On Friday, October 26, 2018, at a luncheon held to honor finalists in nine categories of volunteers, the Norfolk JOOI Clubs were announced as the ServeNebraska Step Forward 2018 Volunteer Group of the Year.
JOOI (pronounced “joy”) members are Junior Optimists and youth members of Optimist International. The Norfolk JOOI Clubs are comprised of students from the Norfolk middle, junior, and senior high schools, who are diverse in age, social economic status and ethnicity. For 17 years students have experienced various volunteer opportunities, including active participation in the Teens in the Driver Seat program.Special recognition goes to the teacher advisors who mentor youth and build a dedication to service. Teens in the Driver Seat is honored to work with Mark Claussen, Norfolk Senior High JOOI sponsor, and Jeanne Bietz, community health educator at the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services. Without partnerships and dedication by these mentors teen driver education and awareness wouldn’t be possible.
More recently, the Teens in the Driver Seat team at Norfolk Senior High developed a PSA with CableOne. Funding came from local supporters during a Youth Philanthropy Contest held earlier this year. Youth leaders in this effort were current Teen Advisory Board (TAB) member Austin Truex and former TAB member Haley Storovich. The PSA is scheduled to run many times on various Nebraska stations through the end of December.