The Suffolk County Legislature’s Distinguished Youth Award is a competitive voluntary recognition program that challenges Suffolk County’s youth, ages 13 to 18, to become more civically involved in their communities while setting goals for personal improvement. We are proud to recognize and congratulate twelve Walt Whitman High School’s students who were the recipients of this award.
The program itself promotes and recognizes the achievement, initiative, and service in Suffolk Country’s youth, focusing on four categories: volunteer service, personal development, exploration and physical fitness. These areas are aimed at challenging our youth to become more active and engaged in local issues that allow them to gain valuable lessons and life skills from their experiences in this program.
The level of requirements for this award is very high and we are so proud of our students for taking on this leadership role within their community. The requirements for achieving this distinction include students visiting fifteen parks across Suffolk County to explore their natural environment while expanding their understanding about these unique areas of Long Island. Students are also required to complete 200 hours of volunteer service by devoting their time and talents to benefit their neighborhoods. Students are asked to also complete at least 100 hours of personal development and 100 hours of physical fitness to promote a healthy and active lifestyle. Each award level is aimed at recognizing the commitment of these individual students as they work throughout the year to accomplish the goals they set within the categories they choose to pursue. Each student begins the program by outlining their goals within each category and they continue throughout the year to keep track of their activities, seeing how their skill level has changed and how their services benefit the community at large.
Congratulations to the following students on completing this wonderful program and earning their Distinguished Youth Award Medals at the 2021 ceremony: (Gold Medal) Owen Connolly, Amanda Esposito, Alyssa Katwala, Lorianna Mattutat, Natalia Ortez, and Gabrielle Pastore; (Silver Medal) Jordan Badalamenti, Andrew Connolly, and Andres Valencia; (Bronze Medal) Victoria Isernia, John Lineen, and Kristina Lineen.