ELIZABETH–Ewa Kowalczyk, a sophomore at Benedictine Academy in Elizabeth, was honored recently with the “Jefferson Student in Action” Award, for “taking the initiative beyond the ordinary” to help others in need. Kowalczyk, an Elizabeth resident, was recognized at an awards ceremony held at the Academy on Nov. 23.
Kowalczyk was described during the presentation as an exceptional student who “stands out among her classmates”. She was saluted for her kind acts and hailed as an “unsung hero” who spends several hours each and every week tutoring young children who cannot speak English, visiting the elderly in nursing homes, and reaching out to lend a hand to anyone in the local community who is in need. Kowalczyk has stated that it is her life-long passion to help others and that it brings her great joy when she can inspire others to smile or share her own individual gifts. Fellow students at the ceremony applauded loudly when they heard Kowalczyk, who is a sophomore student leader, would be honored.
Benedictine Academy has been honored to be selected as an official “Jefferson Awards Service Leadership School”. The Academy was the first of any New Jersey school to join the “Jefferson Awards Students in Action” program. The “Students in Action” Club at Benedictine Academy continues to recognize the exceptional work by the school’s students. Last June, Benedictine Academy was recognized in Washington, D.C. as the National Jefferson Award “Best New School” in 2011 for Public Volunteer Service. The Academy’s Campus Ministry Students in Action Leaders received the award during National Ceremonies for the Jefferson Awards, held in the nation’s capital. Benedictine Academy was invited to attend the prestigious event because of the students’ exceptional hard work and award-winning programs on Anti-Bullying and Human Trafficking.
The “Jefferson Awards Service Leadership Schools” are serving as role models for other schools around the state – and eventually the country- to emulate. Each school’s faculty leadership and student volunteers are helping pass the tradition of voluntary service to future generations, while promoting a culture of volunteerism, youth ethics and leadership. “Jefferson Awards for Public Service” were created in 1972 by Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, U.S. Senator Robert Taft, Jr. and Sam Beard, to create a Nobel Prize for public and community service in America.
Ewa Kowalczyk is pictured with Benedictine Academy Principal Ken Jennings (Photo courtesy of Benedictine Academy)
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