East Aurora High senior Tim Gehler wins Ted Brattin Youth Service Award
On Nov. 16, East Aurora High School senior Tim Gehler was informed that he has been selected as a recipient of one of this year's Ted Brattin Youth Service Awards.
The Ted Brattin Youth Service Awards recognize Fox Valley youth, age 14 to 19, who have exhibited qualities of citizenship, service and leadership, as demonstrated through activities in school, church or community.
Gehler was nominated by Lt. Lauren Carthan, Senior Naval Science Instructor at East High.
"As early as eighth grade, Tim displayed compassion and leadership abilities when he organized the Malawi Project," said Lt. Carthan. "The students collected over 1,600 clean medicine bottles to ship to Malawi, which was experiencing sanitation and storage issues."
The honor includes a $100 award and a certificate of recognition, which will be presented to Tim at the annual Pearl Harbor Day Luncheon on Monday, Dec. 9. The honored guests for this event are Pearl Harbor survivors, as well as Gehler and the other winners of the Ted Brattin Youth Service Awards.
Gehler was humbled to learn he had won the award.
"Serving and leading is a calling of mine, and being recognized for that is truly something to be proud of and use to further my purpose to make the world a better place," Gehler said.
"I look forward to the opportunity to pay tribute and rendering honors to the survivors of, and the lives lost during, the attack on Pearl Harbor," Gehler said.
"I am also looking forward to speaking with other award recipients to share our stories, reflect on what we have done to earn this honor, and collectively join together to leave a lasting impact on the Fox Valley area," Gehler said.
Gehler said that throughout his life, his family has molded him into who he is today in order to earn the honor, and that he credits his grandfather with teaching him the value of service, hard work, and integrity.
"He built in me the foundation for who I am today ... a young man that works day in and day out to leave things better than I find them."
For Lt. Carthan, seeing any of the East High Tomcat cadets receive recognition is rewarding for her, but Gehler's award is very special to her.
"It is especially gratifying for me when a student like Tim is recognized because he sets the bar high," said Lt. Carthan. "He has prepared himself physically, mentally, and academically for a bright future."
Lt. Carthan added that Tim has applied to the Naval Academy and they are now awaiting a decision. Over the past four years, he has visited the academy on three occasions, including the summer seminar, summer stem program, and candidate weekend.
"Naval Academy selects only the best, and Tim Gehler is one of the most talented students that I have encountered," said Lt. Carthan.
The Pearl Harbor Day Luncheon is sponsored by the Navy League of the United States-Aurora Council, Aurora University, and the Rotary Club of Aurora.