Mayor Ben Blake and Milford Youth & Family Services presented the 30th Annual Mayor’s Youth Awards on Tuesday, May 1.

The awards were given to youth who demonstrated an outstanding commitment to

improving the Milford community.

The award recipients are as follows:

Elementary School: Joey Meade

Joey is an avid reader who enjoys helping others. His determination has sent him on a mission to collect recycled cans and bottles to allow him to donate a portion of his profits to the Literacy Volunteers of Southern Connecticut (LVSC).

Joey wants to spread the joy of reading to both adults and children.

He set up bins and boxes all over Milford and, with help from his parents, he created a Facebook page to help recruit friends and neighbors to assist with his mission. Soon many people began not only dropping off their own recycles, but encouraging others to as well.

Since the beginning, Joey has collected and recycled over 45,000 items and has donated $900 to the LVSC while saving $1,000 towards his college fund.

Middle School: Mackenzie Powers

At such a young age, Mackenzie was bothered by the litter at our Milford beaches and expressed an interest to her dad that she would like to do a cleanup. That was 10 years ago, and every year Mackenzie’s Annual Beach Clean Up grows with not only the number of volunteers, but also the amount of garbage that is collected.

She has volunteered at the Boys and Girls Club, Clothes Closet, Hurricane Sandy clean up, and also mentors her peers. She has been a Girl Scout since the first grade and is now a second year Cadette. On top of all this, Mackenzie has been able to maintain excellent grades and has earned honors with distinction for every marking period at West Shore.

High School: Cristina Ludwig

Cristina exemplifies an extremely compassionate nature and dedication to community service. Her activities this year have included being president of her Junior Class, president of the Lauralton Crusader Club, which focuses on improving the school community environment, student council, school newspaper, Spanish Club, and the Stock Market Club. Cristina has also been an ongoing participant in Relay for Life, March of Dimes Walk for Babies, and the Girl Scouts for over five years. Several years ago, she also created a group called the “Kindness Crew,” which consists of young people who spend their time making cards, baking treats and visiting nursing homes.

Group Category: Mathewson Bulldog Brigade

The Mathewson Bulldog Brigade is comprised of 18 students in the fourth and fifth grades. The students that have been nominated by their teachers exhibit positive traits of leadership such as responsibility, compassion, problem solving and creativity. The purpose of the Bulldog Brigade is to provide support and service to both the Mathewson community and the larger Milford community. Throughout this year, they have completed projects such as the Helping Houston Campaign. This campaign led them to raise over $900 as well as collect Barnes and Nobles gift cards to benefit a Houston Elementary School whose library was destroyed during the hurricane. They have also organized a stocking stuffer at the Beth El Shelter, a coat drive for Button Up Connecticut, and they participated in a peer mentor and classroom helper program.