Congratulations to HOPP Award Winners, Spring 2018!

Congratulations to HOPP Award Winners, Spring 2018.jpg

Pelham Memorial High School junior Bianca Barbosa and PMHS senior Andrew Spana are the recipients of the Spring 2018 Heart of Pelham PACT (HOPP) Award. Thanks to Symmetry Physical Therapy and Chris Laurentani, and the Young Life organization for their generosity in sponsoring these awards. Bianca Barbosa was honored for her KINDNESS and COMPASSION. A junior at Pelham Memorial High School, Bianca spends her free time with the students in the Foundations of Learning program, a specialized program that serves students with disabilities, as a tutor, a peer role model, and a friend. Teachers and staff who witness Bianca interact with these students describe her as “genuine and caring….she exemplifies the best attributes a person can have.” She has not only provided these students with academic support, but with social support and friendship. The PMHS staff who nominated Bianca praised her as “….a role model for not only the students she works with but for the entire Pelham High School Community.”

Andrew Spana was honored for his COMPASSION and LEADERSHIP. A senior at PMHS, Andrew has clearly incorporated service into his life, largely, but not solely, through scouting. Andrew is in the process of completing his Eagle Scout project to enhance the grounds and facilities in and around OLPH Church. He has also assisted many friends and family with their own Eagle Scout and Girl Scout projects, helping those around him without hesitation. Oftentimes, Andrew elevates his involvement in service to a leadership role. He became involved in the Executive Committee of Relay for Life, organizing teams, fundraising, and assisting at Survivor Receptions. As part of the PACT Youth Leadership Council, Andrew was a founding member of the Pelham LOFT—a group who organizes social events in town for other teens. He designed the plans for the teen-driven website,, that was then built by Mr. LaGrecca’s Engineering class at PMHS. Andrew is described as someone who “is known for his humility and for being a quiet, effective role model, not searching for recognition or accolades; always willing to help friends, family, and neighbors.”

Starting at an even younger age are our HOPP Jr. Award winners! Both winners were honored for being CARING and PRINCIPLED. Carrie Dudek, a PMS 8th grader, was described by PMS staff as a “kind-hearted and outgoing” young woman who brings a “bright, positive spirit to school every day” and looks to connect with others in this way. She is a role model for her peers for how to treat others.

Michael Sample, a PMS 7th grader, was recognized by PMS staff as someone who always puts others’ needs and feelings ahead of his own. From reaching out to include someone who may not have a group to push in all the chairs in a classroom, Michael goes out of his way to treat others with kindness and respect, not for reward but simply because it is the right thing to do. PMS staff are so proud of Michael’s ability to show his peers that “you can make a big impact on the community with daily decisions and actions that may be simple and quiet.”

Because of the generosity of Chris Laurentani and Symmetry Physical Therapy, and the Young Life Organization, all winners received gift cards and were celebrated at a small ceremony hosted by J Café on May 30, 2018.

Do you know a Pelham teen doing great things in the community and who demonstrates compassion, leadership, integrity or determination? Nominate him or her for the Heart of Pelham PACT (HOPP) Award! We will take a break for the summer, and start celebrating our kids again in the fall. Our next round of nominations are due by November 30, 2018.