To the Early Birds Go the Awards

There are lots of annual occasions we might occasionally skip, but not the Rye Youth Council Awards Breakfast. It’s good for the soul, and not just because it’s held in church.

On April 25 at 7:30 a.m., the Rye Presbyterian Church Westminster Room was filled with students of high caliber, their parents, and well-wishers from Rye’s schools and community organizations.

In her welcoming remarks, Rye Youth Council Executive Director Diane Rosenthal encouraged all the students in the room to think about who encouraged them. “We thank those families, schools, and the community.”

Casey Carlucci DeCola, Director of Teen Services, said she is always heartened to help cultivate an environment that helps young people reach their greatest potential. “Our kids truly aspire to be agents of change.”

Alec Jautz, a Rye High junior, offered a student’s perspective of the ways in which the Youth Council embraces the whole Rye community. “Many of us have enjoyed not only helping Rye’s senior citizens ‘connect with tech,’ but have gone beyond a mere reach-out to seniors. We’ve also started discussion panels with parents.”

In her closing remarks, Board President Lisa Faries sent the students off to school with “We look forward to seeing you all grow and shine.”

  • Robin Jovanovich


#0920 Executive Director Diane Rosenthal

#0953 Penelope “Penny” Dean received the Feffi Stiassni Memorial Award from Margot and Sandy Stiassni.

#0933 Cheryl Flood presented the Deane Flood Spirit Award to Ellen Scully.

#0948 The recipient of the September 11th Memorial Award, presented by Andi Hessekial, was Matthew Zar.

#0928 Alec Jautz

#0946 Sorcha McCrohan sharing a moment with Emilie Murphy Nimocks, who presented her with the Suzanne Murphy Memorial Scholarship Award.

#0938 Spencer Hunt, winner of the Rye Youth Council Award, flanked by Casey DeCola and Lisa Faries.

#0936 Leslie Gutelius received the Dick Murdoch Legacy Award from Sarah Bowen, Rev. Murdoch’s daughter.

#0929 Dylan Senkiw with Shari Balaish, who presented him with the Janice C. Pierce Award.

#0958 Kristin Jautz with Sandra “Sunny” Sousa, recipient of the Lorraine Levinson Speak Out for Social Justice Award

#0956 Ethan Sears with Kelley Somerville, who presented him with the Karena Somerville Award.

#0971 Zach Samberg, recipient of the Gail Harrison Roman/Rye Arts Center Award, with from left: RAC Executive Director Meg Rodriguez, his mom Sandy, Lisa Faries, and Gail Roman

#0966 It was a doubly good morning for Matthew Zar, who also won the Rye YMCA Scholarship Award, presented to him by Gregg Howells.

#0973 Ellen Scully with her proud mom, Caroline