Benedictine Academy Students Receive NJ Youth Service Awards

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ELIZABETH — Benedictine Academy, an all-female Catholic college prep high school in Elizabeth, received two awards in the category of “Peace & Justice” during the “NJ Youth Service Awards” Ceremony held at the Newark Museum on Saturday, May 21. The awards were given through the “New Jersey Make Service Count Challenge”, a Youth Service Initiative of the NJ “Jefferson Governor’s Award” coordinated by the Star Ledger of NJ and the Community Foundation of NJ.

In addition, Benedictine Academy’s Campus Minster Linda Michalski, who coordinated all of the service projects run by the students this school year, was honored and presented with the “NJ Youth Service Awards” Outstanding Mentor Award. Michalski was singled out for her support which allowed students to “follow their passions to help others in their own community and across the globe,” according to Karen Hatcher, Regional Director of “Students In Action” in New Jersey. In presenting Michalski with the award, Hatcher noted that under her guidance, “students have previously raised money to build a school in Africa, have presented their concerns related to child slave labor to the United Nations, and have met with the Mayor of Elizabeth to discuss a city-wide anti-bullying campaign.”

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Benedictine Academy’s two service clubs, SHAC (Students Helping All Children) and the Peace & Justice Club, were honored for their exceptional good works along with sixteen other schools from northern New Jersey and several individuals who carried out numerous service projects over the past year or more.

“It’s an amazing honor,” said Benedictine Academy sophomore Kai Alexander. “To think, we were able to make a difference in people’s lives!” “This is a great accomplishment and a milestone for BA,” said classmate Kelly Amorim, “to be recognized is a great honor.”

Benedictine Academy’s SHAC Club will also be recognized on June 8 at a dinner at the Newark Museum as the Jefferson Award’s Youth Group to be honored in the state for volunteer service. The Academy’s Youth Group is one of nineteen nominees, out of over 800 adult/youth nominations in the state, to be awarded the Jefferson Medal, according to Campus Minister Michalski. Additionally, Benedictine Academy students will travel to Washington, D.C. in mid-June to compete in the National Students in Action competition as part of the Jefferson Awards for Public Service. The Jefferson Service Award is considered the Nobel Peace Prize for volunteer service. Benedictine Academy also won the “Jefferson Award New Jersey Regional Competition” and Gold Banner for outstanding volunteerism in April.

Benedictine Academy Campus Minister Linda Michalski (left) with Karen Hatcher, Regional Director of Students in Action in New Jersey, after the awards ceremony at the Newark Museum on May 21. Michalski, who moderated the service projects run by the students this school year, was honored and presented with the “NJ Youth Service Awards” Outstanding Mentor Award. She was singled out for her support which allowed students to “follow their passions to help others in their own community and across the globe.” (Photo courtesy of Benedictine Academy)


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