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Students' amazing efforts fill the 2018 Youth Hall of Fame


5/12/2018

Democrat & Chronicle online: Caurie Putnam

Thirteen extraordinary high school students were inducted into the 2018 Youth Hall of Fame on May 3 at the Mall at Greece Ridge.

They’re the 28th class of inductees to the program founded by Ralph DeStephano as an initiative of the Greece Regional Chamber of Commerce.

“Each year, I am just amazed at the remarkable young people that we have in our community,” said Sarah Lentini, president/CEO of the chamber. “They step up and achieve not only in their own areas, like school and sports, but they give back in ways many adults don’t.”

Although inductees are predominantly residents of Greece, they don’t have to be (any area youth can be nominated). And, while many of the inductees are strong students, good grades are not a requirement.

“We look for young people who are working to be the best they can be in a variety of areas and often in the face of adversity,” Lentini said. “Not every story is the same, but every story is amazing.”


The 2018 inductees are:

Charles Cannioto is a senior at Greece Arcadia High School. He has dealt with some very difficult life challenges, most notably the death of his brother. Charles is an active volunteer, tutor, athlete and works at a nursing home.

Jacob DiMora is a senior at Greece Athena High School. Upon learning of his twin brother’s life-threatening illness, Jacob donated his bone marrow. He’s an active member of Holy Cross Church where he assists in religious education classes and participates in many volunteer events.
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James DiMora is a senior at Greece Athena High School. In 2016, James was diagnosed with a rare, life-threatening disease of the blood. Despite his health challenges, James maintained a selfless attitude and continued volunteer work with his twin brother at Holy Cross Church.

Jackson DiPalma is a junior at Hilton High School. He volunteers as a coach for children with special needs in the Greece Challenger Baseball Program. He’s also a two-sport varsity athlete, high honor roll student and member of the National Honor Society.

Emma Doyle is a senior at Greece Athena High School. Emma won first prize in the RIT Women in Computing Hackathon and is the lead programmer for the Robotics Club. She’s an active volunteer, advocate for girls in computing and will study computer science at the College at Brockport.

Lindsey Graham is a senior at Greece Odyssey. While in high school Lindsey became caregiver to her mother when she was diagnosed with cancer. After her mother died, Lindsey renewed her focus on education and plans to attend the Continental School of Beauty.

William Green Jr. is a senior at Olympia High School. Will has overcome many obstacles, including homelessness. He maintains great grades, captains several sports teams, works part-time and volunteers helping the custodial staff at Olympia and teaching kids basketball skills.

Spencer Johnson is a senior at Olympia High School. In addition to being an excellent student, prolific volunteer and three-sport athlete, Spencer works at the Northwest Family YMCA as a lifeguard and swim instructor. He’s also a Boy Scout and active in his church.

Aryanna Lawson is a senior at Olympia High School. She has overcome great obstacles, including the death of her mother, absence of her father and concerns for her 11 siblings. Aryanna is college bound and will graduate with a 91 average in Advanced Placement curriculum.

Joshua McCleary is a senior at Olympia High School. He’s a state track and field champion, musician, leader and civic-minded volunteer in his community, church and school. As a junior, he planned a regional police community summit on race relations.

Jeffrey Semple is a senior at Olympia High School. He’s a captain of several sports teams, an award-winning science scholar, talented musician and part-time employee at Rite Aid. During high school, he went on a mission trip to Bogata, Colombia, where he taught children English.

Virginia Van Enckevort is a senior at Greece Arcadia High School. A native of the Netherlands, she’s trilingual and bi-literate. She’s also an athlete, tutor and a scholar. Despite having moved three times in the last four years, she’ll graduate this June at age 16.

Adian White is a junior at the Aquinas Institute. Adian’s mother died when he was 15. Before she died she told him: “Stay in school and don’t do drugs.” He listened and has also become a prolific volunteer in his church and community.

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