PHOENIX – Nearly two dozen John C. Birdlebough High School students were honored recently for their leadership and volunteerism during the President’s Youth Service Awards ceremony.
The 21st annual event, held at the Phoenix Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 5540, recognizes students who have dedicated their time to serve the community.
Honorees were lauded for their volunteerism through various activities such as community cleanup efforts, Salvation Army bell ringing, working in soup kitchens, and helping the elderly in local nursing homes.
“What you have done in such a short amount of time is truly remarkable,” said Phoenix Central School District Superintendent Christopher Byrne. “Please do not change who you are. You’re a representative of yourself, your school district and your community. We are so proud.”
School district officials, elected government representatives and family members congratulated the honorees, who received pins and certificates based on their hours of service.
Silver Awards were presented to those who tallied 300 or more hours of volunteer service, while Gold Awards went to students who performed 500-plus hours of service, and Gold Medallion Awards recognized those who spent more than 1,000 hours serving their community.
Silver Award recipients included Morgan Bajish, Natalie Hart, Chloe Koegel, Sean Sievers, Kristen Clapp, Brook Jones, Cade Reed and Haley Stellingwerf.
Gold Awards went to Breanna Bakus, Madison Doane, Nicole Hetko, Catherine Musumeci, Dylan Blumer, Johnathan Garofalo, Daniel Knowlton and Alisa Trudell.
Gold Medallion Award winners were Jordan Cole, James Lynch, Zachariah Neupert, Brooke Ensby and Teona Draper.
“Every one of you has made a difference in your community,” said Assemblyman Will Barclay. “Thank you for all that you do.”
In addition to the gold and silver awards, two students received special recognition as Youth of the Year.
The recipients, Kea Corey and Joshua Margrey, were congratulated by Principal Thomas Bailer.
“Your volunteer service should inspire all of us to do more,” Bailer said. “You are students who have taken advantage of the high school experience beyond the classroom. You’re the model of a JCB student … and the model of a good citizen.”