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Francesca Merrick Honored as Distinguished Youth

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Francesca Merrick Honored as Distinguished Youth

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Francesca Merrick, a junior at Ithaca’s Lehman Alternative Community School, was honored by the Legislature as the latest Tompkins County Distinguished Youth.  Nominated by LACS Service Program coordinator Jon Raimon, Francesca was described as an exemplary “thoughtful, dynamic, and community—minded” student, one who not only provides service to the community through a wide range of volunteer opportunities, but also “works to make social change through long term projects and community organizing.” 

As well as volunteering with such activities as The Floating Classroom, One World Market, Catholic Charities Clothing Drive, and the Food Bank of the Southern Tier, she also works with the West Hill community, in part helping to create community forums there, working on Native issues, and participating in the Youth Venture Program through the United Way, where she has won grants to help create a curriculum to educate teachers to help elementary school students learn about gender equality and related issues.  Mr. Raimon said, Francesca “leads in many ways:  through her intense work ethic; through modeling what it means to listen and compromise; through speakjing her mind on matters of principle; through taking risks and accepting setbacks as part of all service work; through sharing her wit and powerful voice.”  

The Tompkins County Distinguished Youth Award is cosponsored by Bangs Ambulance Service, Purity Ice Cream, Specialty Trophy and Awards, and Cayuga Radio Group.