A record number of students were nominated for the City of Saline Youth of the Year award this year.
Nominated were Allison Collins, Payton Cooper, Grand Geiger, Kristen Green, Kelly Hall, Emily Lau, Aaron Leonard, Shannon O’Flynn, Isabella Procassini, Melissa Ungkuldee, Lindsay Walter, Dephanie Wu and Natalie Wysockie.
The award was won by Sarah Chu, who was honored at the recent Saline Salutes banquet, held by the Saline Area Chamber of Commerce
“It was very difficult for the selection committee to choose one winner from these exceptional young people,” Saline Mayor Brian Marl while honoring the nominees at Monday’s Saline City Council meeting. “They are the best of the best in leadership, academics, sports, volunteerism and involvement, and they have shown us already how they are planning to be leaders of tomorrow. We expect great things from all of you.”
Those youth in attendance were given certificates of appreciation by Mayor Marl. The students not in attendance will be given their certificates at a later date.
“We thank you for all you do in the Saline community,” Marl said. “This community is great because of its citizens. And you all, regardless of your age, have contributed something tangible to Saline.”
Jody Roberts, from Saline Recreation, helps manage the Saline Youth Council. She oversees the Youth of the Year program.
“We received a record number of 14 nominations this year. It was incredible! All of the nominees had a long list of achievements – from leadership to academics to extracurricular activities in many different areas,” Roberts said. “This program is one of the best parts of my job – I am so proud of these teenagers!”
Chu is active Family, Career, and Community Leaders fo America, National Honor Society, Fellowship of Christian Athletes, her church youth group, and she volunteers on mission trips and at a local nursing home. She’s also a top student and first-stand cellist in the Saline High School Chamber Orchestra.
Here are the other nominees one of the groups they are involved in:
Allison Collins - Girl Scouts Honor Guard Senior Patrol Leader
Payton Cooper -- President of “Redefining Beautiful”
Grant Geiger -- Saline Youth Council Chairperson
Kristen Green – MHSAA Scholar Athlete
Kelly Hall – National Honor Society
Emily Lau – National Honor Society
Aaron Leonard -- Parish Leadership team at Holy Faith Church
Shannon O’Flynn – Power of 100
Isabella Procassini – President of STRIVE
Mellissa Ungkuldee – FCCLA
Lindsay Walter – MHSAA Scholar Athlete finalist
Delphanie Wu – Love of Language committee
Natalie Wysocki – Girls State delegate