Finishing Strong: Mid-Valley National League of Young Men Focused on the Positive Throughout Pandemic, Celebrates Awards

NLYM Mid-Valley Chapter member mothers & sons enjoyed their first in person gathering of the 2020-21 year on Sunday at their Compass event.

Young men on stage earned volunteer service award winners

An impressive number of NLYM young men earned Philanthropy Awards during the pandemic; six of these young men earned the Presidential Volunteer Service Award.

Masked young man and mom organizing canned goods from truck during pandemic.

NLYM members Westley and Beth Hilton volunteered at the North Hollywood Interfaith Food Pantry unloading and organizing food donations for those in need.

Six Members of the NLYM's Mid-Valley Chapter Received the Presidential Volunteer Service Award at years-end; the NLYM builds character, leadership in young men.

Over this year, the young men have learned that leadership is not always easy, especially in a pandemic...”
— Stephanie Walter, President Elect
STUDIO CITY, CA, UNITED STATES, May 25, 2021 / -- The The National League of Young Men (NLYM) Mid-Valley Chapter is celebrated a strong finish to this challenging year, having just completed officer elections for the coming 2021-2022 year. By getting creative about events and embracing Zoom for their monthly meetings, the organization’s young men continued to organize and contribute to charitable efforts in their immediate communities and beyond. In doing so, six of the young men in the Mid-Valley Chapter earned the Presidential Volunteer Service Award, including Sammy Calne, Joe Del Pero, S.J. Schaeffer, Jack Simmons, Andrew Yotnegparian, and Holden Griffis.

These awards, and others, were bestowed when mothers and sons joyfully reconnected with fellow NLYM members for the organization's annual all-grade level Compass Brunch, a socially-distanced picnic style affair on Sunday May 16th. Additionally, the Chapter’s 4th annual Senior Tribute Dinner took place in an outside setting at the Mulholland Tennis Club in Los Angeles, CA on Sunday, April 25, 2021; it was a formal event, where the young men of the senior class were celebrated with commemorative dedication speeches by their fathers, a childhood pictorial montage slideshow, and a Compass embossed carrying case as a gift. In total, the Mid Valley senior classman volunteered more than 430 hours in philanthropic achievements during an unprecedented year.

The mission behind NLYM is to provide a unique program of leadership, service, culture and protocol opportunities, for the young men grades 9-12 in their community, while at same time strengthening the mother-son relationship as they mature into young men. Ventura Blvd Magazine featured the organization in an article that can be found at

Beginning last August, the Mid-Valley Chapter successfully pivoted to holding online Zoom meetings across all grade levels this year, for both the young men and their mothers. The young men’s meetings included guest speakers such as actor Michael Ian Black and retired Fire Captain Fred Lopez; an online cooking lesson by Dr. JJ Levenstein; planning sessions for cultural events and philanthropy activities; protocol lessons such as resume writing; presentation of committee reports, and organizational coaching by volunteer grade level mothers. The member “Mother’s Meetings” included speakers on helpful topics such as wellness, self-care, and raising teens; in March, author and Certified Holistic Nutritionist Julie Hefner shared healthy insights from her book "Nourishing Your Body & Soul for a More Radiant You."

Volunteerism is a major tentpole of the organization, and young men at each of the four grade levels were tasked with generating safe and socially-distanced ideas for giving back to communities across the San Fernando Valley and beyond. Some of the philanthropic activities successfully completed as an organization and individually included:

The Book Truck: NLYM donated 549 brand-new books, the most impactful single book drive any group has put together for The Book Truck, which delivers “Lit Boxes” filled with books and literacy materials to foster care, homeless, and low-income service organizations across LA County.

Interfaith Food Pantry - NLYM members purchased, packed and donated 330 Hygiene Kits (approx. 1320 products) to The North Hollywood Interfaith Food Pantry, a coalition of Jewish and Christian congregations working to address the problem of hunger in the community. NLYM members also unloaded trucks of canned goods and beverages donated to the pantry.

Covenant House: NLYM compiled and donated over 1000 snack packs for teens.

Soles4Souls: NLYM young men gathered 1200 pairs of gently-used athletic shoes for the nonprofit, which keeps the shoes from going to waste and puts them to good use for those in need.

Tutoring for Speak UP: NLYM young men are contributing tutoring services to Speak UP, which aids approximately 300 underserved students in LA.

My Stuff: The NLYM Mid-Valley class of 2022 made fleece blankets for My Stuff Bags Foundation, a nonprofit organization that helps children who are removed from dangerous living situations such as households with domestic violence, homelessness, etc.

Developing a well-rounded appreciation of cultural activities is another goal for the young men. This was achieved by attending online holiday concerts, virtually touring The Peterson Auto Museum, and watching and discussing films online, including “The Social Dilemma” and the new Billie Eilish film “The World’s a Little Blurry.”

Over this year, the young men have learned that leadership is not easy, especially in a pandemic, but the enthusiasm exhibited in last week’s round of elections for the year 2021-22 have shown that things will only get better in the coming year. A new membership drive is now underway.

During this membership drive, the Mid-Valley Chapter invites new young men to apply to the organization through July 15, 2021; they are welcoming applications from young men who live or go to school in the communities of Encino, Sherman Oaks, Studio City, Toluca Lake and Burbank, CA. There are membership opportunities for young men and mothers in the rising freshmen class (Class of 2025), the rising sophomore class (Class of 2024) and limited space in the Class of 2023. Visit the website for membership information:

A Dropbox media kit of event images/video available by request.

National League of Young Men, Inc. (NLYM), initially named Beach City Service League, was founded in 2007 in Newport Beach, California by Diane Edmonton and Mary Pat Lucas. Their goal was to provide a unique program of leadership, service, culture and protocol opportunities for the young men in their community, while at the same time strengthening the mother-son relationship. Today there are twenty chapters with over 2,000 Mothers, Young Men and Sustainers as members of the National League of Young Men, Inc. NLYM is committed to providing a quality program for young men in grades 9-12 and developing long-term partnerships that will provide benefits to not only the young men but also their surrounding communities. National League of Young Men, Inc. aspires to offer gratifying experiences for their young men and to help them learn that the greatest joy in life truly comes from serving others and discovering the confidence and courage to do so.

Beth Hilton
The B Company
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