BRISTOL – The Youth Commission has honored the students of the Kids in the Middle programs at West Bristol and Chippens Hill middle schools, among the winners of this year’s Youth Recognition Awards.
They have demonstrated “outstanding efforts to unselfishly help others through the use of their own thoughtfulness, time, special talents, skills and dedication to the betterment of the community,” according to a proclamation from City Hall.
The proclamation was read by City Council member Scott Rosado on behalf of Mayor Ellen Zoppo-Sassu at the June Board of Education meeting.
“I’m truly proud of each and every one of you for your accomplishments,” Rosado told the students. “The time and effort you put into volunteering, or what I like to call giving back to your peers, your community, our veterans, and elders, says a lot about your character as a person.”
This honor is only the beginning, he said. “What you’ve created for yourself is a strong foundation, and no one can tear it down. Continue to help others and make good choices, strive to be better than yesterday, and remember if you fall down pick yourself up and continue to walk again.”
Each school got a copy of the proclamation and a plaque.
Officer Matthew Gotowala, Youth Commission member, said the award for a youth group goes to “groups whose full membership, collectively and without compensation, have made significant and meaningful contributions that can be quantified by the number of activities and hours of services, and qualified by the effect on the people served.”
Kids in the Middle is a youth volunteer group for sixth, seventh, and eighth grade students, he said. “The mission of Kids in the Middle is for members to build ties with their schools, communities, and each other through volunteering. Through compassion, hard work, and dedication, the Kids in the Middle youths experience what it means to achieve ‘rising by lifting others.’”
Gotowala said, in the past year Kids in the Middle has given over 180 hours of their time to the Bristol community by volunteering at events and organizations, including:
Working at My Cousin’s Closet.
School talent show.
The city’s Unified Sports Day.
The Mum Festival Parade.
Numerous Imagine Nation Museum events.
The Bristol Public Library’s Halloween Gala.
Indian Rock’s holiday and maple sugar events.
Parks and Recreations’s Santa’s Workshop.
Replacing 1,500 flags in West Cemetery and marching beside Bristol veterans on Memorial Day.
Raising over $1,500 through the Penguin Plunge for the Special Olympics.
Bingo, Fun Nights, and arts and crafts at local senior care facilities Countryside Manor and Sheriden Woods.
Necessities Cupboard Food Pantry.
“In addition to their prolific work in the community, the group members consistently make their schools better places to work and learn in,” Gotowala said. “They decorate teachers’ lounges, set up book fairs, and manage tables at fundraisers. They also provide indispensible services at orientations, open houses, and parent/teacher conferences.”
“This group not only makes their community proud,” he added. “They truly make a difference.”
The other Youth Award winners this year are: Juan Calderon and Ashlynn Jefferson, from Bristol Eastern High School, and Naduischa Valdes and Julia Nelson, from Bristol Central High School, and the students of South Side Elementary School’s Community Club. They received their honors at separate ceremonies.
The students of Kids in the Middle are:
Migdalia Astacio, Ranada Armour, Joseph Arborio, Julia Armington, Janya Artis, Ashton Brewer, Aemun Burhan, Mya Caban, Savannah Caban, Tyra Caez.
Ava Cameryl, Olivia Cameryl, Nicola Campisano, Dominic Caves, Cameryn Chasse, Araiya Crawlle, Ryleigh Dionne, Janessa Figueroa, Makayla Figueroa, Abby Giles.
Evalynne Grenier, Angelina Guzman, Andrea Jarvis, Andrew Jarvis, Corey Lipscombe, Siahna Medina, Fiona Ongany, Kylie Pinette, Valeria Rojas-Ubinas, Gigi Rosario.
Kaidyn Sigmund, Landyn Sigmund, Elianna Trestman, Alyssa Valentine.
Isaiah Caron, Angelina Croce, Elizabeth Crossman, Olivia Dumond, Mia Giantonio, Brookelyn Goergen, Rachel Griffin, Allyson Hassler, Dorothy Jacquette, Taylor Labbe.
Cassandra Lattarulo, Samantha Licki, Veronica Marino, Gina Marino, Aaliyah Montanez, Aidan Perchiano, Josleanys Santos-Miranda, Miguel Salguero, Jadaysha Smalls.
Emily Tata, Amber Vanalstyne, Noah Vanalstyne, Isabella Vanbeveren, Nikolas Vanbeveren, Jayeson Venbeveren.
Susan Corica can be reached at 860-973-1802 or firstname.lastname@example.org.