Community Stories

Celebrating service and leadership at the 52nd Annual YCE luncheon

This past Friday, the Far East Cafe buzzed with excitement as 280 people gathered to honor more than 400 youth from ten San Francisco public high schools at the 52nd Annual Youth for Community Engagement (YCE) Luncheon. This cherished yearly event, hosted by the Community Youth Center (CYC), highlighted the profound impact of these young volunteers on the community.

The luncheon celebrated a year of significant accomplishments, with YCE volunteers dedicating countless hours to community service. From teaching seniors how to use technology to organizing cleanups and participating in large cultural festivals, these young people have demonstrated what it means to lead with compassion and commitment. The ongoing “Adopt-A-Senior-Building” project and new collaboration with Sing Tao Chinese Radio amplified the reach of YCE, educating thousands, across generations and across the city, on community safety and health.

A poignant moment during the celebration was the recognition of ten YCE Club Presidents for their leadership, followed by the presentation of five special awards for outstanding achievements. These awards, presented by YCE founder Michael Jang, underscored the personal growth and dedication of our young leaders. The honorees, selected for their exceptional service, leadership, and community impact, included:

  • Haley Zhao, who received the Outstanding Leadership Award
  • Weiyu Deng, honored with the Exceptional Service Award
  • Jackson Lu, acknowledged for Outstanding Volunteerism
  • Weixian Liang, celebrated with the Most Inspirational Award
  • Zhixuan Cai, recipient of the Student Taking Action Responsibly (STAR) Award

Local government representatives attended to honor these young leaders with certificates of achievement, affirming the importance of civic engagement.

The celebration was extra festive thanks to cultural performances from seniors and YCE youth. The seniors’ singing and fan performances expressed their gratitude for the youth volunteers, while the youth’s k-pop and traditional dances showcased their joy and skill, and paid tribute to shared heritage..

As we reflect on this inspiring event, we are reminded of the powerful role that young people play in shaping our community. The YCE program, through its comprehensive approach to youth development and community service, continues to create pathways and spark the potential of a next generation of leaders. Our deepest thanks go to all the volunteers, staff, and community partners whose dedication makes these achievements possible.

Thank you to everyone who joined us for this year’s celebration, and here’s to many more years of service, leadership, and community engagement.