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.
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
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