October 2013 – FSW is pleased to announce that Nina Joung, a member of the Westchester County Senior Youth Council, has been awarded a 2013 Milly Kibrick Youth Service Award from the Westchester County Youth Bureau. Nina, a Senior at Ardsley High School, has been a dedicated teen leader in the Senior Youth Council since 2011. As a Youth Council member she has demonstrated tremendous strength and skill as an advocate for youth issues. She swiftly became a strong leader within the Senior Youth Council and led a spectrum of community projects including creating and presenting educational workshops for other teens. Ninas interests range from poverty to media to body image to sexual violence awareness. She is an outspoken advocate for these and many other youth issues. In 2012, Nina led an original workshop on the topic of Media and Body Image which she presented at the Westchester County Youth Councils 2012 Youth Action Convention, an youth leadership event that convened over 100 Westchester middle school and high school youth. In 2013, Nina took on an even more instrumental role in organizing and leading the Youth Action Training which expanded from one to two days of leadership and advocacy programming for Westchester teens. In this training she led a workshop on media literacy for young leaders. Ninas workshops were expertly facilitated and encourage the development of self-esteem and critical thinking.
In addition to her empowering workshops, Nina was also the WCYC Project Leader for two Youth Council initiatives: Denim Day and Girltopia. Girltopia was an event organized by the Sharing Shelf (another FSW program). Spring clothing for teen girls was collected and Nina spent the day organizing and distributing the clothes to teen girls in need. She used this opportunity to motivate another Youth Council member to volunteer alongside her. Denim Day is day recognizing systemic injustice experienced by sexual violence survivors and the need for increased awareness and sexual assault prevention. On Denim Day, participants wear jean and denim pins in remembrance of a teen in Rome who was raped by her driving instructor who threatened to murder her if she told anyone. Courageously, she chose to press charges. The Italian Supreme court overturned the conviction in 1998 because the victim wore tight jeans. It was argued that she must have helped her attacker remove her jeans, thus making the act consensual. Wearing jeans and pins on this day created the opportunity for participants to share this story and open up a dialogue about sexual violence and the need for justice for survivors. Nina organized this project, communicating with peers, creating a poster, and leading discussion on the topic.
Nina frequently co-facilitates Youth Council meetings, mentors new members, and greatly contributes to the groups energy and passion for civic engagement. Even within this group of incredible young people, Nina stands out as an exceptionally bright, motivated, and articulate young leader. She is a young woman who is characterized by determination, a passion for learning, empathy, intelligence and critical thinking.
The Milly Kibrick Youth Service Awards are given in memory of Milly Kibrick, a prominent county social worker and youth activist, who dedicated her life to helping underprivileged children. The aim of the Youth Bureaus awards program is to recognize high school seniors of the Class of 2014 who have been involved in building a flourishing, strong and compassionate community through individual efforts and actions.