Youth in the east Bronx and throughout borough receive New York Yankee Youth Leadership Awards

(l-r) Community Board 10 member Bahaati Pitt, William Mendez accepting the award for his son, Jason Jenkins , CB 10 chairman Martin Prince, Madeline Bonsignore, CB 10 district manager Kenneth Kearns, Gabriel Cuilan, Joel Rivas and CB 10 member Bob Bieder at the board’s NY Yankee Leadership Award ceremony.
Photo by Walter Pofeldt

Youth from the east Bronx were honored for their volunteerism and sense of community.

As it is throughout the borough, the winners of the New York Yankee Youth Leadership Awards in community boards 10 and 11 volunteer in their schools and neighborhoods.

Martin Prince, CB 10 chairman, said that these young men and women are following a tradition of service to the community.

“The most basic way to help is through volunteer service, which shows commitment to a community and a cause,” said Prince. “We are always going to need people who can speak for the community and themselves.”

Five young people were presented with awards, including a $750 check, on Monday, February 23 in a ceremony at CB10.

Madeline Bonsignore from Preston High School; Gabriel Cuilan of Truman High School; Jason Alexandre Jenkins, Salesian High School; William Mendez of Monsignor Scanlan High School and Joel Rivas from Lehman High School were honored.

At Community Board 11, community associations nominate the winners.

The civic-minded youth were presented with their checks and certificates at the board general board meeting on Tuesday, February 26.

Taking home honors were Grace Correa, Allerton Avenue Home Owners and Tenants Association; Danielle Giocondo, Morris Park Community Association; Andrew Melillo, North East Bronx Association and Stephanie Russell, Parkside Resident Council.

According to information furnished to the Bronx Times, Bonsignore is a Confraternity of Christian Doctrine teacher at St. Clare’s Church and a member of the Preston Student Team Ambassador Recruitment program. She is in her junior year.

Cuilian attended a trip protesting gun violence and tutored younger children at the Young Achievers After School program in 2013 and 2014.

Jenkins, a sophomore, volunteers at a food pantry where he prepares and distributes food. He is also a math and science tutor for younger students.

Mendez is a math tutor at Scanlan’s Peer Instructional Network, does clean-up and tree planting with the Bronx River Alliance and is an assistant to clergy and community at Holy Cross Church.

Rivas took part in a three-day renovation of a Perivuan school, and was a soup kitchen volunteer in 2011 and 2012. He is a tour guide for Hatian college students in New York City.

Correa is a volunteer at a Veterans Administration hospital and with the Allerton Avenue Home Owners and Tenants Association.

Giocondo completed many hours of service at CB 11 and she also received a leadership award from the New York City Commission on Women’s Issues.

Melillo volunteered at CB 11, dealing with everything from office walk-ins to assisting the district manager with on-site visits.

Russell serves as a mentor for Peer Group Connection at Lehman High School where she works to inspire younger children to become engaged leaders.

As part of the awards, the youth will take part in an on-the-field ceremony at Yankee Stadium at one of the New York Yankee games this season.

Reach Reporter Patrick Rocchio at (718) 260–4597. E-mail him at Follow him on Twitter @patrickfrocchio.
Community Board 11’s New York Yankee Youth Leadership Award recipients are joined by CB11 district manager Jeremy Warneke (back, second from left) and the board chairman, Anthony Vitaliano (back, far right), board members and community leaders at an award ceremony during a board meeting on Thursday, February 27. The winners are pictured: (front, l-r) Correa, Russell, Melillo, and Giocondo.
Community News Group Photo by Parick Rocchio

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