Shining Light Scholarship Winner: Sean Wilson

Volunteers make up half of our mission at Youth Challenge. They are the heart and soul of YC, and we would not have such a positive impact without them!

Shining Light, started by Dan & Lisa Puthoff, is an organization that supports missions like YC’s, and for nine years now they have been awarding a one-time $2,000 college scholarship to a YC volunteer who’s shown proven dedication to YC’s participants and mission as well as a commitment to serving others throughout college and beyond. To be eligible for consideration, a volunteer must have given at least 100 hours and two years of service to Youth Challenge and submit written responses and a letter of support from someone outside of YC familiar with their passion for helping others. The scholarship winner is chosen by a Selection Committee comprised of friends of Youth Challenge.

We are thrilled to share that the winner of this year’s scholarship is SEAN WILSON!

Sean has been a volunteer with Youth Challenge since the Winter of 2021 and has given over 135 hours of service. He has helped with countless programs—from YELP Peer Support, Boccia, and Wheelchair Basketball to Lego League, Mini Camp, Ceramics, and the March for Access. He has been a member of YC’s Volunteer Committee, assisted at our Topgolf event with a YC participant, been recognized as a Volunteer of the Week, and landed among our Top 10 Volunteers of the Year. He has been a great support to our participants from the Mini Camp age range all the way up to being involved with our Alumni crew, has been an incredible leader and role model, and is a kind and compassionate young man! We have been lucky to have Sean on Team YC over the years!

“YC revealed to me that building trust is a vital part of human connection,” he shared. “It is necessary to look past initial judgments and form a relationship on a personal level. Too often individuals do not consider what is not easily seen; to them, outward appearances are indicative enough of someone’s character. However, YC embodies diversity and inclusion, allowing both participants and volunteers to become more comfortable with themselves and each other.”

A recent graduate of Avon High School, Sean will soon be attending Case Western Reserve University to major in Biology on a Pre-Medical Track.

“Volunteering at Youth Challenge revealed what the combination of medicine and the unyielding determination of kids can accomplish.” He explained that “Experiencing the impact physicians have not just on physical health, but on other aspects of a person’s life is powerful. The fulfillment one must gain from helping these kids succeed and seeing them smile is one factor that motivates me to become a physician.”

Like many YC Volunteers, Sean understands the benefits of being able to volunteer at YC.

“Each time a staff member or participant thanked me after a program, I would think to myself that I should be the one thanking them, as YC has given me more than I could ever repay.”

We feel so grateful for your service, support, and dedication to YC, Sean! Thank you for the years of love you have given to us! Congratulations on this honor and keep SHINING YOUR LIGHT to others!


Sean and James make a tasty treat together at Kitchen Showdown.
Sean and Andrew team up on an art project at Ceramics.