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Bernardston teen named Recorder Youth Citizen of the Year


Greenfield Recorder 06/19/2012, Page C01

Recorder Staff

Volunteering a daily routine

GREENFIELD — For 15-year-old Adrienne Ross, volunteering is a part of her daily routine.

It’s also a family affair, something the Bernardston native does with her parents — Willow and Brian, both employees at the United Arc of Franklin and Hampshire Counties in Greenfield — and her brother Spencer. And it’s a way she spends not just her weekdays during the academic year, but also her weekends, school vacations and summers.

On the lawn in front of the United Arc building, Ross was honored Monday as The Recorder’s seventh Youth Citizen of the Year. “I never thought I would get an award for volunteering because I do it every single day,” she said. “I volunteer because it makes me feel good in my heart.”

Individuals are nominated for the award by family members, friends and individuals in the community. A screening committee then reviews the nominees and makes a recommendation to The Recorder, said Rich Fahey, the newspaper’s advertising director.

Publisher Dennis Skoglund read excerpts from the nomination forms. His favorite description of Ross was from someone who called her, “a bright example of thekind of person who makes the world a better place.”

Skoglund added that he wouldn’t be surprised to see Ross nominated some day for The Recorder’s Citizen of the Year — an annual award given by the newspaper each December since 1983.

Greenfield Community College President Robert Pura awarded Ross a $500 scholarship, and commended her for standing out among her peers.

“To distinguish yourself as a wonderful citizen, that’s very special,” he said.

At United Arc, Ross has helped the nonprofit organization support people in the community with intellectual and developmental disabilities. And as a “Friend of the Rotary” at the Franklin County Rotary Club, she has volunteered at events throughout the community.

She plans to start an after-school volunteer club at the Pioneer Valley Regional School to help inform her peers of volunteering opportunities.

State Rep. Paul Mark, D-Peru, was on hand to give Ross a citation commending her accomplishment.

Skoglund read similar citations from U.S. Rep. John Olver, D-Amherst, and state Sen. Stan Rosenberg, D-Amherst.