Teenager Jesse Sheldon was presented with a Key to the City by Mayor Tom Towey at the May 28 meeting of the Spokane Valley City Council.
Sheldon, a Central Valley High School senior, was nominated for the honor by Tony Antonucci.
Inspired by his grandmother's legacy of compassion, Sheldon founded Inland NW Baby, a nonprofit that has helped mothers and babies meet one of their basic needs: Diapers. Since it was founded (when he was still in eighth grade), the organization has distributed more than 96,000 diapers across the Inland Northwest.
"My passion, besides babies, is that of empowering youth," said Sheldon of his dedication to the effort. "Youth can do quite incredible things. I am grateful to be in a city that can recognize that."
The mayor weighed in on Sheldon’s achievements.
“He believes that this generation has passion, skills and energy required to make a difference in our community and our country," Towey said. "I am really impressed with this young man."
Sheldon will attend the University of Washington this fall to study business, entrepreneurship and marketing. Meanwhile his mother, Julie Sheldon, will run the organization until she finds another able and passionate teen to take over.
Sheldon is the fifth to be honored through the Spokane Valley Community Recognition Program, which is a part of the year-long celebration of the city's ten-year anniversary of incorporation. Community members are encouraged to nominate individuals/organizations/businesses whose positive contributions to the Spokane Valley community deserve recognition. Information on the program and nomination forms can be found at www.spokanevalley10.com by selecting the Community Recognition button.
To be considered for June's award, nominations are due June 5, but nominations may be made at any time through Dec. 5, 2013. Monthly honorees are selected each month from all nominations received to date.
For more information, visit spokanevalley.org.