Sacred Heart students honored with Youth Service Awards

Six Sacred Heart Greenwich students received the Don Bosco Youth Service Award for their participation in and contributions to the Early Childhood Bilingual Program (ECBP).  Juniors Cameron Calcano, Nicole Mellert, and Julia Welsh, as well as seniors Adriana Arias, Gigi Jervis, and Shantel Guzman,  attended the annual Don Bosco Dreams dinner and gala Friday, November 16.

The students all participated in the ECBP this past summer, during which they taught English and Spanish to young children.

Adriana Arias, Cameron Calcano, Nicole Mellert, Julia Welsh, Shantel Guzman, and Gigi Jervis at the Don Bosco Dreams gala November 16 with Mrs. Garcia. Shantel Guzman ’19 

Don Bosco hosted the dinner and gala at The Apawamis Club in Rye, New York.  The six Sacred Heart students received their Don Bosco Youth Service Awards at the benefit event.  Representatives Mr. Fred Camillo, Mr. Mike Bocchino, Ms. Livvy Floren, and Senator Mr. Scott Frantz presented the students with official citations on behalf of the State of Connecticut.

Mrs. Kerry Bader, Upper School Director of Upper School Social Justice and Service and Peer Leadership Co-Moderator, and Mrs. Montserrat Garcia, Upper School Spanish Teacher and Upper School World Languages Department Chair, also attended the Don Bosco Dreams dinner and gala.

Don Bosco Community Center, located in Port Chester, New York, serves people of all ages within the community.  Don Bosco offers summer camps, soup kitchens, food pantries, and English as a Second Language (ESL) classes. The ECBP helps 3-year-old and 4-year-old Hispanic children develop listening, speaking, reading, and writing skills in both Spanish and English, according to

Cameron emphasized the effectiveness of Don Bosco’s programs, especially the ECBP.  She explained how ECBP serves as more than just a language class for the participating children.

“[Don Bosco] is a very special organization because it reminds these children about the importance and value of their native culture, as well as teaches them how to integrate into the community of Port Chester and other surrounding communities,” Cameron said.

Each of the Sacred Heart students who received the Youth Service Award, including Julia, finds that it is extremely meaningful to apply their education in a way that positively impacts the community.

“After taking Spanish for seven years at Sacred Heart, it is really powerful using these skills in real

Senior Shantel Guzman was one of the six Sacred Heart students who volunteered with Don Bosco’s ECBP.  Shantel Guzman ’19

life scenarios, while more importantly, using them in a way that helps the Port Chester community and truly makes a difference,” Julia said.  “I love being a part of such a special organization that is so dedicated to giving back and making a significant difference in the community.”

All six of the Sacred Heart students have a passion for community service and also enjoy working with young children.  Gigi feels that she can speak for each of her classmates when she says that the Youth Service Award is only a representation of the valuable experience she gained from Don Bosco.

“We love the community, staff, and most importantly the children who we work with,” Gigi said.  “I believe our experiences and what we learned from the service [. . .] will forever surpass the physical award we received.”

Featured Image by Shantel Guzman ’19