Twenty remarkable local young men and women were recognized Tuesday evening for their leadership, community involvement and high academic performance.
It’s been nine years since the Tribune Chronicle began this annual Twenty Under 20 program to recognize publicly the hard work and commitment to community demonstrated by so many local young people.
It first started because we knew there were students who deserved special recognition, but we never could have imagined the level in which these students dedicate their lives to making their world a better place. Not only do they routinely volunteer an incredible number of hours in many amazing capacities, they also maintain excellent grades in high-level courses and they are active leaders in their places of worship, Scouts and in their schools via extracurricular activities, sports and service projects.
While the COVID-19 pandemic kept us apart last year, we still were able to honor 20 wonderful area teens in 2020 via video. While their hard work and service remained equally admirable, we were sorry that we could not gather in person to salute them.
That’s why we are especially pleased to have been able to see the bright, shining faces of this year’s honorees in person at the Trumbull County banquet held Tuesday to honor them.
Today, we urge you to take the time to read the pages of the magazine profiling each of these 20 students that is inserted into today’s Tribune Chronicle. We feel confident you will agree that each of these teens provides a perfect example about what is right about area youth today. Each of these 20 — all under age 20 — is an asset to our community because of the productive, ethical and inspirational lives that each leads.
Now in its ninth year, the Tribune Chronicle, Kent State University at Trumbull and Akron Children’s Hospital Mahoning Valley have again joined together to honor these bright young people. The honorees were recognized at the banquet held at DiVieste Banquet Hall.
These students were selected by judges from nominations submitted by school guidance counselors, teachers, families, pastors and other readers. Judging was based on a calculation of 50 percent volunteer work, 25 percent academics and 25 extracurricular activities.
Similar to past years, this year’s honorees carry perfect or near-perfect grade point averages in their studies, work tirelessly to find new ways to help those who are less fortunate, demonstrate exemplary leadership skills and have future aspirations that can make our heads spin.
These young men and women have traveled on mission trips and volunteer their time helping the elderly, the needy and younger children. They are members of Scouts and are active in their churches and school activities, and some even manage to find time to hold part-time jobs. While maintaining excellent grades and developing complex plans for their futures, they manage to thrive under the pressure of their full schedules.
These young leaders are blazing strong trails into the future, and they should be very proud of their accomplishments. It’s no doubt their families, peers and teachers already are.
Honored in the 2021 Class of Twenty Under 20 are Maria Anastasiades, freshman at Youngstown State University and Howland High School graduate; Ashley Bahrey, Bristol; Katherine Buttar, Niles McKinley; Dante Byrne, Girard High School; Briley Daniels, LaBrae; Morgan Duffey, Chalker; Paige Fleischer, Maplewood; Emma Gates, Mathews; Gunnar Gray, Western Reserve Academy; Lauren Haynie, Champion High School; Logan Lewis, Niles McKinley; Myia Meszaros, Girard; Grant Myers, Howland; Casey Owsley, Warren G. Harding; Anthony Payiavlas, Harding; Lukea Pitinii, Howland; Leah Scala, McDonald High School; Camryn Stewart, Harding; Natalie Suich, Girard; and Kaylynn Thomas, Girard.
Congratulations to this year’s class of “Twenty Under 20.” You make us all proud. We firmly believe each should reach for the stars because they have the ability to achieve that.