Community Foundation Honors Neutral Zone with Richard F. Huegli Award for Program ExcellenceJune 28, 2017
It is was great pride and excitement that McKinley share with you this wonderful news about the Neutral Zone (NZ). We have been a core supporter of this marvelous organization from the start, and we are so proud of this amazing accomplishment:
ANN ARBOR, MI. - The Neutral Zone, a diverse youth-driven teen center located in Ann Arbor, was selected by the Community Foundation for Southeast Michigan as the recipient of the 2017 Richard F. Huegli Award for Program Excellence. The award was presented at the Community Foundation’s Board of Trustees meeting on Tuesday, June 27.
The Award annually recognizes a nonprofit that reflects Mr. Huegli’s vision of high standards in human services programming and belief in human potential. Huegli served in the human services sector in southeast Michigan for nearly half a century before his death in 1988. He helped to establish the Community Foundation and worked as acting director in its first year. Previous winners include the Arab Community Center for Economic and Social Services, HAVEN, the Rose Hill Center, and United Methodist Retirement Communities.
The Neutral Zone was founded by teens and adults in 1998 as a concert venue to provide a safe, supportive space for teens on Saturday nights. Today, the organization has grown exponentially to supporting weekend concerts and special events, as well as an after-school drop in space with over 20 programs in visual and media arts, music performance and technology, literary arts, community leadership, and education. During the school year, approximately 350 teens visit weekly, 200 participate in summer programming, and another 500 young people visit through school and community partnership projects during the school day.
Over the past decade, Neutral Zone has been recognized locally, regionally, and nationally as a high-quality youth development organization in delivering distinctly effective programming focused on engaging youth in meaningful decision-making, mentorship, and leadership. Neutral Zone is proud to have supported over 60 organizations, schools, and community health based centers to increase their youth-driven practices and are excited to continue efforts that engage young people to have student voice, build restorative communities and lead artistic and community based initiatives.
“It is an absolute honor to be awarded the Richard F. Huegli Award for Program Excellence,” says Lori Roddy, Executive Director of Neutral Zone. “Being chosen for this award reaffirms our work in the community and the unique partnership between the Community Foundation and Neutral Zone.”