Bloomington youth center honored for Excellence in Diversity

CUTLINE: The Unity Center program staff were recognized at the 2022 Illinois Extension Excellence in Diversity Team Award during the Annual Conference held in November in Urbana. Pictured, left to right, are Bobbie Lewis-Sibley, Alcha Corban, Natalie Grider, and Nickols-Richardson. Not present: Afiwa Tete. (Photo courtesy of University of Illinois Extension)

A Bloomington youth center received the University of Illinois Extension’s team award for excellence in diversity programming. The Excellence in Diversity Award recognizes teams that support diversity, pluralism, and innovation, building organizational change.

The Unity Center is a multicultural center providing free educational programs for youth and families in the community. The Center provides academic support, enrichment, and positive youth development programming for families with limited resources, immigrant families, and English-language youth learners through the local school district.

“Unity uses the 4-H youth development model to offer a positive, structured learning environment that helps build a strong educational foundation and provides life-skills training,” said Katie Buckley, acting county director and 4-H youth development educator.

The Unity Center team members recognized include Bobbie Lewis-Sibley, interim assistant director of government relations; Alcha Corban, 4-H youth development educator; Afiwa Tete, 4-H youth development program coordinator; and Natalie Grider, 4-H youth development program coordinator.