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HOPP Award Winners: 2016-2017

Below are the HOPP (Heart of Pelham PACT) Award Recipients for the 2016-2017 school year.

Heart of Pelham PACT (HOPP) Award Winners for June 2017 

Thornton Donovan School senior Chris Miles and Pelham Memorial High School sophomore Kimberley Rosell are the recipients of the June 2017 Heart of Pelham PACT (HOPP) Award, sponsored by Arthur Scinta of Houlihan Lawrence. Thank you to our sponsors for making this award possible for Pelham youth.

Chris Miles is being honored for his KINDNESS, DETERMINATION and PERSEVERENCE. A senior at Thornton Donovan School, Chris moved to Pelham in 8th grade in order to pursue better academic opportunities, leaving behind his family and friends in the Bronx. In the five years he has lived in Pelham and attended Thornton Donovan, he has immersed himself in the school community and taken it upon himself to watch over and encourage younger students, serving as an extraordinary role model for them. Courteous, thoughtful and kind, Chris goes out of his way to help fellow students and families. At school, Chris is an active member of the Rocket Society and plays the drums. He is also the first student in the history of his school to be awarded an athletic college scholarship, and will be playing rugby in college next fall.

According to the adult who nominated him, Chris “is a perfect example of someone who takes advantage of the opportunities given to him and is grateful for those opportunities. He is a positive role model for all young children and we are honored to know him.” We are thrilled to recognize Chris for his hard work and determination with the HOPP Award – Congratulations!

Kimberly Rosell is being honored for her LEADERSHIP, COMPASSION and COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT.  A sophomore at PMHS, Kimberly is already a prolific community and school leader. As a Girl Scout, Kimberly has volunteered on behalf of senior citizens, veterans, and the environment and attained the Silver Award for her work with the Mount Vernon Animal Shelter. She has also served as a role model for younger scouts. Currently, she is working toward her Gold Award by organizing a large-scale collaborative effort to thank the Village of Pelham and Pelham Manor Police Departments. For the past two years, she has been selected to speak at the Annual Girl Scout Heart of the Hudson Luncheon, where she has spoken on the importance of community leadership.  She has also volunteered her time with Pelham Business Club and Relay for Life. At school, Kimberly is an honor student and a member of the Art History Club, Habitat for Humanity and the Art Club. She is also a member of the PMHS Varsity Volleyball team, and is Captain of her LHVA Volleyball Club.

The adult who nominated Kimberly praised her for being a compassionate leader. “Her enthusiasm to get others involved is one of her strongest traits. For ten years, she has pursued action to help others and has done so with great pride. She has helped seniors, younger scouts, veterans, the environment and animals. It’s been a life long journey she believes in, and one she will continue.” Kimberly has dedicated herself to improving the lives of people across Pelham, and we are proud to recognize her with the HOPP Award – Congratulations!

Do you know a Pelham teen doing great things in the community and who demonstrates compassion, leadership, integrity or determination? Nominate him or her for the Heart of Pelham PACT (HOPP) Award! Our next round of nominations are due by December 1, 2017.

Heart of Pelham PACT (HOPP) Award Winners for March 2017

Pelham Memorial High School senior Daniel Dempsey and sophomore Leana Rutt were honored with the March 2017 Heart of Pelham PACT (HOPP) Award, sponsored by the Junior League of Pelham and McClellan Sotheby’s International Realty. Thank you to our sponsors for making this award a possibility for Pelham youth.

Daniel Dempsey | Photo by Deborah J. Karson

Daniel Dempsey is being honored for his LEADERSHIP, DETERMINATION, and COMPASSION. A senior at PMHS, Daniel is a leader within the Boy Scouts, where he has achieved the rank of Life and is working toward becoming an Eagle Scout. In addition to several community service projects through Boy Scouts, Daniel volunteers at the Wartburg Adult Care Community in Mount Vernon, mentors younger Scouts, and coaches young athletes through Pelham Recreation.  At school, he is a member of the National Honor Society and Spanish Honor Society. He is also a role model on the PMHS football team, where his determination has been recognized by coaches and teammates alike.

According to the adult who nominated him, Daniel “exemplifies the traits and behavior that we want to see in our young people—and adults for that matter. The Boy Scout projects he has worked on have improved the aesthetics of the town and facilities at Community Church, and he has made a positive, tangible impact in the community. He has helped enrich the lives of the younger children in our community, through his counselor positions at Pelham Recreation and the elderly, through his volunteer work at the Wartburg.” As Daniel graduates this spring, we are confident he will continue to do amazing things in his community, serving as an inspiration and role model for others. Congratulations Daniel!

Leana Rutt | Photo by Deborah J. Karson

Leana Rutt is being honored for her INTEGRITY, PERSEVERANCE and COMPASSION. As a sophomore, Leana has already made her mark on PMHS. She is the founder and co-president of the Social and Political Activism Club, and one of the founders of the Human Rights Club. In this role, Leana organized Pelham’s March for America on March 5, 2017 during which 200 people marched and several local politicians spoke. Leana also volunteers with Hearts & Homes for Refugees and organized a group of PMHS students to attend the Women’s March in New York City on January 21, 2017. An honors student, Leana performs with Sock ‘n’ Buskin and Artistree Performing Arts, where she was an intern who mentored younger performers.

Several adults nominated Leana for the HOPP Award and one of them praised her extraordinary empathy: “She has a genuine concern for the well-being of others and wants to be sure that all students feel welcomed and cared for. Her passion for human rights and justice have caused her to become a community leader. Her choices to stand up for her beliefs have caused friendships to be challenged, but she persevered to always be sure to do the right thing.” Leana has truly worked to make Pelham and PMHS a better place through her leadership, and we are honored to recognize her with the HOPP Award!

Congratulations to both Daniel and Leana!

Heart of Pelham PACT (HOPP) Award Winners for December 2016

Pelham Memorial High School junior Sophia Juliano and freshman Nicholas Lieggi were honored with the December 2016 Heart of Pelham PACT (HOPP) Award, sponsored by Crossfit Westchester and Young Life of Lower Westchester County.

Sophia Juliano

Sophia Juliano is being honored for her COMPASSION and INTEGRITY. A junior at PMHS, Sophia donates a lot of her time to serving special needs youth in and around Pelham. She not only volunteers with Project Community Inc. (PCI) at its Friday Teen Night and Sunday Art programs, but she is also an active member of the PMHS Community Cares Club’s “Buddy Bunch” program, where members spend time with individuals who have special needs. “Sophia has been an amazing friend and role model to my autistic daughter and her special needs friends,” said one adult who has noticed her kindness. “She always picks up the phone when she calls and has no idea how she has changed my daughter’s life.” Sophia serves as an outstanding example of compassion and integrity, and our community is lucky to have her. We know these traits will continue to blossom and benefit others throughout her life, making whatever community Sophia lives in a better place to be. Thank you, Sophia!

Nicholas Lieggi

Nicholas Lieggi is being honored for his LEADERSHIP and COMPASSION. A freshman at PMHS, Nicholas worked as a teen volunteer with The Teacher Institute of Lower Westchester’s Summer Experience last summer, where he stood out as a leader, despite his young age, particularly in his work with the youngest students in the program. His sense of responsibility, positive attitude and polite disposition were noticed not only by the adults in the classroom, but also by those at other establishments when the children were taken on field trips. As adults in Nicholas’ life noted, “He helped out in the classroom; was always hands on and inclusive of all of the young children; and was friendly, courteous, helpful, mature, engaged…I could go on and on!” After demonstrating such traits at such a young age, we are confident that Nicholas will continue to be an example of how to make children feel as if they matter and are safe—something every community should strive to demonstrate. Thank you, Nicholas!

Congratulations to both Sophia and Nicholas!


Do you know a Pelham teen doing great things in the community and who demonstrates Compassion, Leadership, Integrity, Perseverance, or Determination? Nominate him or her for the Heart of Pelham PACT (HOPP) Award! Our next round of nominations are due by June 1, 2017.