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YSS Youth Honored at 2022 McCay Awards

YSS honored inspiring youth the 2022 McCay Awards on July 13 at Reiman Gardens in Ames.

The annual event recognizes youth and young adults who have overcome obstacles and adversity with the help of YSS programs. The awards are in honor and memory of Rose and Dale McCay, through an endowment established by their children.

In his opening remarks to the audience, YSS President & CEO Andrew Allen said, “As you think about all that’s going wrong in the world today—all the pain and desperation, the trauma and heartache—I’m hopeful this event will renew your sense of hope for the next generation.”

The following award winners were honored:

  • Dale McCay Award: Shianne Streeter
  • Rose McCay Award: Arminta Damken-Navarro
  • Perseverance Awards: Kayleigh Benda and Anonymous
  • Achievement Awards: Jozalynn Conkrite and Anonymous
  • Youth Leadership Awards: Noah Davidson and Oscar Flores

Rose and Dale McCay were involved with YSS since its inception. Dale was a founding board member when George Belitsos established Youth & Shelter Services in 1976. The couple later made a generous donation that allowed YSS to pay off the mortgage for the Shelter House, Iowa’s first-ever youth shelter. The facility was subsequently renamed the “Rosedale Shelter” in their honor and continues to provide a safe place for adolescents to this day.

“The McCay family has donated both time and resources for decades and left a lasting impression on the staff and youth whose lives they touched,” Allen said.

YSS staff introduced each award winner and talked about their resilience, dedication, and accomplishments. Many of the award winners shared their touching stories and thanked the people who supported them along the way.

Robert Knight of the YSS Corporate Board of Directors gave closing remarks. The event was attended by YSS supporters, staff, and community members, along with the award winners and their families.

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