St. Francis de Sales was recognized at the Jefferson Awards National Ceremony and Grand Gala by the Jefferson Awards for Public Youth Service Initiative as the Toledo recipient for Outstanding Service by a high school.
The Catholic high school competed with three other high schools in the Toledo region for the honor and was chosen for best showcasing the programs seven goals in the Jefferson Awards Turnkey System and for their philanthropic contribution to the community and their school.
As part of the festivities, Ohio Senators George Voinovich and Sherrod Brown congratulated student leaders Samuel Evola and Jonathan Niese at a private reception in the Dirksen Senate Building.
Other Toledoans on hand to honor the student leaders included St. Francis de Sales Jefferson Awards Faculty Coordinator Sue Conrad, Director of Youth Programs from Leadership Toledo Cory Dippold and local recipient James Findlay.
Each of the student leaders was chosen to represent their school because of their dedication and commitment to Christian service, one of the four pillars of a St. Francis education.
Service for me is a vital part of my life, said Jonathan Niese, who was the first winner of the Jefferson Award at St. Francis. Every service project I do I come closer to God and realize how important service really is.
The program was founded in 1972 by Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, Ohio Sen. Robert Taft, Jr., and Sam Beard.
About 134 schools in the nation currently participate.