More Than a Dozen Honored with Community Spirit Awards from Watertown Youth Coalition

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Contributed Photo

Recipients of the 2018 Community Spirit Awards, presented by the Watertown Youth Coalition.

Contributed Photo

Recipients of the 2018 Community Spirit Awards, presented by the Watertown Youth Coalition.

The Watertown Youth Coalition (WYC) celebrated its 11th Annual Community Spirit Awards event held on Monday, June 11th, 2018. Over 60 Community members gathered at Arsenal Park to recognize and honor people for going above and beyond to support Watertown youth and families.

Each year, the WYC asks the community to nominate people who:

● Serve as a positive influence or mentor to a Coalition member or to others in the community

● Have the courage to address challenging issues that affect youth and the community

● Actively take steps to improve the Watertown community (in big and small ways)

The WYC was pleased to present awards to:

● Ruth Henry​, for her commitment to inspiring watertown youth, combating racism and violence, and her teaching Kingian nonviolence as well as her creation of anti-racism programs in Watertown Schools.

● Veronica Knight​, Lowell School Guidance Counselor, for her care in going above and beyond for the Lowell School children and her commitment to seeing kids grow in healthy and positive ways.

● Peter Centola​, Director of Watertown Recreation, for his dedication to helping kids in Watertown, his dedication as a coach, and for the impact he makes on the lives of Watertown youth.

● Joe Lampman​, Coordinator for Health, PE, and Wellness at WPS, for his commitment above and beyond his position for the wellness of all Watertown youth.

● Lynn Bratley​, Former Director of Improbable Players, for her incredible vision and hard work as a leader in the community, especially the recovery community. Lynn provided and performed for over a million audience members since 1984.

● Mariam Roda​, Watertown High student, for her humor, positive outlook to shape climate, and organization of student led walk-out at Watertown High School.

● Shama Joseph​, WYC Peer Leader, for her motivation as a Peer Leader and for stepping up when others needed her help.

● Eva Henry​, WYC Peer Leader, for sharing her experience with Peer Leaders and helping to implement new ideas and projects.

● Olivia Haggerty​, WYC Peer Leader, for her ability to express the passion of the work of Peer Leaders and her collaborative spirit.

● Laine Tulipano​, Ellen Bey and Susan Greco, of the Parent Run Support Group for the Autism Community, for their work in creating a non profit organization that raises funds to support children and families in Watertown.

● Brenda and Eric Manning​, Coordinators of the Watertown Challenger Baseball League, for their work in creating a safe and supportive environment for children with special needs throughout Watertown, including the Perkins School for the Blind.

● Dr. Richard Bail​, for his passion concerning healthy youth development and his longtime involvement in and support of the Watertown Youth Coalition and Peer Leaders’ work.

● Jeremy Ornstein​, Watertown High student, as an outstanding citizen of the world, for organizing a student voter registration drive to inspire social counterparts to use the power of their voices and to vote.

Watertown High School students Eva Henry, Janoah Thomas, Marcus Moore, Olivia Haggerty, Shama Joseph, and Shariel Joseph were recognized for their contributions to the community throughout the year with WYC Peer Leadership Service Awards. Aaliyah Morrill and Phen Sarles were also recognized as the
newest members of the WYC Peer Leaders.

We applaud these awardees and the people who nominated them. Watertown is a wonderful community with so many caring adults looking out for the interest of the youth living here!

The WYC would also like to take this opportunity to express our sincere gratitude to Michaela Ritcey from Ritcey East and Pankaj Pradhan from Red Lentil for their generous (and delicious) food donations for the event!

The event was organized by Wayside Multi-Service Center staff: Lisa Gibalerio, Dawn Graham, Domenica Puleo, and Stephanie Sunderland-Ramsey.

About Watertown Youth Coalition

The Watertown Youth Coalition (WYC), overseen by Wayside Multi-Service Center, is a community coalition of youth, parents, residents, educators, police officers, health and medical professionals and local business owners committed to promoting healthy and positive lifestyles among Watertown youth. The WYC mission is to support the wellness and empowerment of Watertown youth by engaging young people, families, and community. Learn more at or contact Lisa Gibalerio at

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