Senator Squadron Honors 43 Local Students With First Annual “SAGE” Award

Daniel L. Squadron

July 01, 2009

Students Awarded for Service and Government Engagement (SAGE)

Senator: “Now more than ever, we must recognize service and engagement by young people”

New York, NY—State Senator Daniel Squadron announced today that 43 graduates of 34 schools in the 25th Senate District have won the first annual Service and Government Engagement (SAGE) Award, a distinction for students who have dedicated themselves not just to academic work but to community participation outside the classroom as well.

The SAGE Award encourages public service, with the goal of building students into engaged citizens and active members of society.  Senator Squadron believes that civic participation leads to lifelong active engagement, not just in the immediate areas where students serve the community but in the process of addressing problems constructively, searching for creative solutions to longstanding concerns and working toward a better society.

“Now more than ever, we must recognize service and engagement by young people,” said State Senator Daniel Squadron.  “The people who will fix our state’s problems are the ones who roll up their sleeves, engage with their communities, and demand an accountable government.  I consider these awardees not just students to honor but partners in the fight for a more effective government and a stronger New York.”

Awardees include graduates of elementary, middle and high schools, with diverse records of engagement in the community and local political life.  Students include:

    • Jazmin Hawes, a 5th grader at P.S. 1 in Manhattan, who uses her free time to volunteer for Penny Harvest, collecting pennies to raise money for community organizations.   "She is an enthusiastic graduating fifth-grader who takes service and volunteerism seriously and uses her time and effort to help others in the community," said teacher Eleanor Christian, a co-coach of the Penny Harvest team.

    • Isabel Arriaga, a 5th grader at P.S. 261 in Brooklyn, who ran successfully for secretary of her class and worked with her teachers to help with “May Games,” an event that raised money for science equipment for her school. 
       "She is a wonderful student – invested in her education, smart and reliable.  Truly a role model for the upcoming fifth grade class," said teacher Marie Desforges.
       “I got really into it,” Isabel said of her class secretary campaign.  “I liked campaigning and winning the primaries.”

    • Ashley Blanco, a Girls Preparatory Charter School student who became known by teachers and students for helping build a supportive learning environment for her fellow students.  “At Girls Prep, Community means Sisterhood.  Ashley Blanco received the S.A.G.E. award for always caring and going above and beyond for her fellow sisters. It was unknown to her family that Ashley would receive the award, when Ashley's name was called, Ms. Rodriguez, her mom, was in tears,” reported Yohana Dos Santos, Director of Student and Family Affairs.

    • Melanie Steinhardt, a senior at Bard High School Early College in Manhattan, who held a leadership post in her school’s newspaper and visited Albany to lobby Senator Squadron about education funding.

Awardees were nominated by the schools they attend.  The complete list of 2009 SAGE awardees is:

P.S. 1, Alfred E. Smith School: Jazmin Hawes
P.S. 2, the Meyer London School: Bonnie Mou and Nathan Chong
P.S. 8, the Robert Fulton School: Eric Wefald and Jamie Wefald
P.S. 15, the Roberto Clemente School: Angel Deliez
P.S. 20, the Ana Silver School: Carlos Castro
P.S. 64, the Robert Simon School: Lexus Rodriguez
P.S. 124, the Yung Wing School: Elisa Zhang
P.S. 130, the Hernando De Soto School: Shu Ting Li
P.S. 137, the John L. Bernstein School: Destiny Cruz
P.S. 140, the Nathan Straus School: Raven Canada
M292, the Henry Street School for International Studies: Kyla Miliano
M298, Pace High School: Thomas Beauford and Donneshia Steele
M308, the Lower Manhattan Arts Academy: Shaun Covington
M361, the Children’s Workshop School: Mae Hardman-Hill
M330, Girls Preparatory Charter School of New York: Ashley Blanco
M345, Collaborative Academy of Science, Technology, & Law: Angela Wong
M418, Millennium High School: Julius Elinson
M425, Leadership and Public Service High School: Kristina Cepeda
M450, East Side Community High School: Nolann Tyrell
M489, High School of Economics and Finance: Michael Goldstein and Andres Teran
M500, Unity Center for Urban Technologies: Whitney Cornelius and Souleymane Diallo
M520, the Murry Bergtraum High School for Business Careers: Jonathon Martinez
M545, the High School for Dual Language and Asian Studies: Olga Lickova
M650, Cascades High School: Marie Sully
M696, Bard High School Early College: Melanie Steinhardt
M707, John. V. Lindsay Wildcat Academy Charter School: Daniel Borrero

K027, the Agnes Humphrey School for Leadership: Zeeva Fred
P.S. 58, the Carroll School: Shainn Chalothron
K071, Juan Morel Campos Secondary School: Yannerys Suarezpena and Deshion Deleon
P.S. 261, the Philip Livingston School: Isabel Arriaga and Yohance Barton
K265, Dr. Susan S. McKinney Secondary School of the Arts: Wady Capellan and Marcus Edwards
P.S. 307, Daniel Hale Williams: Gabrielle Cole and Iyanna Grayson
K313, Satellite West Middle School: Quasiem Simmons
K483, the Urban Assembly School for Law and Justice: Edania Heslop
K520, Pacific High School: Hilda Gonzaga