PHOENIX – Student volunteerism, citizenship and community spirit were celebrated during the annual President’s Youth Service Awards ceremony held in the John C. Birdlebough High School cafeteria.
The event honored 29 Phoenix Central School District students who combined for more than 12,000 of community service.
The honorees amassed volunteer hours helping at the local food pantry, coaching youth sports, participating in community cleanup efforts, and spending time serving local nonprofit agencies and organizations.
“You have spent countless hours volunteering, and you have performed valuable services – all for no pay,” said PCSD Superintendent Judy Belfield as she thanked the students for their contributions. “The Phoenix Central School District is very proud of you.”
In addition to earning recognition from school administrators, several elected officials were also on hand to congratulate the award recipients.
Assemblyman Will Barclay applauded the students for their efforts and challenged them to continue on the path to success.
“You are the future of our community,” Barclay said. “Keep up the great work because we’re going to need you in the future.”
High school Principal Greg Molloy echoed those sentiments as he announced each award recipient and praised the students for their impact on the community and beyond.
He noted that a person is “an image, or an average of the five people you spend the most time with,” which he said was evident by looking at the group of students in the room.
“You make my life complete,” Molloy said before presenting plaques to the awardees.
Silver Awards were given to the following students for completing at least 300 volunteer hours:
Nicholas Bernard, Alexis Bowering, Thomas Dion, Kaitlyn Greer, Nicole Hetko, Jordan Jock, Shianne Just, Cody Lawson, Ryan Luke, Christopher Nicolella, Emily Riddell, Lauren Thoryk, Alexa Uttamsingh and Ryan Virkler.
Gold Awards (500 service hours) were presented to Kea Corey, Alexis Gabriele, Jonathan George, Jessica Jones, Meghan Lees, Evan Logee, William Lord, Joshua Margrey, Noah Neverette, Carolanne Switzer and Derick White.
Gold Medallion Awards (1,000 or more service hours) went to A.C. Bowman III and Zachary VanGorder.
After presenting plaques to the Silver, Gold and Gold Medallion winners, Molloy congratulated Tyler Gabriele and Sarah Hoag as the Youths of the Year.
The pair serve as role models to their peers, Molloy said, noting that both are hard-working, self-motivated and eager to make a difference.