West Aurora Unit District 129 students Madeline Bozik and Ariel Smith were among 10 students recently to receive Ted Brattin Civic Youth Awards for their community service.
The awards are sponsored annually by the Aurora Navy League, Aurora-Naperville Rotary Club, Aurora University and Beacon News.
Bozik, a student at Herget Middle School, volunteers raising funds and awareness for cancer patients. She grew out her hair to a point where she was able to donate four 17-inch braids to Locks of Love for pediatric cancer patients. In addition, Bozik has organized her own charity, "Maddie's Mitten March," now in its fourth year of collecting, cleaning and donating outdoor winter apparel for the poor. A 9-year Girl Scout, Bozik has helped organize annual food drives to benefit the Batavia Interfaith Food Pantry and written letters of support to servicemen and women serving overseas.
Smith is a member of the West Aurora High School National Honor Society and National Spanish Honor Society. She served more than 100 hours volunteering last summer as a teacher's assistant on behalf of Main Baptist Church in Aurora. She also has been active in the Quad County Urban League's Tomorrow's Scientists, Technicians and Managers College Prep program. Smith also volunteers at the Marie Wilkinson Food Pantry, Sow a Seed Foundation and area nursing homes.