Return of the YMCA Project Cornerstone Asset Champions Celebration Brings Back Awards, Emcees, and Entertainment

Santa Clara, Calif. – After a two-year hiatus, YMCA Project Cornerstone is thrilled to announce that its 2022 Asset Champions celebration is set to return! This year’s free virtual event themed, “Choose Kindness” will be held on March 24, 2022 at 10 a.m. PT and will include presentation of the seven Asset Champions awards, a guest speaker, entertainment, and interaction.

“Since 2003, this event has recognized Silicon Valley schools, individuals, and organizations that are committed to making this place we call home a better community for young people to live and grow,” said Ziem Nguyen Neubert, Executive Director, YMCA Project Cornerstone. “We’re ready and overjoyed to bring back our traditional celebration, albeit in an online environment, where we can shine the light on, honor, and share stories of people, organizations, and schools in a meaningful, community-building, and celebratory setting.”

Asset Champion Awards
Award recipients include organizations and people who support Project Cornerstone’s mission of building a web of support around young people so that they grow into healthy, caring and responsible adults. This year’s Asset Champions include: 

  • Yonit Parenti, Moreland School District - The Adult Role Model award recognizes an adult who models and inspires positive responsible behavior for young people.
  • Matthew Leffler, Baseball Buddies Foundation - The Positive Peer Influence award recognizes a person, 24 years or younger, whose actions and behaviors make them positive role models for their peers. Nominees must also be 24 years or younger.
  • José Valdés Math Institute, Robert Escobar, Director - The Community Values Youth award honors people/businesses that demonstrate to young people that the community values their contributions and efforts.
  • Elena Robles, Folklórico Nacional Mexicano - The Positive Cultural Identity award recognizes people/businesses that help young people feel supported, comfortable, and proud of their identity.

In the “Caring School Climate” category, these schools are transforming their campuses into caring communities where all students are valued and feel welcomed and respected:

  • L.U.C.H.A. Elementary School (Alum Rock School District) - Caring Elementary School
  • Luther Burbank School (Luther Burbank School District) - Caring Middle School
  • Mountain View High School (Mountain View-Los Altos Union High School District) - Caring High School

Entertainment and Registration
This year’s entertainment includes a performance from San Jose Taiko’s Junior Taiko Performing Ensemble and Broadway star Megan Masako Haley.

The 2022 Asset Champions Celebration is a free event, however, all attendees must pre-register at:

Guest Speaker
Orly Wahba is a motivational speaker, educator, entrepreneur, author, and community activist passionate about inspiring and motivating people to make the world a kinder place. A TED2013 speaker, Orly is also the founder of Life Vest Inside, a non-profit with a mission to inspire, empower and educate people of all backgrounds to lead a life of kindness. Her video, “Kindness Boomerang” has garnered more than 36 million views to date.

For Immediate Release: March 17, 2022

Media Contacts: 
Rona Brodrick 
(408) 351-6425

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About the YMCA of Silicon Valley and YMCA Project Cornerstone

YMCA of Silicon Valley is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit strengthening community through youth development, healthy living and social responsibility. Across Santa Clara and San Mateo counties, YMCA of Silicon Valley serves 250,000 members and participants — regardless of age, income or background — by nurturing the potential of children and teens, improving health and well-being, and providing opportunities to give back and support our neighbors. For more information, visit:

YMCA Project Cornerstone is a non-profit organization and community initiative of the YMCA of Silicon Valley. Our mission is to ensure all youth feel valued, respected, and known so they grow into healthy, caring, and responsible adults. We engage youth, parents/caring adults, and staff from schools and community organizations to strengthen healthy social and emotional skills and behaviors, build positive relationships, and create safe and supportive environments. For more information, visit