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19 youths honored for service to community

Posted 13 May 2014 at 12:00 am

Press Release, Orleans County Youth Bureau

HOLLEY – The Orleans County Youth Bureau recognized 19 Orleans County youths last week at the 32nd annual Youth Recognition Banquet.

The honorees were nominated by community members. The youths have all committed themselves to helping with community causes.

The following were honored during the banquet at Hickory Ridge Country Club:

Fauzia Aujan, 20, Lyndonville High School

Fauzia is  a volunteer for Project Life in Waterport and spends countless hours working with youth that are facing similar situations to the one she encountered as a young girl. She helps teach English, makes pottery with children and chaperones field trips. Fauzia is a great role model for the students showing that it is possible to preserve and achieve in the face of difficulties. Fauzia is a conscientious, caring young lady with unbelievable perseverance.

Parent(s): Idris Salih and Stella Gresham-Salih

Nominator: Jeff Kingsbury, School Counselor


Jayne Bannister, 16, Albion High School & Orleans-Niagara BOCES

Jayne raised money for Roswell Cancer Park Institute by agreeing to shave off her long hair in return for donations. Jayne did this with her sister because their father was recently treated for cancer at Roswell and they wanted to give back to the organization that took good care of him. Jayne had hoped to raise $1,000 but was able to surpass that goal and raise $3,250! Jayne is an outstanding young woman.

Parent(s): Roger and Christine Bannister

Nominator: Kara Kirk, Orleans-Niagara BOCES Counselor


Justin Behrend-Jones, 16, Kendall High School

Justin is a junior member at the Kendall Volunteer Fire Department. For the second year, Justin has been recognized for making the most calls during the calendar year. He has training every Tuesday night for at least two hours to acquire fire prevention knowledge and skills. Justin is always the first to volunteer to help fellow students at Skills USA Night event which is a fundraising project for students to compete in their respective career areas against all other students in the state.

Parent(s): Vangie Behrend and Douglas Jones Sr.

Nominator: Daniel Boyler, Monroe 2 Orleans Teacher


Bradlee Driesel, 17, Albion High School

Bradlee is a regular volunteer with the Barre Fire Company where he has participated in responding to fires and with the emergency medical services. Bradlee also helps the department with controlled burns and regularly volunteers to help with the parades, taking the trucks to schools, and he is very active with the Boy Scouts. Bradlee is very proud of his work with the fire department.

Parent(s): Karl and Susan Driesel

Nominator: Eric Christiansen, Guidance Chairperson


Lydia Erakare, 18,  Albion High School

Lydia  has been heavily involved in her community and in her school. She has been the president of her class for four years and is an active member in various clubs at school. Lydia has served as a Peer Mentor for several years and assists with the Special Olympics. She has been active in churches, Vacation Bible School and Sunday School Programs where she uses her musical and acting talent to assist with services. She is also a volunteer with the Albion Main Street Alliance, and helps with fundraisers and organizing kid events.

Parent(s): Jan-Mikael Erakare and Maarit Vaga

Nominator: Eric Christiansen, Guidance Chairperson


Michael Hinkley, 17, Medina High School

Michael is a dependable member of the East Shelby Volunteer Fire Department and has been recognized by the fire company as one of the top ten firefighters for responding to emergency calls. He has completed his Firefighter 1 Course while maintaining his school responsibilities and working construction for Barden homes periodically. Michael has also completed his coursework for his Certified First Responder Certificate which allows him to take part in EMS calls. He also is very helpful at home! Michael is a mature and hardworking young man.

Parent(s): Megan and Steve Wolter

Nominator: Mrs. Bronwyn Green, Fellow Fire Company Member


Aaron Ierlan, 18, Holley Central School

Aaron is one who graciously dedicates his time to his peers and to his teammates. Aaron takes on leadership within his wresting team by informing them of cancellations, make up dates and other general information. Aaron is always encouraging and motivating his younger teammates. He volunteers at the Holey Youth Wrestling Club and has also helped to raise money for food banks in Holley. Aaron also joined the Clarendon Fire Company after he turned 14 and works at many fundraising functions associated with the fire company.

Parent(s): Fredrick Seeman and Melissa Ierlan

Nominator: John J. Grillo, Teacher/Coach


Emily Klimack, 16, Holley Central School

Emily has been volunteering for her church for over a year where she mentors younger children and is a role model for peers. She spends Thursday evenings and Saturday mornings helping with a program that reaches out to children from difficult home situations. At school, Emily has volunteered to keep score at wrestling matches and maintains good relationships with her teachers and counselor. Emily is a positive influence at school. Emily also plays a big role at home by helping her mother and brother.

Parent(s): Donna Tadeo

Nominator: Darlene Moore, Associate at Church


Allison Knapp, 18, Kendall High School

Allison has been a peer mentor for several years and volunteers her time to several young students that are struggling. She has an amazing ability to the younger students and is always willing to go above and beyond. Allison is a great role model for others. She is a part of the Leo’s Club, National Honor Society, band, tennis, volleyball, track and softball. She also works at Browns Berry Patch and volunteers at the community kitchen at the Christ Church in Albion.

Parent(s): Christopher and Dawn Knapp

Nominator: Mirkam Bauer, Counselor


Kourtni Mietlicki, 18, Albion High School

Kourtni is committed to excelling in school and in her community.  She is in the top ten of her class and hopes to one day become a history teacher. Kourtni is regularly helping with cheerleading camps and volunteers with her cheerleading squad teammates at school activities. She is also an assistant coach for t-ball and has also helped with the annual Ghost Walk. In addition, Kourti volunteered her time helping at a triathlon to raise money for St. Jude’s Hospital.

Parent(s): Aaron and Christine Robinson

Nominator: Eric Christiansen, Guidance Chairperson


Daniel Mofardin, 18, Lyndonville High School

Daniel is deeply involved in his community church and it is through this involvement that he contributes to the larger community where he participates in a lot of community service. Beyond his involvement in faith based community service, he has also involved in Lakeside Karate  for the past nine years where he has earned his brown belt black stripe.  He has volunteered hours doing demos highlighting the benefits of karate. Daniel has achieved the delicate balance of strong academics, extracurricular involvement, and community service.

Parent(s): Gracijano and Tatiana Mofardin

Nominator: Jeff Kingsbury, School Counselor


Gaje Papponetti, 15, Holley Central School

Gaje has taken on the responsibility by volunteering his time and his technical expertise to write a program that allow for more information to be shared daily through the TV monitor in the main foyer at school. This program now shows the time, class period, weather, and the daily announcements. Pictures of various activities throughout the school year are also displayed on the TV Monitor. Gaje has patiently instructed the administrators on how to utilize the program and to update the information. Gaje’s commitment is greatly appreciated.

Parent(s): James Papponetti and Cheryl Servais

Nominator: Susan Cory, Principal


Elizabeth Pearson, 18, Kendall High School

Elizabeth is very involved in her church and her school community. She is a member of her church council, youth group, ski club, marching band and concert band. Elizabeth is also a Girl Scout and is completing her Gold Award. At church, Elizabeth participates on her church softball team, works at Vacation Bible School and helps her Pastor with youth groups. Elizabeth is an ideal student when it comes to volunteering her time to help with clubs, organizations, and her community.

Parent(s): Terry and Vern Pearson

Nominator: Lindsay Hammer, School Counselor


Kelsey Schmitt, 17, Albion High School

Kelsey is a driven student who has always looked to better herself while being actively involved in her school and community. She has been a team captain for the school’s soccer and softball teams and has also been active in the FFA while assisting in organizing the 2013 State Convention. Kelsey also volunteers after school as a math tutor for sixth graders. Outside of school, Kelsey has completed countless hours of community service working at the local community kitchen and assisting with soccer and softball camps.

Parent(s): Kurt and Cathy Schmitt

Nominator: Eric Christiansen, Guidance Chairperson


Emily Skehan, 18, Holley Central School

Emily has been involved with activities and volunteer work since a young age. Currently, Emily works at the school store assisting other students with skill development and social interactions. She is a red blood donor, Girl Scout, and volunteers with the Big Brother/Big Sister Program along with scorekeeping for JV and Varsity Girls Basketball teams. During the Holiday season, Emily assists with Holley’s Christmas Drive for needy families. Emily’s work ethic is extraordinary and rare.

Parent(s): Roderick and Beth Skehan

Nominator: Kristina Mack, School Counselor and Coach


Joseph Velez, 15, Medina High School

Joseph is extremely active in wrestling and has spent many hours working diligently with the younger students in our intermediate/elementary school assisting in helping them to develop skills in the area of wrestling. He has amazing work ethic which has helped him to move forward in the classroom and be a positive role model for his peers.

Parent(s): Mr. and Mrs. Jesus Velez

Nominator: Sarah Ha, School Counselor


Caelan Welch, 17, Kendall High School

Caelan is extremely involved in the school community. He participates in Masterminds, Model U.N., student council, Leo’s Club, and Spanish Club. Caelan is also a Varsity Athlete and has earned a sectional title in Cross Country and has participated in tennis and track and field. He is also the President of National Honor Society and Leo’s Club, the secretary of Student Council, and the treasurer of band. Caelan is a peer mentor and a member of the Youth Board and Youth Court.

Parent(s): Brian and Luci Welch

Nominator: Lindsay Hammer, School Counselor


Olivia Welch, 17, Kendall High School

Olivia is extremely involved with the school community. She participates in the Science Olympiad, Leo’s Club, the volleyball and softball teams, along with being the treasure for her class for four years and a member of the National Honor Society. Olivia is also a peer mentor and volunteers her time to help young students. She is always the first one to sign up to help out at events and goes above and beyond. Olivia also is a Girl Scout and is completing her Gold Award.

Parent(s): Brian and Luci Welch

Nominator: Lindsay Hammer, School Counselor


Alexa Wolf, 17, Kendall High School

Alexa is a very dedicated member of her community. In her free time, she is an active member of her church and selflessly donates her time to help younger children. She also works with them as a positive role model, serving as a church-school teacher. Alexa is an active member in band and has given her time to play at local nursing homes and has also visited elementary school students to encourage them to play a musical instrument. Alexa works at the school blood drives and also participates in the annual Spring Walk which benefits local organizations.

Parent(s): Richard and Angela Marie Wolf

Nominator: Gretchen Rosales, Teacher