Community Board 10’s Yankees Youth Leadership Awards

Community Board 10 members congratulated Yankee Youth Leadership Awards recipients Rachel Hall (l-r), Samantha Omolaiye, Shaquille Henry, Alyssa Velazquez and Adalis Lopez during their Tuesday, February 16 meeting.
Photo by Silvio Pacifico

A new generation of volunteers were formally honored for their service to the community.

This past Tuesday, Community Board 10 recognized select Bronx youth who have stepped up to the plate.

Five Yankees Youth Leadership Awards recipients from CB 10 were honored during the board’s Tuesday, February 16 Youth Services and Education Committee meeting held at 3165 E. Tremont Avenue.

The honorees included high school seniors Alyssa Velazquez, Rachel Hall, Samantha Omolaiye, Adalis Lopez and Shaquille Henry who were each awarded $750 scholarship checks.

These youth leaders will also receive on-field recognition during a pre-game ceremony at Yankee Stadium at one of the Bronx Bombers’ games this season.

Born and raised in Throggs Neck, Velazquez is a Preston High School senior who devotes her spare time to assisting those in need.

As a Bronxchester Challenger League volunteer, Velazquez enjoys guiding children with autism through learning how to play baseball while teaching them social skills.

“There was one child who wouldn’t look at or speak to me when we first met, but after I began teaching him about baseball he really started to open up,” she said.

In addition, she assists sixth, seventh and eighth graders prepare for their high school journey by serving as a teacher’s assistant for Preston’s Project Prepare.

Velazquez dreams of becoming a physics teacher and is looking at Fordham University.

Hall, a Monsignor Scanlan High School senior lives on White Plains Road and is the vice president of her school’s student council assisting with dances and various academic events.

Accepted into Dominican College, Hall wants to study business management in hopes of one day opening her own real estate agency.

Omolaiye, a Co-op City resident and Truman High School senior, has volunteered her time helping her parish, Church of God’s Children for four years which inspires her service to others.

“Whenever you help someone and you see them smile it makes you happy knowing that you’ve helped someone in need,” she said.

The Truman High School senior aspires to become an attorney and has applied to several colleges including, SUNY Albany, SUNY Buffalo, John Jay College, Kingsborough Community College and Queensborough Community College.

Adalis Lopez, a Thoggs Neck resident attending Renaissance High School, volunteers with the 45th Precinct Explorers Program and Calvary Hospital.

Working at S&W Supermarket as a cashier, Lopez said she aspires to become an oncologist after volunteering her time working with nursing home residents.

She has applied to the College of Staten Island, Hunter College, Lehman College, John Jay College and Borough of Manhattan Community College.

Henry, a Baychester resident and Westchester Square Academy senior, volunteers at his school’s open house and his parish Bronx Bethany Church of the Nazarene’s annual Thanksgiving community give back event.

He has been accepted into Mercy College, Wheelock College, and BMCC among others.

“A lot of people tend to knock this generation, but this is next generation that is going to bring about real change,” said Bob Beider, CB 10 YSEE chairman. “Their volunteerism and commitment to education is nothing short of awe-inspiring and this shows what their generation is capable of achieving.”

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