Sunday, June 2, 2019 || By Igor Studenkov || @maywoodnews
Featured image: Roosevelt Middle School students who participated in Constance Riales’ Community Service Leaders program receive recognition from leaders, including Congressman Danny K. Davis, during a May 30 town hall in Bellwood. | Igor Studenkov
A group of Bellwood students involved in an initiative to help out area senior citizens was recently honored by Congressman Danny K. Davis (7th).
During one of his regular town hall meetings on May 30, held at Bellwood Village Hall, 3200 Washington Blvd. in Bellwood, Davis presented Roosevelt Middle School eighth-graders with certificates of appreciation.
The students were participants in the Community Service Leaders program, which launched earlier this year. The students earned the required 30 service hours they need to graduate by helping local seniors with household chores, shoveling snow, yard work and other small acts that made the lives of the seniors brighter. The program was created by Constance Riales — the secretary of the Bellwood Public Library Board of Trustees and a Maywood Senior Club member.
Davis said that, in addition to the certificates, he plans on making a proclamation on the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives in honor of the students sometime soon. The lawmaker said that he plans on thanking each student by name and commending Roosevelt for utilizing the program “to acquaint its eight grade students with principles and practices of democracy tools for everyday living.”
The praise didn’t stop at Davis. During the May 30 town hall, Bellwood Mayor Andre Harvey also lauded the young people.
“The young people are so special because they’ve volunteered their time to give back to our community,” said Harvey. “Cutting our seniors’ grass, [shoveling] our senior citizens’ snow. They’ve even gone to our senior citizen centers.”
Kari Steele, the president of Metropolitan Water Reclamation District, congratulated the students and added that her agency had internship opportunities in many fields. She encouraged all students to apply for the internships in the future.
Bellwood District 88 Superintendent Mark Holder said that he was “deeply excited about the opportunity to stand with these wonderful students.” He praised Riales for reaching out to him and working with him to put the program together. He said he was impressed with the results.
“I’m genuinely proud of all of you,” Holder said. “And what I’m most proud of is what your future is going be. So today, I take off my hat to you and I thank you very much. Just keep on giving.”
Davis himself recalled that his mother taught him to be the best at whatever he set out to do – or whatever he winds up doing – and he encourage other students to do the same.
Tekavin Russell, a Roosevelt student who participated in the program, said that he was simply thankful for the honor and for the opportunity to volunteer. VFP
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