Youth Enrichment Services (YES) recently awarded its 2013 Abel Harris Scholarship Fund award to South End native Sara Wong. Sara, 18, participated in the YES Career Exploration Program in the spring of 2011 where she developed job skills to help her successfully enter the workforce. During her high school career, Sara also made time to give back to the Boston community by mentoring and volunteering at Head Start, a preschool program for low-income families. This scholarship is in memory of Abel Harris, a YES youth who tragically died in 1985 from gun violence.
The Abel Harris Scholarship Fund is now in its 25th year. The scholarship funds are raised by Abel's former employer, David Giammatteo, and friends to honor his memory. "Abel learned how to be a leader through his experience at YES and considered (YES Founder) Richard Williams to be his father figure," remembers Abel's friend, Laura Stone. "Abel always had a way of bringing diverse people together and putting people at ease."
The scholarship is a need-based award that is given annually to a current or former YES youth enrolled in college who embodies YES's core values of youth leadership, the positive power of mentoring, and a love of the outdoors. This year's recipient, Sara Wong, is currently a freshman at Boston College in Chestnut Hill, MA. She is a first-generation college bound student living on campus and is interested in sociology and human development.
About Youth Enrichment Services (YES)
Since 1968, YES has served, supported, and inspired over 100,000 Boston youth to develop as leaders and explore the great outdoors. YES’s programs focus on introducing inner-city youth to positive sports experiences and giving them exposure to unique leadership opportunities. In 2012, over 1,500 kids and teens participated in YES programs. Learn more about YES leadership programs and opportunities for urban youth by visiting www.yeskids.org.