Westminster School – Joel Groves
In his four years at Westminster Joel has taken advantage of every opportunity to help others. He
has been a constant in Serving Our Neighbors (SON), helping at each of the events from raising
money and canned goods for the local food bank to loading turkeys into trucks for delivery to those
in need before Thanksgiving. He has also been tireless in his efforts to gather donations for Church
Street Eats. But what makes Joel special is the fact that he persuades others to join him in service
efforts. He helps to make service a community conversation at Westminster through his
announcements, participation in myriad causes and his unwavering commitment to putting the needs
of others first.
Avon Old Farms – Kevin Sieber
Throughout his four years at AOF Kevin has been a leader in community service and is the copresident
of the flagship community service organization at AOF, Avon Outreach. Specifically,
Kevin has been a leader in working with Avon’s chapter of Relay for Life and is busy organizing his
third walk which will take place this May. He is also the leader of AOF’s Red Cross Club and has
organized four blood drives at school in the last two years. In addition, Kevin will again be spending
a week of his spring break on a school Habitat trip, and he led AOF’s holiday fundraising event this
past December which raised over $17,000 to buy presents for needy families in the Hartford area.
Kevin’s strong commitment to community service has influenced many other Avonians to join him
in his worthwhile endeavors.
Loomis Chaffee – Erika and Elizabeth Herman
Over the last four years Erika and Elizabeth have volunteered in programs
including making blankets for children in the hospital, tutoring and teaching
young children to garden, running a book drive through Accio Books and leading
a team of students and faculty to implement a grant to install gardens in local
elementary schools. They have worked tirelessly to spearhead the Gaining
Ground program, designing curriculum, obtaining gardening and teaching
supplies and constructing garden beds. The gardens will be installed at schools
this spring, where Loomis students will garden with elementary students, teaching
them about horticulture and nutrition. In the summer of 2016 Erika and Elizabeth
helped to design a musical garden made from sustainable/repurposed materials in a land conservancy in New Jersey.
Kingswood Oxford – Samantha DiBacco
Sam has been volunteering for four years at for Mary’s Place, a center for grieving children and
families, planning and assisting in the annual wine tasting fundraising event. This was Sam’s sixth
year volunteering for Christmas Wish Connecticut, organizing gifts and raising funds to purchase
toys so that less fortunate children have gifts to open Christmas morning. Along with her siblings,
Sam has taken a lead role for the charity, which has expanded its services to help Connecticut
families year-round. Sam has also volunteered as a camp counselor for three years at Hartford
County 4-H Camp, running various camp programs. Last summer she participated in a mission trip
to Rochester, NY, with Saint Paul’s Church in Glastonbury, to help remodel a local resident’s home,
and is looking forward to this year’s mission trip to Thomasville, NC.
Suffield Academy – Andrew Robitaille
Andrew has worked closely with Link to Libraries since its inception in 2008. Link to Libraries is
a nonprofit organization based in Western Massachusetts whose mission is to collect and distribute
newly and gently used books to elementary school libraries and nonprofit organizations and to
enhance the language and literacy skills of children of all cultural backgrounds. Andrew helps with
including labeling books, delivering them to public school libraries in need of new books, and
working to improve the organization’s website. He has played a key role in several fundraising
events and is now responsible for creating all the labels that go into books set to be delivered.
Andrew serves as a youth representative to the organization and has made it a high priority over the
past eight years through his time and energy.