Lehigh Valley Teens Recognized during TeenWorks Virtual Celebration

United Way of the Greater Lehigh Valley and our partners celebrated young people making a difference in our community at the TeenWorksTM Virtual Celebration, presented by Capital BlueCross, on Tuesday, March 9, 2021. The Celebration showcased how our union labor community and teens throughout the Lehigh Valley pulled together during unparalleled times to serve the evolving needs of our community. 

Powered by labor unions in collaboration with United Way, TeenWorks provides grants of up to $1,000 to teens and youth-based organizations to complete community service projects throughout the region.  

“TeenWorks recognizes and supports community service projects completed by local teens as they gain access to opportunities that develop and enhance their leadership skills,” said Dean Donaher, United Way Labor Liaison and Executive Director of TeenWorks. “To date, TeenWorks has funded over 500 projects with dollars exceeding $500,000 through United Way workplace campaign donations.” 

Organized and led by youth board members with the support of generous partners and sponsors, the TeenWorks Virtual Celebration announced the Cohen, Feeley, Altemose and Rambo scholarship winners and honored the recipients of the Labor Achievement, Zach Kraus Spirit of Service, TeenWorks Hero and Project of the Year awards. 

Mike Shupp, United Auto Workers Local 677 Vice President, receives the Labor Achievement Award.

The Labor Achievement Award, given to a person or organization that demonstrates support for the mission and vision of United Way of the Greater Lehigh Valley and TeenWorks during the 2020 campaign year, was presented to United Auto Workers Local 677 for graciously offering their building, as well as volunteer support, for the collection and distribution of toys for Roosevelt and Sheridan Elementary Schools in Allentown School District during the holiday season. They also generously donate the use of their grounds each year for the TeenWorks Summer Picnic. Mike Shupp, United Auto Workers Local 677 Vice President, received the award.  

Cameron Hines wins the Zach Kraus Spirit of Service Award

The Zach Kraus Spirit of Service Award, created in memory of Zachary Kraus for his dedication to helping others, was presented to Cameron Hines, a senior at Southern Lehigh High School and current Teen Chair of the TeenWorks Board of Directors. Cameron is dedicated to fostering a better community with his involvement and leadership in many service projects throughout the Lehigh Valley. Cameron taught a course for elementary school students with Northampton Community College’s Horizons and worked as a camp mentor at Camelot for Children. Additionally, he took part in the GoLEAD Leadership & Volunteer Initiative held at Penn State University’s Lehigh Valley campus, a program partially funded by TeenWorks and trained young people in our area on effective leadership strategies. Cameron will be attending Cornell University in the fall. 

Mike Ahern receives TeenWorks Hero Award

The TeenWorks Hero Award, awarded to an individual who demonstrates a commitment to the ideals and purpose of the TeenWorks mission—hard work, honesty and a commitment to giving back to their local community, was presented to Michael Ahern, Teenworks Board of Directors member. Michael has served as a dedicated member of the TeenWorks board for almost 10 years, serves on the Lehigh Valley Labor Council and is the Executive Vice President of his local union. He works hard to make both adult and teen members alike feel included and seen and is a strong force of love and unity in our local community.  

Treyton Messman receives TeenWorks Project of the Year

TeenWorks Project of the Year was presented to Moravian Academy high school student Treyton Messman. Treyton created his project through his Boy Scout troop and the efforts benefitted the Northeast Community Center (NECC). He first coordinated a food drive for the food bank at NECC and then upgraded the pantry by replacing all the shelving. Treyton’s family has been active in NECC events which led him to create and lead his own project that helps NECC and its community mission. 

TeenWorks Virtual Celebration also included keynote speakers Bill and Chris Hankee, creators of the Krysta Hankee Memorial Fund in honor of their late daughter that provides transportation for families traveling for medical care, provides leadership and community service scholarship to worthy students and promotes awareness of organ donor registration.