For her unwavering commitment to kindness instead of bullying, the Lakes Area Youth Service Bureau (LAYSB) has chosen Forest Lake High School senior Haleigh Gulden as the recipient of the 2012 “On Behalf of Youth” award.”
A ceremony will be held on Wednesday, May 29, with a dessert reception at 6:30 p.m. and a short program at 7, at the LAYSB office, 244 N. Lake St. in Forest Lake.
All are encouraged to attend to honor Gulden for her commitment to youth in the community.
“I am so honored that you chose me,” Gulden said, “but I would not be receiving this award—or be who I am today—if not for the Forest Lake administrative staff, the kindness they have shown along with the opportunities they have given me.”
Haleigh is the daughter of Anne and Tim Gulden.
School Board member Gail Theisen nominated Gulden to recognize her dedication to the district’s diversity committee and A-Ok/Olweus Anti-Bullying Group.
As the co-founder of the A-OK, Gulden was involved with creating the logo and developing activities to promote a healthy, safe atmosphere at the school.
“I thank her for her efforts in combating bullying and bringing awareness to our school and community,” Theisen said.
Gulden also participates in SADD, Link, Open Minds Club, Rangers Care and school fundraisers. She is president of Rotary Interact Club, social chair of the student council and 2012 homecoming queen.
Outside of school, Gulden is an experienced nanny, elementary school tutor and Special Olympics assistant track coach. She volunteers at a nursing home and at church, and in her spare time works as a receptionist at Whitaker Buick GMC in Forest Lake.
In the fall she will attend Hamline University in St. Paul, focusing on a career where she works with people, perhaps education or nonprofit management. “I love spending time with people and listening to their stories and perspectives of life,” Gulden said.
LAYSB has given the “On Behalf of Youth” award to one adult and one youth every year since 2000.
To be eligible, the nominee must live or work in LAYSB’s primary service area (ISD 831 and all of Chisago County), be a positive role model for youth, help to break down barriers between youth and adults and provide enthusiastic leadership to youth above and beyond job or volunteer duties.
Nominees for the youth award must be in grades 9-12.