Every year the Club contacts all of the private and public high schools in the community for their nominations for our Youth Appreciation program. We recognize those youth for their efforts in the arts, athletics, academics and community service work. Youth Appreciation is the perfect opportunity for Optimists to make a difference in their community and demonstrate the Optimists’ commitment to young people. This program is intended to make children feel important and highlight their positive contributions to society. Since 1956, this program has given us the occasion to work with youth toward the common goals of education, career development, physical well-being and community service.
Youth Appreciation is designed to encourage a greater exchange of ideas between young people and adults. It offers us the opportunity to make a community impact by holding one or more worthwhile, fun events that involve both adults and children.
Student nominees will then be invited to an Optimist Luncheon with their parents and counselors where their accomplishments will be noted and certificates will be presented by President Gil Heth. Students are also invited to a meeting of the Riverside City Council on April 25th where their contributions will be recognized by Mayor Rusty Bailey in a City Proclamation.
These young people learn that their efforts are appreciated and well-noted. They therefore serve as models for their fellow students whom we hope are inspired toward similar goals by working together with their school and community to accomplish worthwhile ends.