4 Milford high school seniors receive DAR Good Citizen Awards

MILFORD >> Four high school seniors, one from each of the Milford high schools, were honored March 16 with the Daughters of the American Revolution Good Citizen Award.

The award ceremony took place at the Freelove Baldwin Stow Chapter House.

The winners are Julia Astram, Foran High School; Lupita Barajas, Platt Regional Technical School; Jesse Greene, Lauralton Hall; and Jillian Bendlak, Jonathan Law, the overall winner.

Bendlak’s application was submitted to the state competition.

The award recognizes students for the four outstanding qualities of good citizenship: dependability, service, leadership, and patriotism. Students were chosen by vote of the faculty and guidance staff.

Each winner receives a certificate, a pin, and a monetary award.

Students had to write an essay on “Our American Heritage and Our Responsibility for Preserving it: How do the combined actions of many good citizens keep our nation moving forward?”

• Julia Astram is a varsity athlete, captain of Foran’s lacrosse and basketball teams. She was selected for the All Southern CT. Conference First Academic Team for two years. She has also served as the vice president of the National Honors Society and the Student Government, editor-in-chief of the school newspaper, Key Club member and Unified Sports student athlete mentor.

Last year she was the Bridgeport Barnum Festival queen.

She plans to attend DeSales University in the fall.

• Lupita Barajas is at the top of her graduating class and is a Diversity Team member, National Honor Society member, and editor of the school yearbook.

She has been elected student of the month for three years, and she won the “Best Green Design” from the Home Builder’s Association last year. She has volunteered many hours at the Beth-El Shelter.

She plans to major in math at Southern Connecticut State University and pursue an advance degree in structural design/engineering.

• Jesse Greene opened the ceremony by singing “America.” She is in the Lauralton Advanced Vocal Ensemble and has appeared in many Lauralton and Notre Dame West Haven musicals.

She is a member of the National Honor Society, Spanish Honor Society, Spanish Club, Music Ministry, and is a peer tutor at school.

She has received awards for excellence in math, history and music, has played softball and basketball, and has received the SCC Student Athlete Award.

She is a volunteer at the Milford Senior Center, Blessed Sacrament Church in Bridgeport and St. Gabriel Parish. She plans to attend Salve Regina University and earn bachelor’s and master’s degrees in nursing.

• Jillian Bendlak has received high honors throughout her high school career, with awards in Latin, civics, American government, and AP English.

She is vice president of Model United Nations, Natural Helpers and the High School Democrats. She is the Ambassador of Interact Club, senior class treasurer, and social media coordinator for the Drama Club.

She has been a dancer for 14 years and has participated in many school drama productions.

She volunteers at the Beth-El Shelter, is tour guide at school and volunteered at the polls on Election Day. In March, she was selected to attend the National Model UN Conference in New York City.

She plans to study international relations and French, go to graduate school, then work as a diplomat.

Jonathan Law students have won the overall Good Citizen Award for three years.