Zach Pruitt Receives Northfield Rotary Good Neighbor Award
Zach Pruitt, the executive director of the Northfield Healthy Communtiy Initiative, received this year's Northfield Rotary "Good Neighbor Award."
The Good Neighbor Awards program identifies and honors individuals in our community who are outstanding examples of "good neighbors," who are committed to building, preserving, maintaining and improving the quality of life in their neighborhoods and our community.
Here's what members of HCI wrote about Zach in their nomination:
Zach has a passion for the youth and families of the Northfield community and for this reason I am nominating him for the Good Neighbor Award. Zach gives 150% effort in his role as director of the Northfield Healthy community Initiative (HCI). This is not a "job" for him but a "calling" for the community:
- Through his grant writing, he has brought appoximately $4 million to the Northfield area in grant funding for youth and family
- Through his close work with TORCH, we of the Northfield community now have over 300 low-inome and minority youth in grades 6-12 involved in the TORCH program. Northfield's graduation rate for Latino students has climbed from 36% to over 90% today.
- More than 1,100 Northfield youth spent time this last year in a free summer and after-school programs through the HCI-supported PRIMEtime collaborative that Zach helped come about.
- Northfield's "Take it to the Box" initiative, that is used now as model across the state of Minnesota, takes prescription drugs and keeps them out of the hands of youth and others. Zach's leadership in our community helped make this program happen.
Zach provides countless hours of support to the Northfield Mayor's Task Force on Youth Alchohol and Drug Use:
- Through an application submitted by the Northfield Mayors Task Force on Youth, Northfield was named one of America’s Promise Alliance’s 100 Best Communities for Young People. The national award was given to Northfield to recognize its outstanding and innovative work in addressing the high school dropout crisis and for its programs and services that make it an outstanding place for youth to live, learn and grow. This is the fourth consecutive time Northfield has received this national 100 Best distinction.
Zach also actively serves on a number of boards.
- Board of Directors of the Community Action Center in Norfield
- Minnesota Alliance with Youth
- Northfield Goal Club
- The Key, Northfield Youth Center
Zach provides support as a consultant to the Rice County Chemical Health Coalition. Zach has been a mentor to younger children for the past six years through the Connected Kids mentoring program. Zach is also an assistant coach for the Carleton mens tennis team. A low compensated position, he uses this time to build relationships with college students, utilizing his skills as a great tennis player and coach. He teaches not only the sport of tennis, but engages his players with the youth of the Northfield community to go out and be "good neighbors" in their communities after graduation.
Last but not least, in fact it may even be his biggest asset as a "good neighbor," Zach as a single man, has taken two young Latino brothers into his home, served as a father, mentor, family member and teacher, and encouraged these young boys to be good citizens of the Northfield community. One has graduated from NHS (and served as co-chair to the HCI board) and is in his second year of college. The second is on his way to NHS graduation. Zach is always at the sporting events cheering on the NHS teams and the "adopted" son.
I highly encourage you to select Zach Pruitt as Rotary Good Neighbor for 2012.