Bill Nye is a man with a mission: to foster a scientifically literate society by helping people everywhere understand and appreciate the science that makes our world work. Nye has spent the past 20 years educating students young and old about science and understands the importance of keeping minds active after the last school bell rings. “Learning can happen anywhere and at anytime – the important thing is that it should never stop,” Nye said. “We’ve put together fun, free and easy activities that will make this the summer of learning versus the summer filled with the dreaded words ‘I’m bored.’ ” AN EARLY KNACK FOR HOW THINGS WORK Making science entertaining and accessible is something Bill has done most of his life. Growing up in Washington, D.C., he spent afternoons and summers de-mystifying math for his classmates. While working for Boeing in Seattle, Bill combined his love of science with his flair for comedy. After winning a Steve Martin look-alike contest, he became an engineer by day and a stand-up comic by night. Eventually, Bill made the transition to comedy writer and performer on Seattle’s home-grown ensemble comedy show “Almost Live.” This is where “Bill Nye the Science Guy®” was born. The 18-time Emmy Award-winning show appeared before Saturday Night Live and later on Comedy Central. During this time, he also wrote five kids’ books about science, including his latest title, “Bill Nye’s Great Big Book of Tiny Germs.” BROADENING HIS MISSION Bill’s passion for math and science translated into a love of space. His role as CEO of The Planetary Society, the world’s large space interest organization, has taken him across the globe. And one thing Bill is very proud of is the MarsDials, two sundials on residing on Mars he created with Cornell scientists. America’s favorite stand-up scientist hasn’t changed much from that kid growing up in Washington, DC. He still rides his bike to work. He’ll pull out his Periodic Table of the Elements from his wallet. And his drive for helping others understand science is as strong as ever.
In 1993, Stephanie A. Walker, a career communications strategist, developed THE ANNUAL YOUTH ACHIEVEMENT AWARDS. The primary purpose of the program was to motivate American youth, recognize their achievements, and to raise national awareness on a broad range of issues that negatively impacted American youth. In September 1993, she secured the legal services of Epstein, Becker and Greene, a Washington, DC-based law firm, and incorporated Youth Achievers USA, Inc., a Maryland Corporation. In 1994, through the partnership efforts of POWERS Coalition, Inc., a 501c3 corporation in Virginia, Ms. Walker joined forces with Spencer Bartley, Dr. Susan H. Wilson, retired U.S. Marine, Eric Stradford, Stellar Award winning Gospel Music Artist, Rev. Donald Vails, the National Association of Urban Bankers, veteran public relations strategist Ofield Dukes, and the Black Public Relations Society of Washington, DC to launch THE ANNUAL YOUTH ACHIEVEMENT AWARDS. 1996 On September 8, 1996 Youth Achievers USA, Inc., a Maryland 501c3 corporation, presented THE ANNUAL YOUTH ACHIEVEMENT AWARDS Gala event. The event was held at the historic Shoreham Hotel, Washington, DC as a component of the Urban Bankers Summit 2000 event. Ten youth from Maryland, Washington, DC and Virginia were honored for a “vision of the future” in one of 20 categories recorded on their entry applications. Each winner had identified a caring adult mentor. Each winner had written their goals in seven areas of human development. Each winner had raised a “whole village” of 20 caring adults. Prizes included a visit with Dr. Maya Angelou, summer internships at OAO Corporation of MD, and complimentary tickets to area attractions. Motivators Les Brown and Spencer Bartley, Rev. Donald Vails, The Capital City Youth Choir, Largo High School Stage Band, and the Kente character from Thandi’s Place inspired nearly 350 winners and supporters. Who were the winners? Where are they today? What are they doing? What can “The Corporate Village” do to add value to our community assets where they live, learn, work or worship? www.youthusa.org/winners.htm 1. Kristen C. Simpson 2. Christopher Adams 3. John Bonds 4. Michele Webb 5. Courtney LeGrande 6. Lia Patterson 7. Linda Robinson 8. Thandika Hicks-Harper 9. Rick Hart, Jr. 10. Carmela Bolding 1997 On September 7, 1997, Youth Achievers USA, Inc. expanded its partnership to include The J.D. and Laurena Walker Foundation of Philadelphia. THE ANNUAL YOUTH AC