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HOPP Award Winners: 2017-2018

Pelham Memorial High School senior Owen Anastas and Pelham Memorial High School senior Jared Morel are the recipients of the Winter 2018 Heart of Pelham PACT (HOPP) Award! Thank you to our sponsors, Alice DeNormandie, Founder of Pelham PACT and the Pelham Civics Association. Their generosity makes this award possible for Pelham youth.

Owen Anastas is being honored for his KINDNESS and COMPASSION. A senior at Pelham Memorial High School, Owen has spent the last four years as a volunteer in the Vermont Adaptive Ski Program, a nationally recognized program that seeks to empower people of all abilities to enjoy recreational sports. In this role, Owen assists and skis with mentally and physically challenged children and adults. Last year, he was chosen to work one-on-one with a young man with Downs Syndrome who was training as a Paralympic athlete.

According to the adult who nominated him, Owen “is kind, courteous and compassionate. He doesn’t call attention to himself but has demonstrated consistent leadership and compassion in his commitment to his volunteer work, serving as a good role model to his peers.”

Four years doing this work clearly demonstrates Owen’s understanding at a very young age how to give of yourself to bring others joy—how to make sacrifices of time and other activities— to bring other people joy. As these choices often go without recognition, PACT is honored to be able to give Owen this recognition with a HOPP Award. Congratulations!

Jared Morel is being honored for his INTEGRITY and COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT.  A senior at PMHS, Jared is a volunteer powerhouse, amassing over 200 hours of community service during his high school career, working with a number of organizations in Pelham including Our Lady of Perpetual Help, the Pelham Picture House and County Harvest, among others. Starting his service at a very young age as well, in 9th and 10th grade, Jared participated in service trips with Bridges to Community, helping with a sustainable development project in the Dominican Republic. A prolific chess player and a member of the PMHS Memorial Chess Club, Jared has not only found a way to excel at chess (he placed 1st in the 2017 Pelham Classic Chess Tournament Reserve Section) but he has also taken an interest in guiding younger chess players. In 9th grade, Jared taught chess in the after-school program at OLPH.

The adult who nominated Jared praised his quiet humility. “Jared is a very honest and earnest young man. He never wants to claim any credit for himself. He is a very genuine and positive role model for children in younger grades and volunteers his time not to get recognition but to help others.”

Jared has dedicated himself to improving the lives of people across Pelham, and we are proud to recognize him with the HOPP Award – Congratulations!