Hanover Township recognizes local youth leaders at reception

The Hanover Township Committee on Youth presented its Celebration of Leadership Awards May 17 with a reception honoring the recipients and their families.

The committee presented awards in four categories:

• Lily Flores of Parkwood Elementary School, Rising Star Award;

• Dharthi Bezawada of Canton Middle School, Junior Leader Award;

• Tee Willey Streamwood High School, High School Leader Award;

• Jeff Janda, Community Adult Leader of Youth Award.

"Selecting winners was challenging, as everyone on the committee was truly impressed with the quality of this year's nominations," said Alisa "Lee" Beattie, Hanover Township trustee and committee liaison.

"Each recipient genuinely stands out in their own way with their ability to positively impact others around them and improve their schools and our community."

Rising Star Award winner Lily Flores was honored for her ability to connect with, and inspire her peers. The committee especially took note of her resiliency, both academically and socially.

The committee recognized Junior Leader Award winner Dharthi Bezawada for her positive and lead-by-example leadership philosophy. In her nomination, Dharthi's positive attitude was emphasized, as well as her inclusive nature that makes the world a better place.

High School Leader Award winner Tee Willey goes out of his way to connect with Streamwood High School students who are struggling to fit in and connect them with resources. Always with a positive attitude, his nomination also highlighted his willingness to go above and beyond in his volunteer work with younger students.

Community Adult Leader of Youth Award winner Jeff Janda was recognized for his dedication in working with the township's Youth & Family Services Department during and post COVID. As executive director of the Streamwood Park District, Janda's passion for providing affordable and accessible programing for youth was noted by the committee, as well as his willingness to find solutions to potential obstacles for current and new programs.

COY is a township advisory committee comprised of youth and adult volunteers that meets once a month. The mission of COY is to be a catalyst for promoting well-being among township youth and families through family education, outreach and the fostering of community connections, with an emphasis on positive youth development.

To learn more about COY, visit or call (630) 483-5799.

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