PHOENIX – Volunteerism and community spirit resonated throughout the Phoenix Veterans of Foreign Wars hall recently as 18 John C. Birdlebough High School students earned President’s Youth Service Awards.
The annual awards ceremony recognized Phoenix students who have gone above and beyond to serve their community.
Service projects include volunteering at the food pantry, ringing the bell for the Salvation Army, assisting with Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts, helping with church functions, volunteering with the Bridge House Brats and assisting a variety of other organizations.
“You have all demonstrated a commitment to leadership, service and volunteerism,” said Phoenix Central School District Superintendent Judy Belfield. “Your actions are leaving a lasting positive impact on the community, and I challenge you to continue your service to the community. I’m very proud of you.”
In addition to receiving praise and encouragement from the superintendent, several local dignitaries, community representatives and school officials were also on hand to congratulate the students on their accomplishments.
School board president Earl Rudy noted that he was honored to represent a school district whose students set the bar so high.
“Continue to be involved and continue to inspire others,” Rudy said.
Youth of the Year Award recipients Benjamin Bulgrien, Finella Campanino and Maria Musumeci were among the students who Rudy alluded to in his speech.
These students were described with adjectives such as dedicated, compassionate, loyal, hardworking, motivated, courageous, intelligent and outgoing.
According to JCB Principal Greg Molloy, the academic and civic accomplishments of the Youth of the Year Award winners are qualities that should be emulated by others.
These individuals, he said, are “examples of all that is right in this world.”
In addition to the youths of the year, awards were also presented to students who logged hundreds of volunteer hours to benefit the Phoenix community.
Silver Awards (300 or more hours of service) were given to Kellen Arnold, Megan Brown, Brooke Dolbear, Kyle LaPine, Katelyn McDonald, Patrick Murphy, Hunter Nerber, Adam Pinzer, Jason Thoryk and Jolene Zaia.
Gold Awards (more than 500 hours of community service) were presented to Ryley Doupe and Sarah Hoag.
The Golden Medallion Awards — for 1,000-plus hours of community service – went to Bradley Dietz, Daniel Frawley and Tyler Gabrielle.