YLIA selected as finalist for Governor's Cup

Macon County's Young Leaders In Action group one of only four state finalists

Young Leaders In Action (YLIA) is one of four finalists for the 2020 Governor’s Cup, the top honor given from among a field of 24 Illinois communities that received Governor’s Hometown Awards earlier this month. YLIA, a youth-led initiative of The Community Foundation of Macon County and Rotary Club No. 180 of Decatur, seeks to bring positive change to Macon County through its service projects. YLIA members will next vie for the Governor’s Cup through virtual judging on April 12. The overall winner will be announced April 20.

Since 1983, the Governor’s Hometown Award​s program has given formal recognition to groups whose projects improved their community’s quality of life. Macon County previously won the Governor’s Hometown Award for the WSOY Community Food Drive (2017), and Decatur was named the top honoree for its Decatur Advantage campaign (1985).

Since last June, YLIA members served the community through several socially-distanced service projects set to the theme of Be the Change. The group contributed a total of more than 1,100 volunteer hours throughout the COVID-19 pandemic to meet emerging community needs, including leading two community impact days at the Decatur Aldi store. On those days, YLIA members surprised 150 Aldi shoppers with $50 gift cards during the store's special at-risk and senior shopping hours. The group also distributed food boxes to a total of 1,300 local families in June, August and October, and the students held several other local fundraisers and campaigns throughout the past year. (see attached list, next page).

YLIA members include more than 100 sophomore, junior and senior high school students from all 11 Macon County high schools and homeschooled students. Their facilitator, Dr. Jarmese Sherrod, has more than 20 years of experience in teaching, mentoring and empowering young people.

“My vision for the students who join Young Leaders in Action is simple – to help them discover their purpose, to awaken their passion and to inspire them to lead with a heart of service," Sherrod says.

For more information about the Governor’s Hometown Awards program, visit this link.

Questions about YLIA should be directed to Dr. Jarmese Sherrod at: JSherrod@maconcountygives.org or by calling 217.429.3000.