Nominations for the 5th Annual Youth Awards are now open! But don’t delay; the deadline to submit your nominations is April 1st.

Sponsored by and the Town of Brookline, the Youth Awards is your opportunity to celebrate a local teen who displays exceptional kindness, character and  generosity of spirit. Although there aren’t specific criteria for the award winners, typical nominees are teens who volunteer their time in service to the community, display leadership in support of a cause, and/or show exceptional ingenuity and creativity in their chosen pursuits. To qualify, the teen must be between the ages of 13 and 19 and either live in or attend school in Brookline.

There are two categories of winners, Youth Awards and Recognition Awards. Youth Award winners will be interviewed on video and their interview highlights aired on the big screen at the Coolidge Corner Theatre during the Youth Awards ceremony. Recognition Award winners will have their photos and achievements shown on screen. Both levels of award winners will be recognized in person on the big stage downstairs in the Coolidge’s majestic Moviehouse One.

To nominate a Brookline teen, fill out this brief Youth Awards Nomination Form. Please include information about your nominee, including specific examples of service, leadership, self-direction, etc.

So much of the news and popular culture chooses to focus on teens in trouble or crisis: teen moms, teenage delinquents, spoiled teens and their over-the-top Sweet Sixteen parties. We see our young people differently. Through four years of sponsoring the annual Youth Awards, we have had the privilege of meeting some amazing teens—the sorts of people who give us confidence that more positive changes will happen when the time comes for them to venture out into the wider world.

In honoring teens that are making a difference in our community, we are also accentuating the positive in the hope that other young people will be inspired to follow their example.

This year’s’s Youth Awards ceremony at the Coolidge Corner Theatre will be held Wednesday, May 6, from 7-9 p.m. Our Youth Award Nomination Committee will choose this year’s Brookline Youth of the Year, whose identity will be revealed at the ceremony.

Past winners of the Brookline Youth of the Year Award include Shirly Estime, Ben Hoff, and Catherine Marris and Leslie Suriel.

Proceeds from the event benefit the Brookline Emergency Food Pantry. If you are interested in becoming a co-sponsor, please contact our publisher, R. Harvey Bravman.

—By Jennifer Campaniolo