Shrewsbury, NJ – Two local teens were recognized for their volunteer efforts by the New Jersey YMCA State Alliance, at the annual Dinner for Volunteer Recognition on October 2.  The dinner was held at Forsgate Country Club in Monroe, and brought together local legislators, community members, and YMCA staff to recognize the efforts of public policy makers and volunteers of the 41 YMCAs from across the state.

Christina Froelich, 16, a junior at Middletown High School South, is an active member of The Community YMCA. She has been a participant in both Model United Nations and Youth & Government for five years, starting in 7th grade as an envoy at Thompson Middle School. Christina is now serving as the vice president of the Middletown chapter of Model United Nations and will be acting as a moderator for the Nation Building Committee at the Model UN Conference this January. She notes that both Model United Nations and Youth & Government have given her so much that she is eager to give back. Accordingly, she has been an active fundraiser for The Community YMCA’s Annual Campaign, participating in the gift wrapping, phoneathon and pancake breakfast fundraisers.

Ariana Atkinson,13, has been a member of the YMCA of Western Monmouth County for eight years. She attends Eisenhower Middle School in Freehold. In January, she organized a book donation for the Child Care Center, and spent one afternoon per week reading to the children. Over the summer she organized, planned and ran an Arts & Crafts Program for two camp groups each day, in addition to running a soccer program one day per week. Ariana is working on her Silver Girl Scout Award, and is involved in karate and soccer.

“We are so proud of the hard work and dedication of our students,” said The Community YMCA President and CEO Rhonda Anderson. “It is a testament that the Y helps build strong character and sense of commitment that these young people will carry with them for the rest of their lives,” she said.

Cynthia Joy, President and CEO of the YMCA of Western Monmouth County, said “The Y offers so much more to kids than just a place to swim and work out. All the students recognized set a great example of our philosophy of volunteering and giving back to our communities.”

The New Jersey YMCA State Alliance collaborates and works together on areas of mutual benefit in order to strengthen and enhance individual YMCAs and the collective strength of NJ YMCAs to better serve all people of New Jersey.