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Niles senior takes top prize

Twenty Under 20 honored

Twenty Under 20 winner Jacob Buttar, 18, of Niles, left, reads his thank you remarks as Dr. Daniel Palmer, Interim Dean at Kent State University at Trumbull, 2nd from right, and Ted Snyder, General Manager-Tribune Chronicle, far right, look on during the annual event. Photo by R. Michael Semple

HOWLAND — Twenty hardworking Trumbull County teens were recognized at the annual Twenty Under 20 banquet Tuesday at the Avalon Inn.

“The Twenty Under 20 award was designed to represent a flame. Winners of this award have a burning desire to be helpful to others, to be an asset to their community, and provide leadership in a productive, ethical, honorable and inspirational life,” said Tribune Chronicle and Vindicator Editor Brenda Linert.

The Twenty Under 20 awards are sponsored by the Tribune Chronicle, Kent State University at Trumbull and Akron Children’s Hospital Mahoning Valley.

These impressive individuals proved they deserve this honor as they demonstrate leadership skills while balancing volunteer efforts with school and extracurricular activities.

“There are no losers here tonight. We have 20 great, great people and 20 great stories,” said Tribune Chronicle and Vindicator Publisher Charles Jarvis. “We’ve been captivated by the stories of these kids with grade point average three times what mine was. We spent the last hour hearing their stories and feeling totally inadequate.”

As a reward for their work, each honoree received a trophy and a resolution from the Trumbull County commissioners and official recognition from U.S. Rep. Tim Ryan, D-Howland. The top five winners also received a portion of $1,000 to be donated to a charity of their choice.

The top winner was Jacob Buttar, 17, a senior at Niles McKinley High School, who will be donating $500 to the Salvation Army in Warren.

“I’m incredibly honored to accept this prestigious award and be nominated with all my amazing peers,” Buttar said, while he thanked his friends, family and teachers for nominating him. “I’d like to end this tonight by explaining why I do service. I’ve always been fortunate enough to never worry about the basic necessities of life … If I can give anything to anyone in need, I feel I’ve done a part in hopefully helping a situation. I enjoy volunteering and it is truly something I cherish each and every day. This is just the start of something greater to come for all of us.”

The other top five honorees included Katrina Altawil, 17, a senior at Howland High School, who is donating $125 to the Bolindale Food Pantry; Sydney Fenstermaker, 17, a senior at Bristol High School, who is donating $125 to Night to Shine; Douglas Gurdak, 18, a senior at Lakeview High School, who is donating $125 to Earth Angels and Lindsey Shrodek, 18, a senior at Howland, who is donating $125 to the Alliance for Substance Abuse Prevention (ASAP).

In addition to their awards, each honoree will receive scholarships to Kent State University at Trumbull campus. These scholarships are two years of full tuition to Kent State University at Trumbull (approximately $13,000 value) for Twenty Under 20 winners who enroll full-time and are pursuing a bachelor’s or associate degree.

“We are actually offering a full tuition scholarship for two years to any students who choose to come to the Trumbull Campus,” said Dr. Daniel Palmer, interim dean and chief administrative officer for Kent State University at Trumbull.

“What a great bunch of students, they’re just truly the highest of achievers and wherever they choose to go, we certainly will continue to celebrate their success,” Palmer said.

The other nominees were:

¯ Jacquelyn Adler, 17, a senior at Hubbard High School;

¯ Xavier Allen, 17, a senior at Warren G. Harding High School;

¯ Cullen Faulk, 17, a senior at Warren G. Harding;

¯ Elizabeth Gajski, 17, a senior at Howland;

¯ Jacob Gallagher, 17, a senior at Girard High School;

¯ Elyssa Hawkins, 17, a senior at Warren G. Harding;

¯ Daniella Hosack, 17, a senior at Hubbard;

¯ Ashley Lytle, 17, a senior at John F. Kennedy High School;

¯ Sage Mason, 16, a junior at McDonald High School;

¯ Scott Mintus, 17, a senior at John F. Kennedy;

¯ Nicholas Muscarella, 18, a senior at John F. Kennedy;

¯ Isabella Nogales, 17, a senior at LaBrae High School;

¯ Madison Schaefer, 17, a senior at Howland;

¯ Allison Smith, 17, a senior at Champion High School;

¯ Taylor O. Tomlinson, 17, a senior at Ursuline High School.

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