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Utah teen honored for 7 years of volunteer work at Children’s Justice Center

Sydney Barnes receives a Commission on Youth Award from Salt Lake County Mayor Ben McAdams.

SALT LAKE COUNTY — Several individuals and groups were honored by Salt Lake County Mayor Ben McAdams this week at the Commission on Youth Awards.

The event was held at the Salt Lake County Government Center Tuesday evening, and the annual event recognizes individuals and groups who are giving exceptional service to youth in prevention, guidance and advocacy.

This year’s winners include Chandra Sapkota due to his support for the Bhutanese community in Utah, as well as Sydney Barnes–a senior at Juan Diego High School who has been a key volunteer over the last seven years at the Children’s Justice Center.

“I love the Children’s Justice Center, I’ve worked with them forever,” Barnes said. “It’s a great organization to help children that have been abused, and it creates an opportunity for them to not go to the police, necessarily–makes for a more homey place to open up about being abused.”

Barnes said she loves being able to help others and work toward a goal that benefits someone other than herself. She said she was anxious about the award ceremony.

“I didn’t know which way to hold the award, so that was kind of funny, but I loved hearing–I didn’t realize just how long I have worked with the Children’s Justice Center, but it’s surreal that I’ve worked with them for seven years, and I’ve loved it,” she said. “And just every year, it’s gotten better and better.”

The Refugee and Immigrant Center, the Asian Association of Utah, and the Skyline High School Community of Caring Program were also recognized at the event.