Kiwanis Club of Weston

Confers
2016 Youth Service Awards

The Kiwanis Club of Weston has conferred its annual community service awards to two distinguished high school students at its meetings on two Saturdays, Saturday, May 21,  and June 18, 2016.

By DAWN EGAN

It is with great pride and privilege that this year we award not one but two young adults the distinction of receiving the Kiwanis Youth Service award.

The qualifications of this award is a youth who has recently made a significant contribution to our community and to its sense of civility; someone who has demonstrated exemplary behavior, attitude and values consistent with those consistent with Kiwanis International and a young person whose overall character and involvement suggest leadership potential.


This year's first award recipient is Mr. David Gelfand, a young man who exemplifies superior character by the choices he makes in life.  David, we have chosen you for this award based on your work as a spokesman for the Challenged Athletes Foundation in which he raised over $10,000, for your work as a youth mentor and for your dedicated commitment toward  voluntarism in athletics and of course, your long-time commitment to Eagle Scouts.   Having achieved the level of Eagle Scout is no easy fete and we applaud your determination.  

David has participated in many High School Clubs, such as Science Olympiads and Model United Nations.    On a personal note, David is the Captain of the Weston HS Boys Swimming and Diving Team and an exceptional Nation Honors Latin Student.  He is the winner of the CT Adaptive Swimmer of the Year Award and CT Swimming Scholastic All-State recipient and is an assistant religious school teacher at Temple Shalom.
 
David, I present this certificate & $250 check to you along with this trophy which will be placed in the cases at our High School.  We could not be more proud of you and we congratulate you for all your hard work and dedication to making this world a better place.

Kiwanis Youth Leadership awardee David Gelfand with proud parents Jonathan and Linda at the awards presentation and recognition Saturday, May 18, 2016. Kiwanis photograph by Jim McMorris.


Our second recipient is Ms. Bevin Benson.  We have chosen you for this award based of your empowering work as Founder and President of Girls Who Code.  This organization addresses female underrepresentation in STEM in our High School.  Girls Who Code is a National organization and Bevin recognized the need for this mission and worked with Ms. Deorio and Dr. Palmer to establish this club, which in my opinion, will be around for many years to come!  Bevin serves as the liaison between administration, club instructor, students and parents.  Her role includes organizing weekly lesson plans and assisting the teacher in instruction and mentoring.  Even more impressive is she was selected for the Goldman Sachs Summer Immersion Program last summer for a seven-week intensive program.  

On a personal note, Bevin is a 4 year Principals honor roll student, ranked as the #2 student in her class, is the executive director of Media and Publicity for Student Government and is part of the Wind Ensemble.  What I personally love the most about Bevin is her willingness to teach our Weston Seniors in their Technology workshops.  She created a series of tech workshops to give one-on-one instruction to seniors on using smartphones, computer and tablets.  This young woman shows genuine interest and empathy for others and her passion and enthusiasm & knowledge come through in both her approach and her achievements.

Bevin, I present this certificate & $250 check to you along with this trophy which will be placed in the cases at our High School.  We could not be more proud of you and we congratulate you for all your hard work and dedication to making this world a better place.

Pictured with Bevin are grandmother Carol, mom Jennifer, and dad Stephen Dolio. Kiwanis photograph by Jim McMorris.