3 QCSD students honored by CB Chamber

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, 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.”

, 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.”