By Steven L. Shepard, Presidio of Monterey Public AffairsFebruary 26, 2015
PRESIDIO OF MONTEREY, Calif. -- An employee at the Presidio of Monterey Porter Youth Center has been selected by the Boys & Girls Clubs of America and Maytag as a recipient of a prestigious national recognition.
Daniel Saia will be presented the 2014 Maytag Dependable Leader Award at the Porter Youth Center ceremony in March.
Notification of the award was received by the Presidio in December. Saia was one of 12 national winners to receive the distinction this year in a competition open to employees of the more than 4,000 Boys & Girls Clubs across the nation, including affiliated youth centers on U.S. military installations. The award includes a $20,000 financial grant that Porter Youth Center is expected to use to provide scholarships for college or technical school to current and future qualified youth center members in Saia's name. Scholarship recipients will be selected using an application and interview process.
Saia, fondly referred to as "Mr. Daniel" by the children, parents and staff, has served as school-age site leader for Porter Youth Center for nearly 15 years and has worked with each age group from preschool to teenage. He was nominated for the award by Dorrie Coman, facility director at Porter Youth Center.
"Mister Daniel exemplifies the definition of a dependable leader: reliable, trustworthy, loyal and responsible," said Coman. "He has made tremendous contributions to the club through his support of the staff, special projects and his passion for working with children."
Coman further described Saia as a quirky, fun, leader with a knack for working with kids, often making guest appearances as the Porter Super Hero sporting a cape and mask or as special guest, Chef Jacques, clad with Persian accent, a fake mustache, side burns and bushy eyebrows.
An excerpt from Sais's award application highlights his contributions to PYC:
"Mr. Daniel has made tremendous contributions to the club throughout his years by completing special projects including painting the blacktop on the playground, developing and implementing youth leadership programs, creating stage sets for the children's theater performances, implementing special events such as Red Ribbon Week, day of play, trunk or treat, and countless others.
"The most important impact that Mr. Daniel has made however, is on the children. Earlier this month Mr. Daniel attended a class at the local community college along with other staff members. In the class with them was one of the children who used to attend our club. Now grown into a young college student she was working on her Early Childhood Education. When the young lady saw Mr. Daniel she found a seat next to him and told him in front of the class that he had influenced her to go to college and become a teacher.
"It is making a difference in the lives of children that drives Mr. Daniel and what makes him deserving of the Dependable Leader Award," the application says.
The Maytag Dependable Leader Award is a partnership between the Boys & Girls Clubs of America and Maytag to recognize exemplary club professionals and volunteers from across the country that demonstrate commitment to dependability and dedication to keeping youth on a path to achieve great futures.
"The Maytag Dependable Leader Award allows Maytag brand to give back to Boys & Girls Club professionals and volunteers across the country who give tirelessly to their local communities each and every day," said Laura Somers, brand manager for Maytag. "It is our honor to recognize Daniel Saia for his exemplary efforts and support of the Porter Youth Center."