Salesianum Honored as First Ambassador School for Jefferson Awards



Salesianum School was selected as the first Ambassador Level school by the Jefferson Awards-Deloitte Students in Action, an honor that recognizes its high level of public works and service by the student body.


The Ambassador Level was established in the summer of 2011 for schools that have won their regional competitions for two years and were seeking a higher level of commitment and competition. Salesianum was chosen for exemplifying the core values of the Jefferson Awards. They will represent the Ambassador Level at the National Ceremonies in Washington, DC this June.


“It is an honor and privilege to represent all the good that Salesianum School has accomplished and to now continue our mission into the future,” Mrs. Dolores Ballintyn, Moderator for Salesianum’s Jefferson Awards team, said.


Salesianum’s Jefferson Awards team sought to promote the Students in Action program this year beyond the regional level and focus on the goals set forth in the ambassador level: partnership, mentorship and collaboration. The Jefferson Awards team promotes the service at Salesianum performed by students, teachers, alumni, clubs and teams.


Salesianum recruited two high schools to the Jefferson Awards-Deloitte Students in Action program: Concord High School and Unionville High School. It also partnered with Padua Academy to establish a leadership conference for middle school students. In March, Salesianum hosted the first ever Students in Action Summit, which helped other schools prepare for the seven regional goals set forth by the Jefferson Awards-Deloitte Students in Action.


Salesianum’s Jefferson Awards team expanded its service work this year as well.  New ventures included a California Pizza Kitchen fundraiser to benefit Nativity Preparatory School, and the establishment of a mentorship program at Warner Elementary School. With the latter program, the team’s goal is to establish one club meeting a month to devote to tutoring Warner students.


The Jefferson Awards team has recognized individuals and clubs for their service to the school and the community. Among the clubs recognized were the Biology Club for its new recycling program, the SADD/YELL organization for its fundraising and awareness raising of safe driving; the Salesianum hockey team for its work with the Hockey for a Cause program, which supports the Delaware Foundation Reaching Citizens; and the Interact Club for its numerous service works with the Wilmington Western Rotary Club. Individuals recognized thus far this year include freshmen Drew Chollis and Patrick Gallagher, and juniors Philip Cress and Michael McLaughlin.


Thirty-one students serve on the Jefferson Awards team. They are seniors Trevor Bacal, Luke Bader, Tyler Bryan, Ryan Jones, PJ Meyer, Nick Paoli, Joe Pendrak, Jacob Szrama, Brandon Tuozzolo, and Tom Zabielski; juniors Matt Bisson, Shawn Caton, James Fariello, Matthew Judge, Ian McNeely, Coby Owens, Tom Renneisen, Lakshman Somasundaram, and Tommy Webster; sophomores Phil Claudy, Ryan Liszkiewicz, Dan McFadden, Jason Norat, Julian DiSimplico, Chris Reynolds, Dan Turk, Vincent Vella, and Sam Watson; freshmen Adam Kozicki, Andrew Powers and Bill Watkins.


The Jefferson Awards for Public Service was founded in 1972 by Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, Senator Robert Taft, Jr., and Sam Beard to create a Nobel Prize for public and community service. The mission of the Jefferson Awards is to honor Americans who have performed outstanding Public Service and to inspire others to follow their example.


The Students in Action (SIA) was created in partnership with Deloitte with the aggressive goal of helping to double volunteerism in America’s high schools. The strategy is to create Jefferson Awards youth leadership teams in each high school that celebrate great volunteers, inspire others to get involved and help raise additional resources to expand volunteer activities in the areas of need. Students in Action is currently operating in over 325 high schools nationwide and in 13 regions: Charleston, Chicago, Delaware, Central Florida, Indianapolis, Memphis, Minneapolis-St. Paul, New Jersey, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, the San Francisco Bay Area, Savannah and Toledo.