The Challenge Team Champions for Youth Breakfast honored Mountain View Police Chief Scott Vermeer as 2014 Champion for Youth and Mountain View High School student Lauren Burns as Youth Champion.
The annual event, held at Michaels at Shoreline May 7, is a fundraiser for the Challenge Team of Mountain View, Los Altos and Los Altos Hills.
Frederick Marx, Academy Award- and Emmy-nominated director and producer, served as keynote speaker.
According to Gay Krause, Challenge Team leader, the organization selected Vermeer because of his work with youth outside of his duties as police chief.
“Scott’s particular expertise includes community outreach, community policing, gang investigations and crimes against youth, which exemplifies what the Challenge Team is all about,” she said.
Krause added that Vermeer, a “clear choice” for recognition, received the largest majority of votes from Challenge Team members in the award’s history.
Mountain View High School Assistant Principal William Blair described Burns as “selfless, affable, unassuming and thoughtful” – the reasons she qualified as Youth Champion.
“In a variety of capacities, Lauren illustrates the ideal of ‘Service Before Self,’” Blair said.
Burns is editor-in-chief of the school’s yearbook, a member of the Spartan Buddies Club, a member of the Crittenden Middle School Outreach Program, a teacher’s aide for the Stretch to Kindergarten Program and a volunteer with the Amigos de las Américas program.
The Challenge Team is a community-based, nonprofit partnership comprising students, school districts, police departments, community organizations, parent groups and health service groups. Team members collaborate to prevent alcohol, tobacco and other drug-related problems, including gang activity. The Challenge Team received the Santa Clara County Humanitarian Award in 2010 from then-Supervisor Liz Kniss.