Sonoma County high school seniors recognized for leadership, volunteerism in school, community

Ten Sonoma County high school seniors were honored Tuesday for leadership and volunteerism in their schools and community.

The 23rd annual Community Youth Services Awards, sponsored by The Press Democrat, recognizes students who promote the common good by serving others.

"There are a lot of scholarship programs around grade point average and academics -- there are not many scholarships available for what kids do to connect themselves to their community," Press Democrat publisher Bruce Kyse said.

2011 Community Youth Service Award Winners


"What these kids do in the local community and in the larger world community is remarkable when you consider all of the other pressures they have in their young lives."

Each category is judged independently, by a separate panel of judges. This year marks the first time in at least seven years that four students from one school were honored. Petaluma High School won four awards this year.

The awards were presented in a ceremony Tuesday at the Friedman Event Center. The winners receive $1,000 each. They were selected by a panel of 30 judges from 156 nominees representing 20 Sonoma County high schools.


Colleen Kelley, Santa Rosa High School

Colleen Kelley comes from a family of agriculture enthusiasts and was a booster of the Santa Rosa High School Future Farmers of America long before she became a Panther.

She "is always one of the first to volunteer for FFA events and activities," according to Santa Rosa's agriculture teacher, Lisa Piehl.

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