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Our Lifetime Humanitarian Award recipients show young people the way to make a difference

Each May, at our Annual Benefit, Youthlinc honors an individual or individuals who go above and beyond in humanitarian service in our community and for our organization. We would like to recognize our past Lifetime Humanitarians, and the incredible contributions they have made in their communities, and around the globe, in hopes to uplift and inspire the humanitarian in each of us.

We hope you’ll join us in celebrating our 2012 Lifetime Humanitarian, May 5th at the Natural History Museum. Please contact us for more details.

Wendy Hanson– Youthlinc’s 2011 Lifetime Humanitarian

  • Served others selflessly for 30 years as a nurse
  • Spent 2 years working in Egypt
  • Dedicated 2 years of her life to work in Palestine refugee camps
  • Coordinated various events, such as the AIDS/ HIV Walk in St.George
  • Volunteered to be a family mentor for the International Rescue Committee helping various refugee families in the greater Salt Lake area. She was able to help many people with refugee status get accepted into technical schools or secure a job to provide for their family.
  • Traveled with Youthlinc as a medical mentor for the Thailand and Mexico trips.
  • Always demonstrates compassion and kindness, and puts others before herself.

Bruce Powell– Youthlinc’s 2010 Lifetime Humanitarian

Youthlinc asked Amy Powell –Bruce’s daughter– to spend five minutes writing about Bruce’s accomplishments, she responded “Not to boast about my dad, but it would take far longer that 5 minutes to write a list of Bruce’s humanitarian accomplishments. I will tell you what kind of person my dad is:

  • For his birthday this year, Bruce went to Guatemala and dug latrines.
  • On one of his first trips to Mexico, he met a man with out a leg so he had a prosthetic made for him.
  • When I was in high school I would roll out of bed around 9 and my dad was just getting home from mowing the lawns at 2 or 3 neighbors houses. My dad is the type of person that sees a need and quietly takes care of it.
  • He has built and served in countless schools and medical clinics.
  • He has served in humanitarian organizations with Youthlinc, Hope Alliance, Project Amigo, Rotary International and many more, taking him to many countries like Mexico, Guatemala, Argentina, Peru and more.
  • He is always serving locally. Because of my father’s every day acts of kindness, I have learned that it is not the long humanitarian trips abroad that make you what you are. It is how you serve your fellow man when no one else is watching. It is what you do in your day to day life that makes all the difference. I love and admire my father, Bruce Powell. I hope to be like him.”

Rich Jackson & Bonnie Peatross– 2010 Lifetime Humanitarians

  • Asthma Camp Medical Volunteers for decades
  • Midvale Family Clinic Volunteers
  • NINE time Youthlinc Service Year Medical Mentors traveling on the very first trip to Kenya, and then multiple years to Kenya, Mexico, Peru, Thailand, Cambodia
  • Mentored literally dozens of young people, providing emotional and career support. Role models of service to hundreds of Youthlinc students, many of whom credit Rich and Bonnie with inspiring to pursue careers as doctors or nurses.
  • Youthlinc Executive Director,
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    Judy Zone, says about Rich & Bonnie: “I have been fortunate to know a lot of dedicated, service minded people in my life. Rich and Bonnie are certainly in my list of top ten all time humanitarians I have had the privilege to work with. They are always there for you – for anyone – in need. But I guess I have to say that there would not be a Youthlinc if it wasn’t for Rich and Bonnie. In the Spring of 2000, right before the very first Youthlinc service trip to Kenya, I still did not have a doctor or a nurse on the team. I would not have taken 16 kids to Kenya without one or the other. In a completely cold call, Rich and Bonnie (who had been recommended highly by many people) said yes, they would go. The rest is history. I owe them more – and so many in Youthlinc owe them more – than can ever be told.”

Stephen H. Smoot– Youthlinc’s 2009 Lifetime Humanitarian

When considering what Stephen has accomplished, this quote was used by Stephen’s family: “Not the makers of plans and promises, but rather the one who offers faithful service in small matters. This it he person who is likely to achieve what is good and lasting” — John Wolfgang von Goeth.

  • A lifetime of giving random acts of kindness
  • Stephen is thoughtful and calculated in how he helps people in need.
  • Doesn’t allow what he can’t do with what he can do.
  • Is a quiet giver– when Stephen notices something wrong, he quickly steps in, quietly meets the need, and then slips into the background anonymously.
  • Has helped countless people– whether that has meant helping a small family with rent, helping a mother afford school for her children, or
    paying for airfare for a family so a child could receive emergency medical care– Stephen has generously given his time, energy, and resources to help families locally and internationally succeed.

Shaun & Ollie Michel — Youthlinc’s 2008 Lifetime Humanitarians

  • Shaun has volunteer for missing persons by saddling up the horses and searching in the mountains several time and partnered with Gottfried Trucking to get supplies to Hurricane Katrina victims
  • Shaun partnered with the Brighton Interact Club and made three trips to the Hopi Nation Reservation to deliver donated goods and help with needed repairs. He gathered and delivered two tons of donated medical equipment to refurbish a Mayan hospital in Valladolid, Mexico
  • Shaun helped refurbish and made needed repairs in an orphanage in Puerto Ordiz, Venezuela and spent a week assisting to build, and re-do and orphanage resulting from the tsunami in Thailand
  • Shaun is an active Rotarian — involved in multiple local and foreign projects and has hosted two foreign exchange students for their senior year of high school from Germany and Venezuela.
  • Shaun partners with Youthlinc to fund school and water projects in various sites
  • Shaun is a Boy Scouts of America mentor (to help boys achieve their Eagle Scout Award) and fundraiser
  • Ollie is currently serving as the head of Vietnam LDS Charities. They facilitate the donation of over 1,000 wheelchairs each year. They also bring water to communities throughout Vietnam. They help facilitate Operation Smile and assist a number of optometrists to train local people.
  • Ollie is the founder of the Michel Foundation
  • Ollie has held numerous leadership positions in the community and in his church
  • Ollie has supported Westridge Academy
  • Ollie is involved in many little acts of service. He is constantly thinking about how he can help others by shoveling drive ways in the winter, or helping with construction projects, or simply visiting his neighbors. He has a service mentality and is always looking for opportunities to serve others.


Youthlinc is a Utah-based 501c-3 nonprofit dedicated to creating lifetime humanitarians through local and international service. Learn more about our programs by visiting our website:

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