Do all the good you can, by all the means you can, in all the ways you can, in all the places you can, at all the places you can, for all the people you can, for as long as you can.
That was the message 10 area students received from Bucks County District Attorney Matt Weintraub during the Central Bucks Chamber of Commerce’s annual Young Citizens Awards ceremony last month at Warrington Country Club.
“You don’t have to be the strongest, or the smartest, or the best or brightest, you just have to have perseverance,” Matt said. “You gotta have grit.”
The awardees included Central Bucks East High School’s Trevor McGrath and Rachael Savio; Central Bucks South’s Josh Corson; Central Bucks West’s Grace Cashman and Eva Rae Martinez; Middle Bucks Institute of Technology’s Delanie Heath and Samantha Menzak; Pennridge School District’s Madeline Hoffman and Mila Propato; and William Tennent High’s Colin Redner.
Each year since 1983, the chamber has selected students that not only excel in the classroom but also strive to make a difference in the community.
“These amazing young people are taking the world into their hands and they’re going to make it a better place,” said Dr. Anna Shantz, Young Citizens chairperson.
Trevor is a member of the Tech Team that works in the childcare area of Covenant Presbyterian Church in Doylestown.
He also collects school supplies for the needy through the Backpack Drive and helps raise money for Mini-THON to benefit cancer research and the Lenape Valley Foundation’s building project.
Even with nearly 700 hours spent volunteering at Doylestown Hospital, Rachael finds time to work as a youth development cooking instructor for the Central Bucks Family YMCA.
She also serves on the National Junior Honor Society, World Affairs and Philosophy clubs, National Charity League, Girl Scouts, orchestra and her school’s volleyball team.
Josh overcame many obstacles – including reading and writing difficulties as a child and several serious health issues within his family – to earn numerous public safety certifications.
Despite these challenges, he volunteers his time at the Chalfont Fire Co. and Central Bucks EMS Explorers.
Grace earned her spot by displaying outstanding work ethic and leadership skills in her effort to help animals at the Holiday House Pet Resort and through the Bringing Animals Relief program at CB West.
Along with maintaining an impressive GPA, Eva Rae has used her musical gifts as a singer and flautist to perform in the CB West and Westminster choirs, the Pennsylvania and Bucks County Music Educators and has even recorded five professional demo tapes.
Starting at the age of 11, Delanie has spent the past four years volunteering her spare time at Dog Town Rescue in Montgomery County and also collects food at school for local for shelters.
Forming a kinship with children with disabilities through her own experience with a leg brace and walker as child, Samantha teaches kids how to play baseball in the Miracle League and also volunteers with the Central Bucks EMS Explorers.
While participating in community service events with her grandmother, Madeline developed her own charity that produces and donates storage bags for those who use walkers and wheelchairs.
She also volunteers at the Ronald McDonald House, The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and Shriners Hospital, prepares meals for Aid for Fiends and works with the Greater Philadelphia Diaper Bank.
The youngest of the group at only 11, Mila helps feed the homeless through the Bucks Knocks Out Hunger program and recently donated proceeds from her lemonade stand to hurricane relief.
When not earning automotive technology certificates at Tennent, Colin volunteers as a firefighter with the Warminster Fire Co. and recently earned a spot on the team honor roll by fundraising for the First Annual Philadelphia 911 Memorial Stair Climb.
The awardees were among nearly two dozen nominees that were in the running to be honored at the event sponsored by the Charles D. Close School of Entrepreneurship at Drexel University with support from Dontech, Inc. and Penn Community Bank.
“One of the reasons I look forward to coming to this event every year is because I get to see the best of the future in person,” Matt Weintraub stated.
PHOTO CAP: At the Young Citizens Awards ceremony, from left, Samantha Menzak, Rachael Savio, Madeline Hoffman, Colin Redner, Josh Corson, Bucks County District Attorney Matt Weintraub, Mila Propato, Dr. Anna Shantz, Young Citizens chairperson, Todd Hurley of Penn Community Bank, Trevor McGrath, Eva Rae Martinez, Delanie Heath and Grace Cashman.