Champions of Runaway and Homeless Youth Receive National Honors

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Virgin Mobile Receives Golden Pen Award

Representative Ruben Hinojosa and XM Radio Named "Champions of Youth"

National Network for Youth Symposium Presents Awards on Tuesday, January 29 at Omni Shoreham Hotel, Washington, DC

Washington, DC- National Network for Youth is proud to honor VIRGIN MOBILE with the Golden Pen Award in addition to REPRESENTATIVE RUBEN HINOJOSA and XM RADIO being recognized as Champions of Runaway and Homeless Youth. These awards honor those who use their mediums – whether communications, the political arena, or media- to further educate about the plight of Runaway and Homeless Youth

"Virgin Mobile has done an amazing job of raising the awareness level of Runaway and Homeless Youth in this past year," says Victoria Wagner, President and CEO of National Network for Youth. "Through their marketing efforts, the ReGeneration Campaign, and various partnerships, they have brought this issue to light in a way its never been seen before. We are so grateful for their dedication to youth."

Virgin Mobile has engaged this generation of youth to educate themselves about and be responsible for "their own". They hope to empower youth to make a difference by bringing together organizations that care about America's homeless children and connecting them with young people who want to help.

Representative Ruben Hinojosa is a tireless advocate working on behalf of runaway and homeless youth across the nation. His introduction of the Place to Call Home Act only served to illustrate his dedication to ending youth homelessness. Hinojosa has been quoted as stating: "It is incumbent upon all of us to build communities with the educational opportunities and support systems in place to help our youth become successful adults."

XM Radio will also be honored for their report on the Bob Edwards who featuring various voices and champions of runaway and homeless youth in a national arena.

All will receive their honors at the "Champions of Youth" dinner at the National Network for Youth's annual Symposium 2008: A Blueprint for the Future, on Tuesday, January 29, 2008, at 6:30PM at The Omni Shoreham Hotel, 2500 Calvert St, NW, Washington, DC.

National Network for Youth spokesperson, Chris "Kazi" Rolle, will present these awards. A former homeless youth, Kazi's changed his life at age 18 when he committed himself to youth issues through writing, working in schools and shelters, and finally creating the Hip Hop Project (hiphopproject.org), an award-winning artist development program. His life story is the focus of a feature-length documentary, "The Hip Hop Project," executive produced by Bruce Willis and Queen Latifah.

There are 2.5 million disconnected, unaccompanied and/or homeless youth in our country. Founded in 1975, National Network for Youth (www.nn4youth.org <http://www.nn4youth.org>) is a membership organization comprised of young people, youth-serving agencies, youth workers, and youth advocates. National Network members seek to ensure that all young people can be safe and lead healthy and productive lives.

For more information on Symposium, visit www.nn4youth.org <http://www.nn4youth.org>.

Other Honorees:

  • Lifetime Achievement Award- Mitch Weynand, LifeWorks, Austin, TX
  • Executive Leadership Award of Excellence - Jim Braun, Youth in Need, St. Louis
  • Agency of the Year Award- Green Chimneys- New York
  • Advocacy Spirit Award- Dee Richter – Florida Network of Youth Services, FL.
  • Youth Worker of the Year - Nidia Escobar- Children's Hospital, Los Angeles
  • Youth Worker of the Year- Shari McPeek – Family Resources, Inc., Pinellas County, FL.
Contact: 

Tara James
National Network for Youth
206.686.5615 / tjames@nn4youth.org

###