Each year the Treasure Valley Family YMCA invites high school students to apply for the Civic Engagement Scholarship as part of the organization’s commitment to youth development and social responsibility.
“Our team looks forward to these awards each year,” said David Duro, Treasure Valley Family YMCA President, and CEO. “Not only are we excited to change someone’s life with an investment in their futures, but our team is always inspired by the work of these outstanding young people. I am confident that these scholarships will provide amazing returns to society.”
Scholarships are possible thanks to a generous endowment fund from Ed and Dottie Stimpson designed to recognize the potential of young people to improve the world through civic engagement and civil discourse.
Applications are evaluated based on the local student’s dedication and passion for working collaboratively to find solutions to civic issues. Each year, scholarship judges learn about passionate students finding creative methods to address homelessness, access to healthcare, education, environmental sustainability, and more. Each must demonstrate an interest in pursuing civic work that will improve our community, whether as a career or volunteer. The Y was able to distribute $37,000 to help students with the next step of their educational journey.
Annai Aguilera Gonzalez, Caldwell High School
Annai foresees a future in which all people can have a voice in public affairs. To that end, she looks forward to pursuing a career that impacts public policy, focusing on community and global development. Annai has been a leader on her school’s student council and in the TRIO Upward Bound program. Leading one of only four pilot projects chosen across the nation called Rising Voices Clubs, she has elevated the stories of Caldwell High’s alumni to improve the school’s go-on rate. She goes beyond her own community, attending and presenting at professional conferences to promote substantive leadership and educational opportunities for young people.
Noted for creating warm and inclusive environments where differing viewpoints can be shared and respected, Annai will continue to be a force for civility, inclusivity, and strong community engagement. Annai will graduate from Caldwell High School and plans to attend the University of Idaho.
Audrey Ralphs, Renaissance High School
Growing up as a military child, Audrey has seen the world. Learning from these experiences, she notes that people with “differing perspectives can coexist and reach a compromise – confronting our differences makes us realize the similarities between our ambitions.”
As a community advocate, she seeks connection and understanding across different cultures to address community challenges. Ensuring others are heard and valued is integral to her approach for solving problems. She cites her recent work as the state’s community engagement director for March for Our Lives that has given her the opportunity to present a concurrent resolution this past legislative term, learning the give and take required in the political fray. When her efforts stall, Audrey draws on her resilience, knowing there will be more opportunities to achieve results that benefit everyone. Audrey will graduate from Renaissance High School and plans to attend Wellesley College.
Quinten Carney, Boise High School
While Quinten has a variety of accomplishments to his name, he can be best described as a policy wonk through and through. He has extensive experience for someone his age as a community advocate including testifying for a redistricting map after creating one of his own, a campaigner for several public office candidates, a page in the ID House of Representatives, and one of two state delegates to the US Youth Senate Program. He has the capacity to see barriers that others can easily overlook, and he brings ideas forward to address them.
Concerned about the way discord has negatively impacted the legislative process, he supports extending the olive branch as much as possible to keep the gears of progress moving. Quinten will graduate from Boise High and plans to attend Claremont McKenna College.
About the Scholarship Endowment Fund
Dottie and Ed Stimpson, longtime community volunteers and philanthropists, endowed the YMCA Civic Engagement Scholarship. The scholarship recognizes seniors of high schools located in the geographic area served by the Treasure Valley Family YMCA: Ada and Canyon Counties. Recipients of the scholarship have made significant contributions to their community through community service and have worked to improve the Treasure Valley through civic engagement and action. They demonstrate a passion for and dedication to working collaboratively to find solutions for civic issues (whether homelessness, healthcare, education, environment, etc.). In addition, they dedicate themselves to pursuing civic work (whether career or volunteer) that will strengthen and improve our communities. The award is also influenced by financial need.