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Clatsop Community College student Lenny Cheyney, of Astoria, has been recognized as volunteer of the year by the North Coast Youth Correctional Facility in Warrenton.
The Oregon Youth Authority facility recognized Cheyney of Astoria for his work with youth at the 50-bed facility. During winter break when North Coast YCF youth were out of school, he devoted much of his own vacation time to organizing activities for them.
He engaged youth by organizing basketball, football, chess and ping pong tournaments, as well as movie nights and other activities. That included scheduling the activities, ensuring staff availability, taking sign-ups, soliciting prizes and participating. “I want to help the kids, get them back on track, see them get out and stay out their whole life,” he said.
“Lenny proved himself an energetic, enthusiastic volunteer who helped us deliver positive opportunities for youth,” said North Coast Superintendent Dan Berger. “We could give him a project and, with very little instruction, count on him to get it done right.”
A criminal justice major with a career goal of being a juvenile probation and parole officer, Cheyney expects to receive his associate’s degree in June. Besides being a full-time student he also does some work for the Clatsop County Juvenile Department’s Young’s Bay juvenile detention facility.
Volunteers support OYA’s mission to protect the public and reduce crime by holding youth offenders accountable and providing opportunities for reformation in safe environments. OYA has custody of approximately 750 youth offenders ages 12 to 24 in correctional and transitional facilities in Albany, Burns, Florence, Grants Pass, La Grande, Salem, Tillamook, Warrenton and Woodburn. OYA juvenile probation and parole officers supervise an additional 1,050 youth on probation and parole in communities throughout Oregon.