The New Jersey YMCA State Alliance recently held its 18th Annual Recognition Celebration to highlight YMCA initiatives and recognize individuals who have demonstrated leadership and support for New Jersey YMCAs in one of the Y’s three focus areas: Youth Development, Healthy Living, and Social Responsibility. Williams Babalola, a Frost Valley YMCA Counselor in Training (CiT) program participant, was one of the individuals recognized at the ceremony on October 15, 2018.
The evening honored 25 teens who give back to their neighbors and local communities by volunteering through the YMCA. Helping young people to understand the importance of service to others is at the core of the New Jersey YMCA State Alliance’s mission.
Williams Babalola, a Frost Valley CiT, was among those honored that evening with the NJ YMCA State Alliance Youth Volunteer of the Year award. During his time as a CiT at Frost Valley, Williams took part in an extensive trail-clearing project. Additionally, Williams helps run events for his high school and serves in his church by cleaning the facilities and handing out the Holy Communion.
“The thing I’m most proud of is the time I’ve spent at Frost Valley,” says Williams. “Even when I wasn’t a CiT, there was always something about that place that encouraged me to do more and it’s thanks to Frost Valley that I am who I am today.”
Also given out that evening were the Social Responsibility Champion Award, which was presented to John McManus for his dedication to giving back and providing support to his neighbors and the Martin Bartner Award, which was presented to Gloria Ron-Fornes for her leadership in promoting the Y’s core values of diversity and inclusion.