RICHMOND, Va. (WAVY) — Two awards for community service were given to an organization and an impressive youth, both with ties to Virginia Beach.

Gov. Glenn Youngkin announced on Nov. 14 the names of the 2023 Governor’s Volunteerism and Community Service Awards recipients, including two with connections to Virginia Beach.

The annual awards program highlights efforts of volunteers, organizations and their contributions to the Commonwealth.

“The resilience, generosity and commitment of these volunteers exemplify the best of Virginia,” Youngkin said, in a release. “It is my pleasure to recognize these honorees for the positive impact they have had in our Commonwealth and in the lives of their fellow Virginians. Each honoree has made an impressive impact in their community and made life better for Virginians.”

The Outstanding Youth Volunteer is Evan Nied. He is the founder of a nonprofit called Planting Shade, which has helped plant more than 13,000 trees through 10 local chapters in seven states, according to the website.

He is also the only teenager to receive the Human Rights Award from the city of Virginia Beach Human Rights Commission, according to Serve Virginia.

Nied succeeded in lobbying to change admission policies for Virginia Beach’s annual Neptune Festival business networking “Royal Court,” which allowed women to be included for the first time in 2022.

The Virginia Beach Medical Reserve Corps won recognition award for the Outstanding Community Organization category. The organization was established in 2002 and helps improve health and safety in the Virginia Beach community, according to Serve Virginia.

Between July 2022 and June 2023, 254 volunteers contributed around 4,500 hours to different events, including: vaccine clinics, back-to-school events, assisting at marathons with first aid and water distributions, etc.

These awards help recognize the efforts made by individuals and organizations that continue to serve Hampton Roads and the Commonwealth.

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