Source: NorthFulton.com

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Milton mother/son leadership program logs 5,500 volunteer hours
Holds award ceremony

by Carolyn Ridder Aspenson

May 26, 2014

The Presidential Service Award winners of the Milton Young Men’s Service League are, from left, Taylor Zubek (junior, Milton High), Nick Wilson (junior, Milton High), Jake English (junior, Milton High), Austin Bradley (junior, Cambridge High), Michelle Boyea, president, Michael Boyea (junior, Cambridge High), Jackson Boyea (freshman, Cambridge High), Jacob Gavilanez (sophomore, Milton High), Zach Hirschler (sophomore, Cambridge High) and Matthew Gavilanez (freshman, Milton High).
MILTON, Ga.—The Milton chapter of the Young Men's Service League ended the 2013-2014 school year with 5,500 hours of community service.

Founded in 2001 by Texas sisters Pam and Julie Rosener, the Young Men's Service League is a national organization of mothers and their high school-aged sons who work together to support those in need through philanthropy, education and leadership opportunities.

Michelle Boyea, chapter president, said the Milton chapter formed in 2011 and has over 226 members.

"The mother and son duos start when the son is a freshman and continue through their senior year," Boyea said. "This is the first year we've had all four classes of the school involved."

Boyea said the league logged volunteer hours with 15 different agencies, including the Atlanta Canine Adoption Project, the Child Development Association, Milton's Earth Day celebration and Meals on Wheels.

"We work with several different agencies because they all need and appreciate volunteers and in doing so, our program and our group of young men benefit from the experience," she said.

Mothers and sons were able to volunteer together or apart.

"Many of our opportunities included the mothers and sons volunteering together but through all of the opportunities, whether they volunteered together or separately, we were able to enrich the lives of others as well as provide supplies and items to people in need," she said.

Members supplied school supplies for kindergartners, held clothing drives for teens in need and found homes for abandoned dogs.

"Each opportunity to volunteer has an incredibly powerful impact on the boys and their mothers," Boyea said.

The Milton chapter celebrated this year's success with a banquet, held May 4, at the Metropolitan Club in Alpharetta.

"Our featured guest speaker was Shaun Verma," Boyea said. "And we were honored to have him talk with our group."

Verma, a recent Milton graduate, started MD Junior, a nonprofit leadership society focused on inspiring selfless service through mentorship.

"He's done such an incredible job with MD Junior and is truly an inspiration to young men today," she said. "He spoke to our members about leadership and service and told us about his experience."

Five boys received the league's "top dog" award for number of hours served.

"Collectively, these boys served over 222 hours during the 2013-2014 school year," Boyea said.

Presidential Volunteer Service Awards were given to 13 members for their lifetime commitment to service and volunteer hours.

Cheri Morgan and her son Austin Bradley received awards for their volunteer efforts.

Morgan said the experience was beneficial to them both.

"We both realize how lucky my son is to be able to walk and talk and have things other people don't," she said.

Morgan said her son has a better understanding of community service and what an impact it can make on others' lives.

"We're proud of every boy involved in our program," Boyea said. "They did an amazing job this year."

MH 05-28-14