Five Saugerties students were recognized at the June 16 village trustees’ meeting by the Saugerties Community Youth Awards Committee for “making good choices and doing good deeds.”
“This is the best part of the job,” said Mayor William Murphy in handing out the awards. “Our community is all about the kids.”
It’s the goal of the committee “to reinforce this positive behavior in our youth as well as to instill community awareness of the positive contributions by these young citizens,” said committee member Mary Olsen.
The recipients were Isabel Arter, Starla Bolle, Molly Napolitano, Savannah Sirico and Darnell Edge.
Isabel Arter, 12, is a sixth grader at Riccardi School. She was nominated by Nancy Gunn and Robert Rea. They describe the sixth grader as “an amazing student who is very helpful and dependable. She is quiet and modest and is a friend to everyone.”
She is part of the fifth and sixth grade student government, serving as a classroom representative. She has also been involved in gymnastics and was a member of the Gym Stars team. However, she is currently recovering from an injury. She is also active in the Girl Scouts and has volunteered at the Saugerties Animal Shelter.
Starla Bolle, 9, was nominated by Sally Depoala of Cahill School. Bolle “possesses a positive and enthusiastic personality,” according to Depoala. “She is articulate and always ready with a kind word and a smile.
“She is… extremely organized, reliable, and works independently. Starla is able to follow through to ensure that all her work gets done.”
Molly Napolitano, 8, was nominated by Cathy Averill, a second grade teacher at Grant D. Morse School. “She is a sweet compassionate child who is always thinking of others,” said Averill. “For her eighth birthday, instead of accepting gifts, she collected donations of arts and crafts for The Children’s Hospital at Albany Medical Center.”
Napolitano and her mother are also involved in For the Love of Lois. They create balloon animals at birthday parties and the money raised is donated to pediatric cancer patients or hospitals such as St. Jude’s.
“Molly’s demonstration of kindness, selflessness and supporting sick children in our community makes her such a special child,” Averill said.
Savannah Sirico, 12, of Mt. Marion School was nominated by Char Fraske, who said she “is an incredible young lady with a huge heart. She is a quiet, unassuming leader who demonstrates an abundance of heartfelt kindness and selflessness on a daily basis.”
She is the president of the school’s Student Council. She regularly suggests charities and ways to help the less fortunate, such as making friendship bracelets for an orphanage in Africa or sending get-well cards to youngsters at St. Jude’s.
Her “genuine spirit and unequivocal sense of kindness represent all that the world should be,” Fraske said.
Darnell Edge, a junior at Saugerties High School, was nominated by Roland Carito of the Boys and Girls Clubs of Ulster County. He was awarded with the 2014 Youth of the Year Award from the organization. He has been a member of that organization for eight years.
Carito said of Edge, that “when he first started with the program, Darnell could be found playing basketball in the gymnasium, but as time went by he became an active member of the Leadership Service Projects, Financial Education Programs and Job Readiness Classes.”
Edge currently mentors elementary school children at a number of club locations.