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Give Back NH: Honoring Our Rising Stars

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Allegra Boverman
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Will Stewart of Stay Work Play (left), along with Civic Leader of Year 2021 recipient Jonathan Weinberg (center), and Angie Lane of River River Theaters

Give Back New Hampshire is a bi-weekly segment that spotlights New Hampshire nonprofit organizations. It airs every other Saturday at 9:35 during Weekend Edition.

The following is a transcription of an audio postcard from the 12th annual Rising Stars Awards held Thursday, October 21, 2021 at the Currier Museum of Art in Manchester.

Kamini Jorgensen, Events & Programs Director for SWP: The Rising Stars Awards promote and celebrate young people under the age of 40 in New Hampshire. So this year, we have College Student of the Year, Young Entrepreneur of the Year and Civic Leader of the Year...

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Emily Quirk
Kamini Jorgensen is Stay Work Play's events and program directo

Will Stewart, Executive Director of SWP: Good evening, everyone. Welcome to the 12th annual Rising Stars Awards. This is great to be back in person.

The Rising Stars Awards is State Work Play’s signature annual event, which we've done in partnership with New Hampshire Public Radio for a number of years. And it's our biggest event, and I think it brings a lot of interesting people together all at once.

Daniela Allee, Host of Rising Stars Awards: So to help present the Civic Leader of the Year award, please welcome to the stage Emmet Soldati, owner of Teetotaler Cafe in Somersworth, and winner of the 2019 Young Entrepreneur Award…

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Allegra Boverman
Daniela Allee is a reporter and editor for New Hampshire Public Radio, and host of this year's Rising Stars Awards.

Will Stewart: A lot of members of the state's young professional networks are there, as are members of the business community of academia, of leading nonprofits. And, you know, even some state government folks as well. So it's an incredible mix; a lot of great energy, and a lot of great conversations are going on and it’s always something that we look forward to.

Emmet Soldati, award presenter: The civic leader of the year is Jonathan Weinberg. He was elected to Concord School Board in 2020 as the youngest elected person to serve on the board. He brings a new perspective and inspires other young people to get involved with the community. He won the seat on the board during a time of change…

Jonathan Weinberg, Civic Leader of the Year Award recipient: I don't know who thought running for school board during a pandemic was a good idea, but I did...but I don't regret it one bit.

My name is Jonathan Weinberg. I'm receiving the 2021 New Hampshire Civic Leader of the Year award. I am 21 years old. I was hoping to break at least a barrier that young people can be involved in the school board, especially recent graduates who know like day-to-day school action.

So I say, if anyone is interested in getting civically engaged 15, 16, 17, 12… it's never too early to start. You're always constantly learning and trying new things and experimenting with your own voice, and what works for you and what issues are important to you. And so get involved as soon as you can.

Will Stewart: Between now and spring 2022, when the nominations open, keep your eye on young people who are contributing and giving back in your spheres. You know, in your towns and your communities; at the state legislature, civic clubs, any way that young people are giving back. And increasingly we're seeing that happen.

So please nominate these folks-- they deserve to have a spotlight shined on them because, you know, one of the effects that it really has is to encourage and inspire other young people to get involved when this happens.

And for the future of New Hampshire, we need young people and their voices in the civic sphere influencing, you know, what's going on at a policy level and otherwise again, to make New Hampshire a place you know that they want to be. And so when you see those folks, please let us know about them, sing their praises and nominate them for the 2022 Civic Leader of the Year award.

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HOW TO GET INVOLVED: Find out more about Stay Work Play's upcoming events, and how to nominate candidates for The Rising Stars Awards 2022 here.