Brad Levesque Youth Leadership Award
On May 25, 1996, Brad Levesque passed away after battling cancer for several years. Brad spent many of his teen years in foster care, all while fighting cancer. In his determination to not let cancer be his focus, Brad committed many of his years in care to help improve the lives of other teens in foster care.
Each year The Brad Levesque Youth Leadership Award will be given to a worthy youth or two in care who meet the criteria that Brad helped to develop…“Someone like me”, as Brad so aptly put it!
The recipient must be a youth in care between the ages of 15 and 21 who:
Demonstrate active volunteer capacity (i.e. community service, teen conference planning, etc.)
Are interested in pursuing education beyond high school
Maybe medically/physically challenged
May have resided in group/residential programs
May have participated in outdoor adventure programs
2019 Brad Levesque Youth Leadership Awardees
Julianna recently graduated from Presque Isle High School and will be attending the University of Maine at Orono (UMO) to study chemical engineering. Julianna has a motivation that is contagious and strives to give 100 % to her commitments. Julianna’s calendar is usually very full as she makes time for sports, work, friends, and her faith community. Julianna has natural leadership and organizational skills that she has used to voice her educational goals and her desire to contribute and support her family. Family is very important to Julianna, especially her siblings.
Julianna has been a strong member of the Aroostook YLAT group and participates in as many meetings as her schedule allows. Throughout Covid, Julianna had more time to participate in YLAT events. Julianna is passionate when it comes to educating the community and providers about the importance of sibling relationships and siblings achieving permanency together. Julianna has helped train new caseworkers and assisted in developing a video on empathy for 2021 Adoptive and Foster Families of Maine Conference. Her line, “I just want to give back to other youth in care” truly exemplifies her commitment to using her experiences for the betterment of others. Julianna has a desire to help youth realize no matter how rough things get, there is always something positive to hang on to.
Julianna plans to work at her current job serving ice cream, as well as be a counselor for a summer camp this summer. She loves the team aspect of both jobs. She is hoping to attend some of the UMO new-student hikes and events and is looking forward to hopefully joining the honors college. Julianna has shown resilience, compassion, excitement, and generosity to her community, and will only continue to shine in her next endeavors!
Genesis Edwards is an independent, strong young woman who has blossomed into an amazing young adult. She has worked hard over the years, through different placements and hurdles, and has achieved many milestones over the past year. Genesis sees what a bright future she has and reaches for it.
Genesis is responsible and motivated. Genesis joined YLAT in 2016 and attends YLAT events whenever she is able to participate; she is warm, smiling, and welcoming to those around her. When a new member joins Bangor YLAT, Genesis is the first to greet the young person with a big smile and welcome that creates an immediate sense of belonging for anyone new.
Genesis has earned her driver’s permit and is working on completing her driving hours. She has maintained employment throughout the pandemic, while also attending school full time. Genesis earned honor roll this year as well. And if that didn’t keep her busy enough, Genesis also volunteered at her church as a Sunday school teacher, providing care for the young children.
Genesis graduated from Old Town High School in June of 2021. She has been accepted to Kennebec Valley Community College (KVCC) where she will pursue a degree in Mental and Social Health Services while residing at the College Step-Up program. Genesis has a strong connection with her family and plans to maintain these important relationships as she balances work and college.
Genesis is kind, motivated, and a hard worker which will shine in her first year of college!
Past Brad Levesque Award Recipients:
2020: Natalie Watson-Todd & Michael Brickle · 2019: Tiffani Melia & Morgan Beals · 2018: Anna Chabot & Sophia Dunton · 2017: Jason Mulvey & Gianna Gaudet · 2016: Jacob Hills & Alexander Buzzell · 2015: Tia Knowlton-Basford & Isabelle Goodrich · 2014: Chrystal Inman & Kyle Snyder · 2013: Tyneshia Wright & Stephanie Gerard · 2012: Mariah Trimble-Smith & Casey Smith · 2011: Joshua Calcia · 2010: Sylvia Little & Shannon Jacobson · 2009: Victoria “Torry” Bernard · 2008: Vanessa Bridge & Paula Burrows · 2007: Chanthy Like · 2006: Kala Clark & Ashley Keiran · 2005: Johanna Rhodes & Brystle Noble · 2004: William Lane & Roxanne Carpentier · 2003: Edward Schnopp · 2002: Crystal Castro · 2001: Maria Gordon & John Rutterford · 2000: Jennie Hinckley · 1999: Christina Irvine · 1998: Jay Dymond · 1997: Corey McLaughlin · 1996: Leticia Jacques · 1995: Wayne Johnson · 1994: Brad Levesque