EVANSTON — The local NextGen Mentoring program held its 2022 Awards ceremony in the Strand Theatre on July 21. The program began with a buffet dinner for the mentors and mentees.
Disability IN:Uinta County chair David Benton began the program by welcoming guests and families.
“What is mentoring?” Benton asked. “It is providing a caring and positive relationship with a youth. Studies have shown that youth who have a positive mentor do better with academics, are less likely to skip school, and are less likely to be involved with drugs.”
A film was then shown prepared by NextGen Mentoring Program Coordinator Bethany Shidler. The film included photos of events and activities the members of the mentoring program had attended and interviews with 2022 Mentor of the Year Shawn Ungerman and the 2022 Match of the Year, Johnathan Kunz and Matthew Williams.
Following the film, Shidler invited the mentees to the stage to receive a certificate of their participation in the program, as board treasurer Lisa Pearson read their names.
Those receiving certificates of completion for the year 2022 were: Victor Byrd, Rilee Anderson, Piper Lacy, Paige Lacy, Madajah Ries, Katie Anderson, Julian Delgadillo, Breyer Faddis, Johnathan Kunz and RJ Sherwood.
Pearson then read the names of the 2022 mentors as Shidler presented each with their certificate. Those receiving certificates were: Shelley Piiparien, Matt Williams, David Russell, Dan Shidler, Jenny Saxton and Shawn Ungerman.
Pearson asked Ungerman to come back up on the stage to receive a T-shirt and a miniature replica of an Academy Award, or Oscar, presented to him by the 2021 winner, David Russell.
2021 Mentee of the year, Julian Delgadillo presented the 2022 Mentee of the Year Award to RJ Sherwood.
The last award for the evening was for the 2022 Match of the Year. Shelley Piiparien and Madajah Ries, the 2021 Match of the Year, presented the 2022 Match of the Year award to Matt Williams and Johnathan Kunz.
Closing out the evening’s events, Shidler had her husband, Dan Shidler, join her on stage as she explained who provided the model for the miniature Oscars and who the two large Oscars displayed on stage belonged to.
“Dan’s grandfather, Walter M. Scott, was the set director for 20th Century Fox from the 1940s through the 1970s,” Bethany Shidler said. “He was nominated for 21 Oscars and received 6 Oscar Awards. He received the second most Oscars [during that time], Walt Disney having received the most. Scott received Oscars for “Hello Dolly,” “The King and I,” “Diary of Anne Frank,” “Fantastic Voyage,” “Cleopatra,” and “The Robe.” He worked on over 280 films.”
The evening ended with Shidler announcing the winners of the silent auction items donated by local businesses.