County honors 10 area teens, 3 youth workers

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UTICA — Ten youth and three adults were honored Thursday for their positive impact on the community at the 2nd Annual Oneida County Youth Awards Dinner.

The event was sponsored by the Friends of the Oneida County Youth Bureau. The winners were anonymously selected by a reading committee of Youth Advisory Board members. The honorees were nominated by various school districts and community youth-serving agencies.

“The exceptional qualities possessed by these honorees are something that all members of our community should strive to emulate,” said Oneida County Executive Anthony Picente Jr., who served as keynote speaker at the event.

“This annual awards dinner demonstrates that the future of Oneida County is in good hands with outstanding youth who are being guided by equally outstanding adults,” Picente added.

This year, a new award category was added for commitment to military service to honor graduating seniors who have enlisted in the armed forces, National Guard or a military academy.

The 2019 winners are:

Distinguished Volunteer Award (Youth): Maheen Qureshi

Spirit of Success Award (Youth): Blair M. Kahler

Positive Change Leading to Success (Youth): Jacob Cooper

Exceptional Leadership Awards (Youth): Gu Nay Ku, Molly Williams

Commitment to Military Service Awards (Youth): Jamilex Neris, Nicholas Clayton, Matthew Pietryka, Madeline
Peyton, Michael Stappenbeck

Distinguished Youth Employee Award (Adult): Arianna Westfall

Rising Star in Youth Services Award (Adult): Nicole Weis

Connecting Our Community Award (Adult): Walt Savage

“We have so many positive stories that highlight our amazing youth and adults working in youth services here within Oneida County,” said Oneida County Youth Bureau Director Kevin Green. “I’m proud that this event continues to grow and to unite community-minded youth and adults by spotlighting their extraordinary qualities.”

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