Thursday, October 9, 2008
Thursday A+ Award of the Day
I am constantly amazed at the energy of youth. Young people can seemingly go from sun up to sun down, without missing a beat! I can almost remember those days. As I said, almost.
I am also amazed at the giving and sacrificing made by so many teenagers today. Not long ago, in Allendale, New Jersey, 16 teenagers from Bergen and Passaic counties were honored for their service to others.
The following teenagers are just a sample of the 16 teenagers recognized:
Toni Marie Brown, an 11th-grader from New Milford, was recognized for volunteering at Bergen Regional Medical Center in Paramus for five years. Toni drives patients, helps to sort and distribute Christmas gifts to patients, organizes art projects for residents, and assists residents with physical exercises.
Natalia Cruz, a 10th-grader from Fair Lawn, was recognized for working with an environmental group to clean the bank of the Passaic River. Natalia also tutors a special-education classmate in middle school and leads the music class for poor children at her church in Paterson.
Liz Diemer, a 12th-grader from Ridgewood, was honored for raising money for charities. Liz also organized fundraising events that raised and distributed more than $7,000 to Hurricane Katrina victims in Louisiana and Mississippi. She also organized bake sales for a foundation to memorialize a classmate who died of cancer and prepared meals for homeless people in Paterson.
Jillian Duarte, another 12th-grader from Ridgewood, was honored for going on a mission trip to Mexico organized by West Side Presbyterian Church. Jillian helped to build a concrete block house, helped run a vacation church school for children, and worked in a free dental clinic in Reynosa, Mexico. A frequent volunteer, Jillian helps with food drives with social services, works in a soup kitchen, organizes a program to collect puzzles for children in disadvantaged schools, and volunteers in the cancer unit at Hackensack University Medical Center.
Walter Galvez, a 12th-grader from Pompton Plains, continually volunteers at his church to help those in need. He also works with Good Counsel Homes in Hoboken, spending his Saturday mornings cleaning, painting, and building a home for single mothers and their babies. Walter also volunteered in the Interfaith homeless shelters and has been a counselor for Vacation Bible School.
WOW! Every one of those young people deserve today’s A+ Award!
I’m not sure I ever served like that when I was a teenager. Heck, I’m not sure I serve like that now!
A+ Award to all of these teenagers and their families for encouraging this community service!