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Jenkins honored as leader

Observer Staff Report | Thursday, October 6, 2011

An Indiana youth center honored University President Fr. John Jenkins Wednesday as a role model making a significant difference in the lives of young people, according to a University press release.

The Wernle Youth & Family Treatment Center recognized Jenkins with its 2011 national Catalyst for Change Award at a ceremony and dinner Wednesday, the press release stated.

“Wernle is a family-focused, child-centered agency that provides opportunities for the growth and development of troubled children and their families — individually, interpersonally and socially — through caring programs and healing relationships,” the release stated.

Located in Richmond, Ind., the center annually works with about 200 children and families from Indiana and Ohio.

The Catalyst for Change Award recognizes national, region and local honorees, a philanthropist of the year and an alumnus each year. Jenkins, who is being recognized for his work as a University faculty member and administrator, delivered the keynote address Wednesday evening.

“The recipients are positive role models for children, teens and adults dedicating their own lives to better the lives of youth, especially those at-risk,” the organization’s website stated.

Wernle’s president and chief executive office is Darrell “Flash” Gordon, a member of the 1988 Irish national championship football team. According to the release, Gordon earned a bachelor’s and master’s degree from Notre Dame in 1988 and 1989, respectively.

Other recipients of the award from the Notre Dame community include alumni Regis Philbin and Nicholas Sparks, as well as former Irish football coaches Lou Holtz and Charlie Weis.