Two members of the community received awards for spending decades putting youth first.

The Steuben County Youth Bureau held its annual awards dinner Monday evening at the Bath Country Club. 

Mark Recktenwald, a guidance counselor for over 30 years at Haverling High School in Bath, received the seventh Champion for Youth award. Recktenwald touched the lives of more than 6,500 teenagers and their families through counseling and guiding, and coaching football. 

Recktenwald currently serves on the boards of Steuben prevention Coalition and Prevention of Substance Abuse through Bath Hope for Youth and Catholic Charities and is a past member of the Loyola Substance Abuse Services board. 

“There are so many different ways to work with youth,” Recktenwald said. “There are so many great people that probably could be recognized for something like this, so it kind of humbles me a little bit to know that, but at the same time it makes me feel really good that I was recognized for that.”

Recktenwald also runs the Village of Bath Police Department’s anger management classes for youth through the county Department of Social Services and the Center for Dispute Settlement. 

Amy Shick, the Student Council advisor at Prattsburgh Central School, was awarded the Youth Service Worker of the Year in recognition of her 15 years of dedication to students and families. 

Shick added the role of a family worker within the past couple of years. 

As the head of the Student Council, Shick prepares all student-lead activities and organizes the school’s PreK program through home visits, parent education, paperwork and lending a hand in the classroom. 

“This award means a lot to me because I feel that I put my heart and soul into helping the kids out at our school and I want our kids to better themselves and to become well-rounded individuals,” Shick said.

Shick also involves students volunteers in local charitable functions like food banks, stuffing stockings for seniors at nursing homes and the Prattsburgh Christmas Cheer program. 

Both Shick and Recktenwald encouraged youth to pay it forward by giving back to the community.