Founded in 1996, Youth Service America improves communities by increasing the number and the diversity of young people, ages 5-25, serving in substantive roles. YSA also supports a global culture of engaged youth committed to a lifetime of service, learning, leadership, and achievement.
Here’s what Youth Service America had to say:
“YSA recognizes fourteen year old Matthew Ryan McNeill from Wilmington, Delaware, as one of our Everyday Young Heroes for his volunteer efforts to promote youth literacy in his community.
Matthew has served as a volunteer with the literacy organization Success Won’t Wait for over eight years, helping with book drives, stocking new libraries and distributing books to children, as well as leading numerous volunteer projects of his own. Most recently, he took charge of donations for the Summer Reading Program, a literacy program of the Delaware state library system. Kids sign up at their local library and read a certain number of hours to earn a free book. But recent budget cuts mean that programs like this are in real danger. This spring, he spent hours in the Success Won’t Wait warehouse sorting through thousands of brand new books donated by various children’s book publishers. He chose approximately 100 books for each library in the state, providing each one with as many different titles as possible, so that the children participating in the program would have a wide range of options when it was their turn to choose a book. Every year, the donation is made in memory of a “friend” of Success Won’t Wait. Matt chose to make his 2010 donation in memory of a 13-year-old classmate who tragically succumbed to cancer in the fall. Matt also helped donate 750 books to the annual Toys for Tots drive in his community last Christmas, providing needy children with presents on Christmas morning.
For his dedication to providing support for literacy programs and desire to foster a love of reading amongst kids in his community, we honor Matthew as an Everyday Young Hero.
To nominate a young person who has improved their community through service to be recognized as an Everyday Young Hero, please visit www.ysa.org/awards/hero“