairs of shoes for YSS youth to the ISU football team serving meals at Iowa Homeless Youth Centers, a YSS organization in Des Moines. Watch the video to see more.

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