Written by Observer Staff, firstname.lastname@example.org Friday, 14 March 2014 00:00
In celebration of its tenth anniversary, the Kids of Distinction program is offering more scholarships and planning a festive gala that will look back on a decade of supporting our most civic-minded children. The Town of Oyster Bay and the Old Bethpage-based Kids Helping Kids by Kids Way, Inc., the sponsoring entities, are seeking nominations of local youngsters who are standouts in public service for the 2014 awards.
Oyster Bay Town Supervisor John Venditto, together with Kids Helping Kids co-founders Robert A.J. Eslick and Philip M. Eslick, kicked off the search for a new batch of “kids of distinction” at the end of February. Nominations are due by May 16. Winners will be recognized at a special ceremony held by the board of trustees on Tuesday, June 17 at 7 p.m. with a citation from the Town and a $2,000 scholarship from Kids Helping Kids.
“The ‘Kids of Distinction’ scholarship program was initiated in an effort to recognize outstanding young people who have been active in exceptional endeavors in their community,” Venditto said. “In celebrating the 10-year anniversary of the Kids of Distinction program, the Kids Helping Kids Scholarship Committee will award ten $2,000 scholarships this year.”
Co-founder Philip Eslick said the concept of the program is to recognize youths for volunteering on their own initiative. At last year’s ceremony, eight exceptional Town of Oyster Bay youngsters were honored. “Last year’s winners certainly fit the bill, many going above and beyond the call of duty to help others in their community,” he said.
Kids Helping Kids by Kids Way awarded many local youngers last year in its Kids of Distinction program, including Massapequa High School students Allison Latini, Damien John O’Donnell and Julie Teller.
Kids of Distinction focuses on activities children participate in outside of school. These activities should, in some way, benefit the community.
Robert Eslick said he expects this year’s crop of nominees to be just as compassionate as in previous years, the winners just as worthy, and he is glad to help them toward their goals.
“The Kids Helping Kids academic scholarships greatly help students fund their college education and related expenses and in these tough economic times every dollar helps,” he said.
Nominees will be placed in two categories, those currently in fifth through eighth grades and those in grades nine through 12. The age groups were established so nominees can be evaluated fairly against their peers. Five winners will be selected in each category by a committee organized by Kids Helping Kids.
“There are so many wonderful young people living in the Town of Oyster Bay who not only demonstrate academic or extracurricular skills, but also do a little something extra to help make the world a better place,” Venditto said. “We felt it was important to recognize our young residents who involve themselves in voluntary community, charity or civic activities on their own individual initiative.”
In addition, Kids Helping Kids by Kids Way. is inviting several past scholarship recipients to attend the 2014 ceremony for a “What are they doing now?” review. “In celebration of the 10-year anniversary,” Eslick explained, “we thought the 2014 scholarship candidates would love to hear from their peers and past scholarship recipients about what they are doing at college or in their professional careers, years later in their young lives.”
Any student or anyone who wishes to nominate a student (in referenced categories) must fill out an application/nominating form and submit it to Kids Helping Kids by Kids Way, Inc., prior to the May 16, 2014 deadline. Application/Nominating forms can be obtained at Town Halls North (Oyster Bay) and South (Massapequa), as well as at local TOB libraries and schools. Application/Nominating forms can also be found on the Town’s website, www.oysterbaytown.com.