Local youth honored for service to community

The 27th annual Mayor's Youth Award was held recently at Milford City Hall, honoring local youth for their community involvement.
Teachers, parents, clergy, friends and group leaders nominated finalists for the awards.
The recipients are as follows:
Elementary School: Rachel Sulkis
Rachel is very active in the community, especially through her efforts in the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation. Along with her family and the school nurse, she organized a JDRF Walk-a-Thon this year. She encouraged children to donate by giving out JDRF bracelets and helped to raise $2,710 for the cause.
In addition to the school based walk, Rachel also participated in the North Haven Walk-a-Thon and raised an additional $4,615.
“Within the school community, Rachel is a true leader,” city officials said. “She has been an active member of the Girls Scouts, represents her class in the Student Leadership Team and was also selected to be a hall monitor. It is evident that Rachel is on the road to becoming an active participant in the Milford community.”
Middle School: Ashley Hallengren
Ashley is not only a smart, charismatic, caring individual, she is an active volunteer in our community, city and school officials said.
Ashley works very hard for her grades and has earned high honors her entire school career. This year, Ashley was the recipient of the Superintendent's Award of Excellence. She is a Make Your Day Role Model and an anti-bullying advocate. She also volunteers with the Boy Scout troop and each year actively participates in the Thanks for Giving Food Drive.
“Ashley is also a very talented artist — she paints, draws and plays music. Milford is lucky to have a youth like her in our community,” officials said.
High School: Justin McFadden
Justin is a very diligent student in the classroom, on the basketball court, and through his extracurricular activities. This year Justin has taken his philanthropic endeavors to the next level by joining the school's Key Club and volunteering his time to support various local organizations, including the Red Cross, the Milford Literacy Center and the Salvation Army. He also volunteers at the Unified Sports Basketball games, assisting students with disabilities.
“In everything he does, Justin offers a warm smile and great attitude,” his teachers said.
High School: Kassandra Sebas
Kassandra regularly offers her time in the St. Ann Parish. She is a group leader in the summer camp and has a knack for working with young children, parish officials said.
“This year Kassandra began serving as a grade 5/grade 6 facilitator for the religious education program,” according to an award program announcement. “She is also an active member of the Teen Service Group throughout the year. She continues to volunteer with Home Front to help a local family in need of home repairs. She assisted with the Christmas Giving Tree program is often the first to lend a hand whenever needed.”
Group Category: Joseph A. Foran High School Wrestling
The Joseph A. Foran High School Wrestlers organized and designed a fundraiser for the Wounded Warrior Project. Through their efforts, they presented the charity with a check for $1,800.