MacDuffie student wins Odierna Community Service Award

Reminder Publications submitted photo
The winner of the Ann and Tony Odierna Community Service Award for Students (2008-2009 school year) is Carleen Huynh, a senior at the MacDuffie School. She is pictured with Tony Odierna Jr.
Since 2007, in honor of his parents, Tony Odierna Jr. has offered the Ann and Tony Odierna Community Service Awards ($2,000 for students and $2,000 for teachers). All students from any middle school through high school or grades six through 12 (public or private) and any teacher in Hampden County are eligible. Notices are sent to school guidance counselors in September of each academic year. Applicants are expected to have performed volunteerism for no money, gift, promise, reward, credit, etc. of any kind exclusive of these awards and must demonstrate leadership, planning, dedication, involvement of others and improvement to the cause undertaken.

"These awards are not meant for community service that could be considered no more than modest work. While all community service is valuable, these awards are intended to recognize only a high caliber of volunteerism. Daring imagination, unquenchable resolve to help others and outstanding commitment are several qualities that are sought in applicants," Odierna said.

The winner of the Ann and Tony Odierna Community Service Award for Students (2008-2009 school year) is Carleen Huynh, a senior at the MacDuffie School in Springfield, who resides in that city at 93 Tulsa St. with her parents and younger sister. Throughout her school career, Huynh has earned numerous academic and social honors. As winner of the Odierna Award for Students, she has demonstrated many critical qualities necessary for her high level of community service to which she has continually dedicated many hours weekly in order to assist with a multitude of activities at the MacDuffie School to aid teachers, students and parents.

Huynh has also helped others through directly leading fellow students in various fundraisers and projects for needy people and/or causes, such as monetary collections for UNICEF; raising money, then buying and delivering food to qualifying families at Thanksgiving; collecting and delivering clothing to shelters; directing fundraising to help families suffering from the recent earthquake in China; organizing meals, serving, and cleaning at a local soup kitchen; and leading a team in the Rays of Hope Walk to raise awareness of breast cancer.

Alone, Huynh has steadily interacted with children of women who are seeking professional support from the YWCA and also, because of her fluency in several languages, has tutored younger students new to our country. It seems that her community service has only begun because she vows to continue and improve her assistance to those in need.

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