QUEENSBURY — Molly Showers took her brother, James, to breakfast Wednesday morning.
The siblings munched on scrambled eggs, bacon and pastries before Molly, 17, a Bolton Central School senior, received the honor of The Post-Star Teen Excellence Award.
Showers, one of 24 students to win Teen Excellence Awards at the Great Escape Lodge Wednesday morning, said she is inspired by her 12-year-old brother James, who has Down syndrome.
“He has a strength that kind of rises above it all,” Molly said. “His positivity day in and day out just kind of helps me through the day. It’s something that I try to imitate, definitely.”
Molly, who hopes to study zoology at SUNY Oswego next year, said she was honored to be chosen for a Teen Excellence Award.
“It’s nice to see that all my hard work in high school is paying off at this moment,” she said.
The Teen Excellence Awards identify outstanding young people between the ages of 13 and 19 who have demonstrated personal growth, leadership and innovation, along with a commitment to the community.
Beginning in October, teachers, coaches, youth group leaders, church leaders, educational administrators and employers were invited to nominate teens who they believe are the young leaders of tomorrow and serve as exceptional role models in their schools, jobs, communities and beyond.
Nicholas Brennan, 17, a South Glens Falls High School senior, received five nominations for a Teen Excellence Award and four of his teachers joined him at the breakfast Wednesday.
Laurie Darling Gutheil, who teaches AP U.S. history, called Nicholas a superb individual.
“He is an outstanding student who truly loves to learn. He has exceptional integrity and he is a giving, caring young man who goes out of his way to do what’s right for others,” she said. “He’s just been a tremendous leader for us in every activity he’s been involved with.”
Nicholas, himself, said he was ecstatic to receive the Teen Excellence Award.
“These people,” he said, gesturing to the teachers, “they’re my world, you know? I wouldn’t be one-tenth of a person if it wasn’t for these people and my parents. It’s so important to me to have that support system. It’s hard to find.”
Nicholas was one of five teens to win a $5,000 scholarship, announced at the end of the event. Other scholarship winners include Sydney Gagnon from North Warren Central School, Chloe Howe from North Warren Central School, Annie Kiernan from Hudson Falls High School and Jackson LaSarso from Queensbury High School.
Post-Star Interim Publisher Brian Corcoran announced the many activities and accomplishments of the 24 students while judges Francis Cocozza and Robert Nemer helped present the awards.
Nemer called the Teen Excellence Award winners “absolutely incredible,” and joked that he needed the students to teach him how to better manage his time.
“I would like to ask the winners here, in their spare time,” he laughed, “to help me with time management. I do not know how you can do all the things that Brian talked about in 24 hours and seven days a week.”
Slideshow: 2019 Teen Excellence honorees
The 2019 Teen Excellence Awards identify those young persons who demonstrate individual growth, leadership development, and serve as exceptional role models in their communities and beyond. Plus these individuals embody a significant level of innovation, leadership and achievement that goes beyond academics and athletics.
An awards breakfast celebrating the honorees will be held March 13, at 8 a.m. at The Great Escape Lodge. Reservations for the breakfast are now closed.