New Jersey – Kyle Bennison, a student at Hopewell Valley Central High School, is not your average 17-year-old. In recognition for his volunteer work with D2L’s Stewards of Children training, Bennison has been honored with a Certificate of Excellence from the Prudential Spirit of Community Awards in partnership with the National Association of Secondary School Principals, and with a President’s Volunteer Service Award granted by the program on behalf of President Barack Obama.
The Hopewell Valley YMCA nominated Bennison for national honors in the fall for his volunteer service. He launched a community-wide awareness and education initiative to promote Stewards of Children training. Bennison chose to launch local trainings as his Eagle badge project from the Boy Scouts of America. His project involved organizing and marketing eight training sessions throughout the Hopewell Valley. Thus far, 116 local adults have been trained using the Stewards of Children program. Three local volunteers have even become facilitators to deliver the trainings and more are pursuing facilitator status.
“Kyle had to work really hard to get it approved and had to overcome being rejected at first… He’s an amazing kid to have taken on something like this. It is not a typical project, it has long-term impact,” said Doug Pszczolkowski, CEO of the Hopewell Valley YMCA.
Throughout the next five years, Bennison’s initiative is projected to educate 5 percent of the local Hopewell Valley adult population.
Darkness to Light is very honored to have Kyle Bennison as an advocate and partner.