Champaign-Urbana Native To Receive Martin Luther King Jr. Award
Alissia Young, a Champaign-Urbana native, says she learned the value of serving others from her mother who was a childcare provider. Her love of service has stuck with her throughout her life.
“Wherever I can find my hand to help that’s what I want to do,” she said.
Young is due to receive the Doris Hoskins Prestigious Community Service Award later this month as part of Champaign County’s celebration of the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
The awards recognize humanitarian efforts, community service and social justice initiatives, and will be presented by the county’s Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Committee.
In her day to day life, Young is a social worker at the Champaign-Urbana Dialysis Clinic where she helps patients navigate a slew of health-related issues. Dialysis patients suffer from economic related concerns, often need help finding potential kidney donors as well transportation assistance, she said.
But Young’s service work extends beyond her career.
She said she strives to work with groups that are at risk, whether that’s youth, people who are ill or those who may be discriminated against. That interest led her to her current position as chair of the city of Champaign’s Human Relations Commission. She said the commission’s role is to hear complaints related to discrimination and to make recommendations to the city council.
Young is also president of the Champaign section of the National Council of Negro Women. She said the group contributes to different community organizations that provide services to those in need.
Young is a Champaign-Urbana native. One reason she’s stayed is because of a community-wide desire to serve others, as well as an availability of resources required to do that.
“When I see people out and about and actually working and serving and helping others, I want to join in and do my part,” she said. “So that’s one of the things that I like about the communities of Champaign and Urbana.”
Young said receiving the award from the community in which she grew up and raised family means a lot.
“One person can’t do everything, but the little bit I can and that I can contribute, I'm willing to do that,” she said. “And to be honored to do that it just means a lot to be able to receive that kind of recognition from home.”
Local entrepreneur Seon Williams and the community group First Followers will also receive awards. The celebration will take place January 18th at the Vineyard Church in Urbana.