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Students recognized for above and beyond service

May 14, 2014 - By Katie Winkler

Review Staff Writer

Some of the best in Lake Orion schools were honored on May 1, as 33 middle school and high school students were recognized for their excessive involvement in the community.

The Youth Recognition Awards, hosted by Orion Area Youth Assistance, were held at Lake Orion High School's Performing Arts Center.

Among these students were twins Niamh and Caitlyn Loxley-Smith. Both attend Waldon Middle School and participate in National Junior Honor Society. Their recognition was based on their weekly commitment to the Orion Public Library, where they work in the children's section cleaning, making crafts, etc. These eighth graders enjoy getting involved and have exceeded their required community service hours for NJHS.

Along with other members of the Gingellville Community Church, they will be heading to Mexico this summer for a mission trip.

"We are really just being God's hands and feet and helping people there," Caitlyn Loxely-Smith said.

After being recognized for their multiple efforts, the siblings said that they felt important being acknowledged for doing something good in the community. They plan to continue working at the library and joining other clubs, National Honor Society, band, etc. once they continue to LOHS next fall.

Students were recognized for various volunteer opportunities, varying from Student Council and National Honor Society involvement to Christ the Redeemer Music in Motion programs. For their efforts, these youth received five documents of recognition along with a $10 Tim Horton's gift card. OAYA recognizes youth during this annual event in efforts to prevent children from acting out.

Ruth Ann McCallum, OAYA Volunteer Board Member explained that these awards are to recognize what is above and beyond requirements for graduation. Churches, school counselors, or any members of the community can nominate students simply by filling out a form and explaining why this student is eligible.

"You hear stories about youth getting into trouble and unfortunately you don't hear enough about the kids that do good," McCallum said. "Anytime youth can get involved, there is an energy level that really makes it special."

"We like the kids in the community to see the adults recognize that volunteering is necessary; its good for everybody and we'd like to see them continue to volunteer so we like to make a big deal about it," OAYA Volunteer Board Member, Janet Wolverton, said.

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