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Nominees Sought for Service Award

Do you know a high school senior who loves their community and serves it with passion and vigor?  The Westport Youth Commission is looking for nominations for such a young person for the annual James S. Vacharach Service to the Community Award.  "All qualified Westport high school seniors are eligible for this award, considered to be one of the most prestigious high school honors in town," says Barbara Butler, Human Services Director.  "Successful applicants must demonstrate exemplary leadership ability and high standards of community service to our town."  Students are nominated by an adult or fellow student.  The award may be presented to more than one student depending on the quality of applicants.

Last year, Jessie Boas, a Staples student,  won the award.  Boas was a dedicated EMT volunteer who logged in hundreds of hours of service. She was also the co-chair of the Youth Commission and initiated efforts related to underage drinking and internet safety.  "She's a very bright, articulate and subtle leader," says Elaine Daignault, Coodinator of Youth Services.

The award --presented to students since 1989-- honors the late James S. Bacharach, a founder and past-president of the Youth Adult Council, which became the Westport Youth Commission.

Finalists are chosen by a subcommittee of the Westport Youth Commission.  Winners will be presented a plaque at the annual end-of-year awards presentation at their school.  The Westport Youth Commission, appointed by the First Selectman and staffed by the Department of Human Services, is comprised of 15 Westport high school students and 15 Westport adults.  It promotes the positive development of youth in their families, schools, community and among their peers.

Applications are available online at the counseling offices at Staples High School, Greens Farms Academy, Hopkins School, Laurelton, Fairfield Prep, at Toquet Hall, the Westport Public Library and from the Deptartment of Human Services at Town Hall.  The application should be submitted along with a maximum of two references or letters of support describing the student's community contribution. For further information, contact Elaine Daignault at 203-341-1165 or

Applications must be faxed (203-341-1073) e-mailed, or mailed to Dept. of Human Services, Attention: Bacharach Awards Committee, 110 Myrtle Avenue, Westport by May 10.

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