2nd Annual 2019 Oneida County Youth Awards Dinner

County Executive Picente, the Oneida County Youth Bureau and Veterans Department recognized 10 youth and 3 adults at their 2019 Oneida County Youth Awards Dinner. The event, sponsored by The Friends of the Oneida County Youth Bureau, was held at Daniele’s Banquet Specialists on Thursday, June 6th. We were honored to have as our 2019 keynote speaker, County Executive Picente, who shared words of encouragement and gave praise to and for our honored award recipients.

This year an award recognizing “Commitment to Military Service” was added to the 2019 program. We honored (5) such youth who are considered some of Oneida County’s “Most Brave.” This first year collaborative recognition award connected our Oneida County Veterans Department headed up by Mr. Joe Perrone. All (5) youth recipients made the courageous decision to serve and defend all of our freedoms by enlisting in the Armed Forces / Military Academy or the National Guard.

In addition, nominees from various school districts and community youth serving agencies were also honored and recognized at this dinner. Director of the Oneida County Youth Bureau Kevin Green, as well as Youth Advisory Board members were excited and encouraged by the success of this 2nd year event. “As we continue to highlight our exceptional youth and adults working in youth services, this event is a culmination of their tireless effort to lead by example and to overcome everyday obstacles leading to success.” Green added, “This annual event focuses on uniting community minded youth and adults spotlighting qualities such as positive change leading to success, the spirit of success, exceptional leadership, distinguished volunteerism, connecting our community, rising star in youth services, distinguished youth employee and commitment to military service.”

Those honored were anonymously selected by a reading committee comprised of Youth Advisory Board members. Congratulations to the following Class of 2019 Oneida County Youth Awards recipients:

*Distinguished Youth Volunteer Award
Maheen Qureshi (Whitesboro High School)

*Spirit of Success Youth Award
Blair M. Kahler (Whitesboro High School)

*Positive Change Leading to Success Youth Award
Jacob Cooper (Proctor High School)

*Exceptional Youth Leadership Award
Gu Nay Ku (Proctor High School)
Molly Williams (Waterville High School)

*Commitment to Military Service
Jamilex Neris (Proctor High School)
Nicholas Clayton (Oriskany High School)
Matthew Pietryka (New Hartford High School)
Madeline Peyton (Notre Dame High School)
Michael Stappenbeck (New Hartford High School)

*Distinguished Youth Employee Award
Ariana Westfall (Safe Schools Mohawk Valley Employee)

*Rising Star in Youth Services Award
Nicole Weis (Safe Schools Mohawk Valley Employee)

*Connecting Our Community Award
Walt Savage (Utica City School District Employee)