Buffalo Grove High School is proud to announce that four of its students recently received the 25th Annual Cook County Sheriff's Youth Service Medal of Honor Award for contributing at least 100 hours of volunteer service to their communities during the previous year. Buffalo Grove seniors Jamie Hillner of Arlington Heights and Nisa Khan of Buffalo Grove (who were present at the ceremony), and Michael Maley of Arlington Heights, and Christopher Szewczyk of Buffalo Grove were all awarded the prestigious honor for their outstanding efforts.
Cook County Sheriff Thomas J. Hart presented the medals and certificates to the 2012 Medal of Honor recipients at a ceremony on Nov. 27 at the University of Illinois-Chicago Forum in Chicago. The award winners have collectively contributed over 45,000 hours of meaningful volunteer service to a variety of agencies and organizations throughout Cook County.
Nisa Khan serves at her school as Interact Community Service Club president, National Honor Society secretary, Relay for Life Committee head, a Freshman Advisory leader, Class Board member, and Spanish Honors Society member. She has been strongly influenced by her parents and grandfather, whose battle against cancer is the impetus she credits for her passion in participating at Relay for Life.
"I enjoy volunteering my time because I am fulfilled knowing that I have brightened someone else's day," said Khan. "The gratitude I receive is enough to keep me going. I believe that it is our responsibility in the community to improve the lives of the less fortunate."
Jamie Hillner is an executive officer of Interact Club, Class Board representative, peer counselor, peer leader, a member of Erika's Lighthouse (suicide prevention), event chair of Relay for Life, American Cancer Society Student Task Force member, AP Scholar, Spanish Honors Society and National Honor Society member, captain of high school and club volleyball and soccer teams, camp counselor for Northwest Special Recreation Association, and a youth leader for Elite Soccer in Arlington Heights. She was also recently named to the 2012-13 Daily Herald Leadership Team.
Hillner commented, "I was so honored to receive this award and be amongst such a giving group of people."
Michael Maley is an accomplished musician who is an All-State IMEA qualifier. He is also a multiple award-winning captain of Speech and Debate, volleyball team captain, National Honor Society president, and has served as a bass tutor and academic tutor. Last year he organized a clothing exchange at London Middle School for families in need. Maley regularly volunteers with his church and has attended two mission trips.
"Community service has opened my eyes to the plights of the less fortunate and allowed me to understand how lucky I really am to have all that I do," said Maley. "(It) has provided me a way to give back to the community and doing so has had a tremendous impact on my world view."
Chris Szewczyk is also a well-rounded, excellent student, who is a member of both National Honor Society and Spanish Honors Society. He is a member of the volleyball team and treasurer of the Band program and volunteers regularly at Resurrection Medical Center on the northwest side of Chicago.
"Volunteering has not only led me to a path for my career," said Szewczyk, "but it also has provided me a new outlook on life, helping me understand the importance of giving back to the community."