TARRYTOWN, N.Y. – Westchester County residents, leaders and elected officials filled the Doubletree Hotel on Monday to honor local high school students at the 11th Annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Legacy Youth Awards Luncheon.
“We are here to celebrate young people who keep the legacy of Martin Luther King alive with their selfless service to their community,” said William Carter of the Theodore D. Young Community Center.
Awards were given to high school students from Mamaroneck, Chappaqua, New Rochelle, White Plains and Peekskill who were responsible for spearheading committees, organizations and programs and spreading social awareness through their respective communities.
“The idea for us is to encourage volunteers,” said Naomi Adler, CEO of United Way of Westchester and Putnam. The award recipients were nominated by fellow community members. “It could have been anybody who was inspired by them. They can’t nominate themselves so it’s not self-serving."
The awards ceremony was co-sponsored by the African American Men of Westchester, United Way of Westchester and Putnam and the Martin Luther King Jr. Legacy Youth Awards committee.
Elected officials attending the ceremony included County Executive Rob Astorino, U.S. Rep. Nita Lowey (D-17), Assembly member Robert Castelli (R, C – Goldens Bridge) and White Plains Mayor Thomas Roach.
“There are too many people in Westchester, too many people in our country, who are worrying about their next meal, who don’t have enough money to send their kids to college, who don’t have a proper place to live,” said Lowey. “Every person should have the opportunity to pursue the American dream.”
Complete list of winners:
Building Bridges Awards
Josh Goldstein, Fieldston School, Mamaroneck N.Y.
Victoria Blumenfeld, Horace Greeley High School, Chappaqua, N.Y.
Peace and Non-Violence Award
Catherine Semple, Peekskill High School, Peekskill, N.Y.
Social Action Award
Jazzmin Hylton, New Rochelle High School, New Rochelle, N.Y.
Social Justice Award
Jason Bass, Alexander Hamilton High School, White Plains, N.Y.
Spirit of Love Award
Olivia Iannotti, The Ursuline School, New Rochelle, N.Y.
Danielle Jacobson, Horace Greeley High School, Chappaqua, N.Y.