A $5,000 college scholarship is being offered to a young Utahn who strives to serve his community.

"We acknowledge that academics and athletic ability should be rewarded," said YouthLINC Young Humanitarian Award coordinator Rebecca Burton, "but we also feel that those who excel at giving back to their communities through service are just as deserving of recognition." This is the catalyst behind this annually awarded scholarship, sponsored by Deseret Morning News, Chase and XMission.

Four young humanitarians will receive $1,000 awards and Utah's Young Humanitarian 2008 will receive a $5,000 college scholarship. Applicants must be students, ages 18-30, who are Utah residents and U.S. citizens enrolled in high schools or undergraduate college or university programs in Utah. Applications and complete guidelines are available at www.youthlinc.org. Application deadline is March 15.

Finalists for 2007 included Chelsey Gould from Orem High School, Shonti Breisch from Westminster College, Kim Gallegos from the University of Utah, Nathan Jarrett from Lone Peak High School and Peter Reichman from Brigham Young University.

Gould, who now attends Dixie State College, is Utah's Young Humanitarian 2007. "Finding the positives through difficult situations always makes the problem seem smaller and easier to handle," she said. Gould was involved in various service activities before receiving the award. She traveled to Guadalajara to assist Operation Smile and also served a humanitarian mission to Nairobi, Kenya. Gould also worked with disabled children through Kids on the Move.

YouthLINC Director Judy Zone said the idea for this award arose from the YouthLINC program, which requires Utah students to contribute up to 100 hours of local service, in order to receive a sponsorship which offsets the cost of an international service experience. "In the past seven years, we've seen hundreds of young people pass through our program and become really turned on to service. So we know they exist, but in relative obscurity. We think it's time to recognize and celebrate the dedication of Utah's young humanitarians."

For more information go to www.youthlinc.org, or contact [email protected] or the YouthLINC office at 801-467-4417.