Over the course of a week, my middle daughter was recognized with awards in science and writing, marking the start of the spring awards season.
In the weeks that followed, all three of my daughters were recognized in different ways at a school awards banquet, a softball ceremony, graduation, and church reception.
As I reflected on the different awards events, I realized that I have a very weird relationship with awards. I believe in the importance of showing up, but the idea of participation trophies is something I am very uncomfortable with. For me, the recognition should be about what you do when you show up.
That is why I truly appreciate that the Thomas Academy awards were given to students in each subject area who were the most improved and those who had the best average. There were also scholarship presentations and special recognitions for other accomplishments.
All of this also got me to thinking about the youth cared for through the different services of Boys and Girls Homes of North Carolina. They don’t necessarily get awards or recognition in a tangible certificate or trophy for the hard work they are putting in every day.
For youth in our campus residential services program, they do receive acknowledgement as they move through the phases of the Waccamaw Way model of care. These include new privileges to go along with new responsibilities. Recently, we even had our first youth make it to phase five, allowing her to become a full ambassador on behalf of the organization.
Our Cottage Life Coaches also have an opportunity to reward youth by acknowledging their progress during daily check-ins. It is incredible to watch the impact of this kind of positive reinforcement build over time.
So during this end of academic and activity award season, take some time to think about the youth in care of BGHNC and the long-term rewards they are receiving thanks, in part, to supporters like you.
Melissa Hopkins is the Public Relations and Marketing Specialist for Boys and Girls Homes of North Carolina.