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21 Christian teen leaders earn award

YOUNGSTOWN — Twenty-one teenagers of the Diocese of Youngstown have been selected as outstanding Christian leaders as recipients of the 23rd annual Diocesan Eagle of the Cross Award.

Msgr. John Zuraw, chancellor of the Diocese, said the award was created by the National Federation for Catholic Youth Ministry and was introduced to the Diocese in 1999. It is given each year to a group of high school upperclassmen in the six counties of the Diocese of Youngstown who model dedication, integrity, values and promise for church and society.

The award recognizes teens who model Christian discipleship and exemplify the qualities of moral integrity, prayer, good works and Christian leadership in their school and parish communities.

This year’s 21 recipients were chosen from 51 nominations. A maximum of two Eagle of the Cross Awards are presented to students in each of the six diocesan Catholic high schools, and up to three involved in their parishes in each of the Diocese’s six counties.

The recipients of the 2021 Eagle of the Cross Award, as well as all of the nominees, are commended for their positive witness to their Catholic Christian faith and the value of youth involvement in parish, school and community, particularly in this past year during the pandemic.

An evening prayer and awards presentation will be held by invitation only April 14 at St. Columba Cathedral in Youngstown. People can watch the live-streaming starting at 7 p.m. online at: https://doy.org/media/etclive-2/.

Recipients who are high school seniors demonstrating outstanding involvement in the parish and larger community:

• Columbiana County: Victoria Flores of Holy Trinity of East Liverpool; Emmanuel Heestand of St. Jude, Columbiana; and Grace Witmer of St. Jude.

• Mahoning County: Aaron Ferguson of St. Michael, Canfield; Alannah Marie Hetzel of Christ Our Savior, Struthers; and Justin David McLemore, St. Paul the Apostle Church, New Middletown.

• Trumbull County: Lena Dunkerly of St. Patrick, Hubbard; Giovanni R. Mileto of St. Patrick, Hubbard; and Patrick Michael Joseph Wilson of St. Stephen, Niles.

Recipients demonstrating outstanding involvement in a diocesan Catholic school:

• Cardinal Mooney High School: Steven Hiner and Anna Hughes, both of Holy Family, Poland.

• St. John Catholic High School, Ashtabula: Morgan Anderson and David J. DiSalvatore, both of of Our Lady of Peace Church, Ashtabula.

• Ursuline High School: Megan Brockway of Holy Family, Poland; and Nikolas Hackett of St. Rose Church, Girard.

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