Pawtucket Teen Hall of Fame inducts seven new members

Pawtucket Teen Hall of Fame inducts seven new members

Inducted into the Pawtucket Teen Hall of Fame at its annual dinner last Thursday are, from left, Malik Gomes, Kayla Colson, Ashley Leonardo, Brianna Castro and Robert Postle. Also inducted, but unable to attend, were Payton Gallagher and Coral Leigh Santos.

PAWTUCKET - The Pawtucket Prevention Coalition honored seven new members of the Pawtucket Teen Hall of Fame as they were inducted in ceremonies at its 21st annual awards dinner on June 5 at the Pawtucket Country Club.

The seven inductees were among 13 teens nominated for the honor for their devotion to community service, including hundreds of hours spent helping others.

"We thank all the nominees tonight who have volunteered their time, energy and dedication to community service endeavors," said emcee and PPC Coordinator Diane Dufresne.

Dufresne said the 13 nominees devoted 1,119 total volunteer hours in the past year to community service. They received numerous citations and $50 gift cards courtesy of the Pawtucket Credit Union.

Inducted were:

* Brianna Castro, 17, a student at Blackstone Academy Charter School, who spent 72 hours creating and facilitating a "judgment-free" safe zone for students with difficulty handling social skills, volunteering with the Youth Advisory Council in collaboration with the state Department of Health and at Curtis Elementary School.

* Kayla Colson, 17, a student at St. Raphael Academy, who spent 50 hours volunteering with the Goff Junior High School Drama Club, serving on U.S. Rep. David Cicilline's "student cabinet," and running a toiletries drive to benefit the Pawtucket Soup Kitchen.

* Payton Gallagher, 16, a student at Davies Career & Technical High School, who spent 50 hours volunteering with the Pawtucket Family YMCA on numerous health and wellness events, working to keep younger children focused on increasing their activity level and maintaining better nutrition.

* Malik Gomes, 17, a Blackstone Academy Charter School senior, who spent 74 hours as youth representative to the Prevention Coalition, including assisting the coalition's St. Patrick's Parade float and annual Red Ribbon Rally, and also volunteering to teach after-school cooking classes and work on improving student nutrition.

* Ashley Leonardo, 14, a student at Jenks Junior High School, who spent 70 hours serving as a member of Creating Solutions for Independence, initiating a homework club, volunteering for Earth Day and other cleanups, and facilitating activities at Creative Solutions for Independence.

* Robert Postle, 16, a Shea High School student, who spent 40 hours volunteering with the REACH Workshops through the Darlington Congregational Church, helping financially challenged families to rebuild and restore their homes. He did everything from painting and resurfacing to building wheelchair ramps.

* Coral Leigh Santos, 18, a student at St. Raphael Academy, who spent 140 hours tutoring fellow students, facilitating leadership seminars and teaching lesson plans for a service trip with the LaSallian Youth Service Program, assisting low-income students at a New York middle school, volunteering at the Senior Citizen Prom at St. Germain Manor, assembling Thanksgiving and Christmas food baskets for the needy through the Adopt-a-Family program, and coaching the Trudeau Tigers Special Olympics swim team. She was the 2011 Youth of the Year at the Pawtucket Boys & Girls Club.

Also nominated to the Teen Hall were Malashea Cheathom, Fidaa Janoudi, Widalys Otero, Julia Salinas, Melissa Santos and Paola Velez. Dufresne advised the nominees to continue their good works and reapply for induction next year.

Maria DelCarmen Sullivan was given the coalition's 2014 Humanitarian Award for her work as coordinator for the Creating Solutions for Independence program conducted at Galego Court and 560 Prospect St.

Maria DelCarmen Sullivan, left, coordinator of the Creating Solutions for Independence program at Galego Court and 560 Prospect St., receives the Pawtucket Prevention Coalition's 2014 Humanitarian Award from PPC Coordinator Diane Dufresne at the annual awards dinner at the Pawtucket Country Club.