Outstanding youth volunteer

Abe Garang ’10 recently received the Thomas J. Kirkpatrick Award for his volunteer work with youth at the Jamerson YMCA.

Abe has coached soccer and basketball and helped with soccer, basketball, and t-ball camps at the YMCA since his arrival in Lynchburg. He has also shared his personal story with members of the YMCA.

“Abe has gone above and beyond what he has been assigned to do,” said Ryan Zachos, youth and family director at the YMCA.

Abe is one of the Sudan’s “Lost Boys,” one of 27,000-some youngsters forced to flee their homes in the 1980s when civil war tore their country apart. In 2001, about 3,800 Lost Boys arrived in the United States through a government refugee program put together by the United Nations, which relocated Lost Boys around the world.

Abe ended up in Charlotte, N.C., where he finished high school and attended community college. Lisa Whitaker, director of Lynchburg College’s Bonner Leaders Program, heard about the resettled Lost Boys at a Bonner Leaders Conference in May 2007 and urged LC to provide a scholarship for a deserving youth. Abe was it.