In her quest to create lifetime humanitarians, Youthlinc founder and executive director Judy Zone has demonstrated that global change begins at home. Since establishing the service organization in 1999 she has engaged more than 1000 young Utahns to contribute 80,000-plus hours to service in their own communities — a prerequisite to their international service in some of the world’s most impoverished nations. In recognition of her accomplishments, which reflect and promote the ideals of nursing, Zone will receive the Dare to Care Award at the 17th Annual Honors for Nursing. The event will be held Tuesday, May 10 at 6:00 p.m. at Little America Hotel in Salt Lake City. Hosted by the University of Utah College of Nursing Alumni Board, Honors for Nursing is Utah’s only statewide recognition of nurses and supporters of nursing during National Nurses Week.

According to Zone, the impetus for launching Youthlinc was a Kenya safari she took with her daughter. “It is quite breathtaking when you see extreme poverty,” she says. “We spent as much time talking with locals as we did watching animals.” Upon returning to Utah, Zone became “obsessed with figuring out a way that young people could experience the connection between local and international service.” Central to Youthlinc’s mission is the stipulation that participants earn a sponsorship to fund their travel expenses by providing local service in Utah. Zone’s commitment to keeping the program accessible to all young people, not simply those with financial resources to travel abroad, and her record for instilling in participants a lifetime service ethic, earned her the esteem of Honors for Nursing organizers. “Each year we face the daunting task of selecting one individual from the many furthering the ideals of nursing in our community,” says Gretchen Ratzlaff, the event’s chairperson. “Through her indelible impact, Judy is a true standout among Utah’s most compassionate humanitarians.”

Zone, who has worked with youth throughout her life — as a secondary and college educator —credits Youthlinc with teaching her profound lessons about the capacity for people to do good in the world when they dare to care for others. “Whether it is a Utah high school student who, under the guidance of a mentor, develops a unique assessment for a child with disabilities — or a mother living in abject poverty who starts a small business with a Youthlinc microcredit loan, I have seen many people reach outside their comfort zone and shine when given the opportunity.”

In receiving the Dare to Care Award, Zone joins notable past recipients, including former Utah senator Karen Hale and Maliheh Free Clinic founder Khosrow Semnani.

Media representatives are invited to cover the May 10 program.

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