Youth Citizen of the Year picked

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, March 7, 2007

By Sarah Light, staff writer

Volunteers can make a difference.

That&8217;s what Albert Lea family YMCA staff said about one individual who was recently selected as the 2006 Youth Citizen of the Year.

Email newsletter signup

The individual &8212; Corey Dieser, an Albert Lea High School senior &8212; has been a prominent volunteer at the YMCA and seemed like &8220;an obvious choice&8221; for the award, said Rachael Sturtz, youth program director.

&8220;When we really got down to it, we felt like Corey really exemplified the meaning of what a volunteer should be,&8221; Sturtz said. &8220;We knew we could always count on him. I work with a lot of our youth programs, and Corey is probably the most prominent volunteer that we have.&8221;

He not only played sports in the community himself, but also took out time from his busy schedule to coach youth teams at the YMCA. He has been volunteering since he was in seventh or eighth grade, he said.

Dieser was notified of his award at the YMCA&8217;s annual meeting in January. As part of the award, he was presented with a certificate and a small gift. He is now also eligible to apply for

a $300 scholarship offered through the YMCA.

&8220;It definitely was a surprise,&8221; Dieser said.

He was selected out of six or seven other individuals, but just stuck out as the clear winner, Sturtz said.

In addition to playing his own sports at the high school level, Dieser takes the time out to coach several sports at the YMCA.

&8220;It&8217;s just fun seeing the kids improve in their skills and knowing that I was a part of that,&8221;

Dieser said.

His father &8212; Dennis Dieser, executive director of the Albert Lea family YMCA &8212; said the contest has been done now for at least 15 years.

To be considered for the recognition, the student is required to put in significant hours of volunteering.

&8220;He&8217;s put in endless hours in the youth sports program for us out here,&8221; his father said. &8220;Corey really got and understood what volunteering was. Just anywhere where he can help so

&8212; Just anywhere he can, he&8217;s always stepping in to help.&8221;

The YMCA staff began to make their final decisions for last year in December and announced the results Jan. 30. at its annual meeting.

&8220;The Y has been lucky to have this individual working within its programming,&8221; Stultz said of Dieser.