- Published on Tuesday, 14 May 2002 20:36
- Written by Clyde Noel - Town Crier Correspondent
The Mountain View-Los Altos-Los Altos Hills Challenge Team supports and creates programs to help youth make positive decisions and live healthy lives. That theme came forward loud and clear at the team's 2002 Champions for Youth benefit breakfast last Thursday.
Dick Liewer, in his final year as associate superintendent of curriculum in the Los Altos School District, and Brother Sam Robin, Saint Francis High School teacher, were the recipients of the Challenge Team 2002 Champions for Youth Awards.
The Challenge Team is a community-based, non-profit partnership of community organizations which collaborate to prevent alcohol, tobacco and other drug-related problems in our community. The Challenge Team believes in working together to make a difference for youth and for the health and productivity of the community.
Keynote speaker Brother Steve Johnson, co-director of the Graduate School of Education, Santa Clara University, spoke about "Raising an Ethical Adolescent." Johnson coordinates several community projects, training professionals who work with delinquent and troubled youth and developing gang intervention programs.
"We have a challenge in developing character in today's youth," Johnson said, "Character is who you are today after you overcome the sum of a person's virtues and vices, and what you will be tomorrow."
Johnson provided five key positive behavior patterns that parents should adhere to with growing youth: have a daily conversation with your child; always know where your child is by monitoring or checking; know your child's friends and use peers as a source of influence; reinforce desired behavior in a consistent manner; and sanction undesired behavior in a way that is firm, fair and consistent.
Marge Gratiot, superintendent of Los Altos School District, presented the youth award to Liewer.
"Dick is a treasure for all our children," Gratiot said. "He is leaving the school district next month and we will all miss him dearly. After all these years with Dick, it's like a friendly marriage, but now we will be divorced, but I keep all the kids."
Kevin Makley, president of Saint Francis High School, presented Robin's award.
"Sam committed his life to youth and has been an outstanding role model for 13 years at Saint Francis high School, " Makley said. "He not only talks the talk, but walks the walk. He wants youth to be drug free, and adhere to the values of respect of self and respect of others."
Gay Krause, chairperson of champions for youth, was given an award for organizing the program.