3 QCSD students honored by CB Chamber

Alivia Remick, Mason Smith and Raymond Slifer are among 10 students in Bucks County to receive the 2020 Young Citizen Award.
Posted on 11/17/2020
Raymond Slifer of Quakertown Community High School and the Upper Bucks County Technical School, was among 10 winners of the CB Chamber's 2020 Young Citizen Award.By Gary Weckselblatt

Three Quakertown Community School District students are among a small group of 10 from Bucks County to win the Central Bucks Chamber of Commerce 2020 Young Citizen Award.

Strayer Middle School seventh-grader Alivia Remick and Quakertown Community High School seniors Mason Smith and Raymond Slifer each received the honor. The trio of community-minded students took part in a virtual celebration hosted by the Chamber on Friday, November 13.

Bucks County District Attorney Matt Weintraub, the keynote speaker, praised the students for being “the best and the brightest” and encouraged them to continue to “do all the good you can, by all the means you can, in all the ways you can, in all the places you can, at all the times you can, to all the people you can, as long as you can.”

In addition to Mr. Weintraub, the event included Chamber leaders, state Sen. Steve Santarsiero, (D-10), state Rep. Wendi Thomas (R-178), Donna DeCarolis, the founding Dean of the Charles D. Close School of Entrepreneurship at Drexel University, and Jeane M. Vidoni, President and Chief Executive Officer of Penn Community Bank.

Each referred to COVID-19 and how important the efforts of these young people were during this difficult time. Ms. Vidoni, whose company helped sponsor the event, said that holding it, even in a virtual format, “is more important than ever.”

Ms. DeCarolis focused on the importance of “resilience and perspective. … They are really the core of your inner entrepreneur. You have the great advantage of surviving this major obstacle in your life.”

Sen. Santarsiero said that despite “these very hard months, I see what the next generation is doing, the energy you have, the entrepreneurial spirit and I know the future is in good hands. I believe these challenges you're facing right now will mold you to be even stronger.”

Rep. Thomas said the work of each student “is very inspiring. Know that we’re all super proud of you.”

QCSD’s student honorees appreciated being part of the program. “There were a lot of very intelligent people and they had a lot of good things to say that I could grow off of and try to follow,” Raymond said. “For me, the District Attorney’s words were very humbling. He told us to always strive to help the community, and that’s always been a big thing for me.”

Raymond, who also attends the Upper Bucks County Technical School, is an aspiring manufacturing engineer. A junior firefighter with the Richlandtown Fire Co., Raymond said he grew up around the fire company, and the reason is not surprising. His dad is its vice president and his mom a second lieutenant for the fire police.

Raymond’s Eagle Scout project was to build 36 lockers for the fire company’s bunker gear. He said the project he worked on with a couple of his buddies only took about three days. But the fundraising took several months, and he acquired more than $10,000 for the project.

“I’ve been in scouts since kindergarten,” he said. “Between scouts and the fire company, I’ve been involved in doing something for the community ever since I can remember. It’s a really good feeling helping someone in need.”

Mason SmithMason, also an Eagle Scout, is a Junior Councilman for Quakertown Borough. Last May, when the effects of COVID-19 hit the community hard, he held a food drive and recruited help from Quakertown Borough, Richland, Milford, Richlandtown Borough, Haycock Township and Trumbauersville. The result was 12,000 pounds of food donations to benefit the Quakertown Food Pantry.

He said it was good to be among “like-minded people” at the Chamber event. “It’s good to see a lot more youth involvement in their community. More kids seem to have a service-minded mindset. They are exemplary students and I appreciated the speakers referring to us as ‘the future generation of leaders.’ It speaks to me because these are important members of society, so when it comes from them it really means a lot.”

Alivia RemickAlivia, 13, is the youngest winner among the students. The former student council member at the Sixth Grade Center, gives her time to several organizations including Richlandtown Fire Co., East Swamp Church, Feed My Starving Children, her sisters Girl Scout meetings, and Quakertown Community Outreach. As a member of student council, Alivia was part of a sub-group that led the school's "Pennies for Patients" drive that raised money for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.

“My mom has taught us very well about giving back to others,” Alivia said. “I have a house and so many things that some people don’t have. While I can’t give them a house, I can do things to help their situation.”

David Hammerschmidt, president of QCO, nominated Alivia for the award that honors young people for unique acts of courage, service and character.

“It’s not so much what she does but the spirit she does it with,” he said. “Anytime we have an event I turn around and there’s Alivia. She’s involved in everything. There’s something exceptional, unique, about her. No matter what she does she wants to do more. And she doesn’t need the supervision of an average kid. She’s almost like another adult in the room. She takes direction well and with humility.”

Anna Shantz, who has chaired these Chamber events since their inception in the 1980s, said “the goodness among us is in our young people, their dedication and their giving. Seeing what they’ve done is energizing and humbling.”

Gary Weckselblatt, QCSD Director of Communications, writes about the people and the programs that impact the Quakertown Community School District. He can be reached at gweckselblatt@qcsd.org.
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