Kiwanis Club of Weston
2016 Kiwanis High School Award Recipients

Kiwanis Club of Weston, Connecticut, Inc. has conferred its annual Kiwanis Club of Weston High School awards to five distinguished students at the awards assembly Friday, June 3, 2016.

Awardees Lauren McNamara, Krista Nayden, Caroline Anderson, Lindsey Kapel, Bevin Benson, David Gelfand (not pictured Zachary Gonzalez)

Kiwanis photograph by Dawn Egan.


Weston Kiwanis Confers 2016 Youth Awards

The Kiwanis Club of Weston has conferred its annual awards this spring to five distinguished high school students and its annual Youth Service Award to two deserving high school seniors. 

The Kiwanis Superintendent's Scholarship Award went to Lauren McNamara. This award was created in 2001 in memory of Dr. Janet Shaner and her commitment to education. The award recognizes a student who intends to major in a field of education and enjoys working with children. Lauren is a senior at Weston High School whose passion is in working with children and helping others. Lauren completed her senior internship working with a first grade class at Hurlbutt Elementary School. Lauren is involved in many clubs and organizations at Weston High School and is president of the Gay Straight Alliance as well as vice president of the Women's Empowerment Club. Lauren has been a member of the field hockey team since her freshman year and is a member of National Honor Society and the National Latin Honor Society. 

Lindsey Kapel and Zachary Gonzalez received the Kiwanis Community Service Award. Established in 1976, the award recognizes students for their outstanding service and leadership in the community.

Lindsey is a senior at Weston High School who has shown dedication to leadership and community service.  Lindsey is currently president of SafeRides of Weston, after serving on the board for 3 years.  She is president of the National Arts Honor Society as well as captain of the girls volleyball team.  She has served on the Weston Town Youth Commission for 3 years and is a trained volunteer at the Maritime Aquarium and Earthplace. Lindsey will be attending Emory University.

Zachary Gonzalez is a junior at Weston High School.  He is currently on the board of SafeRides and will be serving as vice president during his senior year. Zach was co-president of Teen PeaceWorks his junior year, and will continue in that role next year.  Zachary has been a varsity soccer player for 3 years.  Outside of school, Zachary lifeguards and referees soccer.  

The recipient of the David Brown Memorial Award was Caroline Anderson. This award is given to a student who has demonstrated the qualities best representative of Mr. Brown's commitment to the Weston athletic program and spirit of sportsmanship.  Caroline has been a four-year varsity player for both field hockey and lacrosse and was a captain of both teams her senior year. In her junior year she earned recognition as a High School Lacrosse Academic All-American.  Caroline also earned a varsity letter for her time on the girls' basketball team in her sophomore and junior years. She has been a team captain during Relay for Life and traveled with Rustic Pathways over summer vacations, volunteering in both Arizona and Costa Rica. Caroline will be attending Colgate University this fall. 

The 2014 Diane Mary Huston Schultz Memorial Award was presented to Krista Nayden. Krista was selected as the student who best demonstrated the artistic qualities most representative of Ms. Schultz's love of the arts. 

The Kiwanis Club of Weston has also conferred its annual Youth Service Awards to two distinguished high school students. This award is given to a youth or youths who have made a significant contribution to the Weston community or to its sense of civility and have demonstrated exemplary behavior, attitude, and values consistent with those of Kiwanis International. This year's recipients were David Gelfand and Bevin Benson. 

David Gelfand has served as a spokesman for the Challenged Athletes Foundation, for which he raised over $10,000, and as a youth mentor. He is an Eagle Scout and 
has participated in many high school clubs, such as Science Olympiads and Model United Nations.   David is also the captain of the Weston High School boys swimming and diving team and is an exceptional National Latin Honor Society student.  He is the winner of the Connecticut Adaptive Swimmer of the Year Award, the Connecticut Swimming Scholastic All-State award, and is an assistant religious school teacher at Temple Shalom.

Bevin Benson is founder and president of Girls Who Code in Weston.  This organization addresses female underrepresentation in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics).  Girls Who Code is a national organization and Bevin recognized the need for this program in Weston and worked with the schools to establish the club. Bevin serves as the liaison between administration, the club instructor, students and parents.  Her role includes organizing weekly lesson plans and assisting the teacher in instruction and mentoring.  She was also selected for the Goldman Sachs Summer Immersion Program last summer. Bevin is a four-year Principal's honor roll student, is the executive director of Media and Publicity Committee for student government, and is part of the wind ensemble.  Bevin also created a series of technology workshops to give senior citizens one-on-one instruction on using smartphones, computers and tablets.