Reposted from

11 Young People, 5 Emerging Leaders, 4 Groups to receive Governor’s Youth Volunteer Service Award at June 21 Ceremony

NEW CASTLE (May 30, 2023) – Governor John Carney will present the 2023 Governor’s Youth Volunteer Service Awards to 11 individuals, four groups, and five emerging leaders during a June 21 ceremony to recognize their remarkable service to Delaware. These prestigious awards acknowledge the significant impact that young volunteers make in their communities, inspiring others to join in making a positive difference.

“Giving your time, talent, and energy in service to others and community is one of the most selfless things a person can do,” Governor Carney said. “To see the number of young people we are honoring this year and the range of their volunteer activities makes me proud for the future of our state. These young people are helping to change the lives of people in need and inspiring others to follow their lead.”

The Governor will be joined by an expected 175 people at the Modern Maturity Center in Dover to honor the young volunteers. The awards ceremony begins with a reception at 5:00 p.m., followed by dinner at 6:00 p.m. and the official ceremony at 7:00 p.m. Tickets are $30 each and are available for purchase at:

The Governor’s Outstanding Volunteer Service Awards, administered by the State Office of Volunteerism, honors the contributions of individuals and groups in Delaware that have made a positive impact in their communities or across the state through service and volunteering. The awards are sponsored by the Office of the Governor, the Delaware Department of Health and Social Services, Division of State Service Centers, State Office of Volunteerism and the Governor’s Commission on Community and Volunteer Service.

“It’s an honor to recognize the inspiring dedication and compassion of young volunteers in Delaware,” said Department of Health and Social Services Secretary Molly Magarik. “The Governor’s Youth Volunteer Service Awards allow us to acknowledge and celebrate these remarkable individuals who embody the true spirit of service.”

The 2023 youth award recipients have demonstrated remarkable commitment and dedication to serving their communities. Their selfless contributions encompass a wide range of activities, such as assisting with food distribution, organizing various drives to collect essential items, raising funds for local nonprofits, creating educational programs, establishing a youth medicine program to support aspiring medical students, engaging in workshops to create cards for seniors, providing mentorship and tutoring to students, promoting recycling and environmental stewardship, advocating for vulnerable populations, offering vital emergency services, and contributing to the arts.

For more information about the awards or volunteer opportunities,, or contact Diane Frebert, Volunteer Services Administrator via email [email protected].

Here are the recipients of the 2023 Governor’s Youth Volunteer Service Awards.


Rameen Abid

Nominator: Nafeesa Majeed
New Castle County

Rameen Abid is a junior at Charter School of Wilmington who has mentored and tutored elementary students in subjects like math, social studies, and English free of charge. She is also a member of her school’s mental wellness committee, promoting awareness for mental health. She is a student leader for her school’s South Asian Student Union, educating her peers on South Asian culture, customs, and values, and organizing events to expose students to South Asian holidays and customs. She is also a marketing director for Alpha Centauri Tutoring, promoting the organization’s free-of-charge services to different schools and organizations. She has raised funds for the Zakat Foundation of America’s flood relief initiative, collected food for Delaware Food Bank’s CANgineering competition, and packed winter supply kits for those in need.

Samhitha Vallury

Nominator: Veni Jayakumar
New Castle County

Samhitha Vallury is a senior at MOT Charter High School who dedicates her time to volunteering primarily with Charity Crossing at the Rose Hill Community Center. Samhitha also helps set up and organize giveaways and assists with unloading, sorting, and loading donations at the Hicks Community Center in Wilmington, Trinity Church in Middletown, and Lion of Judah Bible Café in Perryville, MD. She has volunteered more than 125 hours in 2022 through Charity Crossing, earning her the Presidential Volunteer Service Award (PVSA) Bronze medal. Samhitha is also a National Technology Student Association (TSA) Officer, representing and serving over 300,000 students nationwide. Additionally, she held an internship with the Food Bank of Delaware and volunteered with the Down Syndrome Association of Delaware.

Miles Smith

Nominator: Reverend Shanika Perry
New Castle County

Miles Smith is a senior at Concord High School and a member of Bethel AME Church in Wilmington. He has worked with Delaware Interfaith Power & Light and faith leaders to create the Sacred Grounds initiative, which aims to address the causes and consequences of climate change. Miles led Bethel’s Sacred Grounds project, resulting in the installation of pollinator gardens on Walnut Street and an increase in community engagement around environmental stewardship. Through the partnership with DelPL and the National Wildlife Federation. Miles helped Bethel AME Church become a certified Sacred Ground site. He also recruited members of the Young People’s Division from AME churches in various states to help with the project. Miles was awarded the Academic Athlete Award for his participation in basketball and cross country at his school and earned the rank of Eagle Scout in March.

Shravan Subramaniam

Nominator: Veni Jayakumar
New Castle County

Shravan Subramaniam is a senior at Appoquinimink High School, who leads and participates in events and groups for Charity Crossing. He volunteers weekly and has won the Presidential Volunteer Service Award at the Bronze Level for two years in a row. Shravan also tutored middle school students in India, organized events such as winter clothes and children’s toy drives, set up trash pickups at local public parks and interned with UP Cycle Design, a startup company focused on sustainability. He is the Secretary of Interact Club, a member of the National Honor Society, and a Varsity Cross Country athlete. He also volunteered with UD as a scorekeeper during a Special Olympics basketball tournament and continues to intern with UP Cycle Design, a University of Delaware startup company focused on sustainability within the cloth industry. Shravan received the Volunteer Excellence Award from Senators Stephanie Hansen and Nicole Poore.

Sydney McLean

Nominator: Amy Pellegrini
New Castle County

Sydney McLean is a junior at Paul M. Hodgson Vocational-Technical High School and is heavily involved in the Hugh O’Brian Youth (HOBY) Leadership Delaware and Community Leadership Workshop (CLeW). She is a lead student for the Black Student Union and FAM in school. Sydney has been an active volunteer since ninth grade and set herself apart from other students through her active, positive involvement in these activities. Sydney has helped to improve the climate of her school through her service to the school and the skills she has learned by volunteering in her community.

Tanuj VS Dontaraju

Nominator: Veni Jayakumar
New Castle County

Tanuj VS Dontaraju is a sophomore at Newark Charter High School. He has been a member of Charity Crossing for over two years and actively participates in weekly events at Hicks Community Center and monthly giveaway events with the Police Athletic League of Wilmington (PAL), Department of Justice (DOJ), and Glasgow Park. Tanuj co-led the Stockings for Soldiers event and sent out Christmas gifts to soldiers serving overseas. Through Charity Crossing, Tanuj has volunteered more than 105 hours in 2022 and won Presidential Volunteer Service Award (PVSA) Gold medals in 2021 and 2022. He has also earned “The 2022 Volunteer Excellence Award” given by Senators Stephanie Hansen and Nicole Poore. Tanuj also participates in junior varsity basketball.

Adil Ameen

Nominator: Veni Jayakumar
New Castle County

Adil Ameen is a high school junior at MOT Charter High School and a dedicated volunteer for Charity Crossing. He volunteered more than 345 hours in 2022, helping with food collection and distribution, weekly donation pickup, and several drives. Adil’s creative skills have allowed him to be part of the newsletter team and make event flyers. Adil has earned the Presidential Volunteer Service Award Gold medal for two consecutive years and the Volunteer Excellence Award given by Stephanie Hansen and Nicole Poore. He is also involved in various school clubs, such as Science Olympiad, Green Club, Chess Club, Lego League club, and plays basketball on his school team.

Adrianne Hu

Nominator: Rebecca Liu
New Castle County

Adrianne Hu is a sophomore at Charter School of Wilmington and has been actively involved with community service since kindergarten. She is involved with the Folk Dance Troupe, a part of the Chinese American Community Center in Hockessin, Delaware, and has assumed a leadership role within the dance troupe as one of the teacher’s assistants. Adrianne has performed twice at Presidential Inaugurations, representing the State of Delaware. Through public performances, the troupe shares the beauty and richness of Chinese art with others, benefiting the communities in which they live.

Cynthia Zhang

Nominator: Ariana Ciamaricone
Statewide (Kent County, New Castle County, Sussex County)

Cynthia Zhang is a junior at Charter School of Wilmington who is dedicated to community service. She is actively involved with the Chinese American Community Center, but her impact can be seen more in her role with Letters for Rose. Cynthia coordinates meetings and workshops to facilitate letter-writing and artwork creations for older citizens in senior living centers. She also collected letters and took photos for social media.

Siddharth Sharma

Nominator: Sukanya Subramaniam
New Castle County

Siddharth Sharma is a student at Alfred G Waters Middle School who volunteers for Charity Crossing. Siddharth helps weekly in unloading and sorting donations at the warehouse, as well as serving at various locations and volunteering with the Stockings for Soldiers. He is also a member of the Charity Crossing newsletter team and one of the youth leads organizing the annual Autism Walk. In addition to his volunteer work, Siddharth is an honor roll student and a member of the National Junior Honor Society. He is a certified Grade 4 pianist and has performed in several musicals and all-state chorus. He manages the district champion cross-country team. Siddharth’s enthusiasm and commitment to volunteerism have earned him the title of “Spirit of Charity Crossing.” He is also the first youth in Charity Crossing history to win the Volunteer of the Year award.

Zarek Anderson

Nominator: Karen Breeding
Sussex County

Zarek Anderson is a junior at Woodbridge High School and as a Greenwood volunteer fire company junior fire member, he answers fire alarms, vehicle accidents, emergency response, and provides first aid to those in need, often putting his life on the line to fight fires. Zarek also devotes countless hours to fundraising for the fire company, volunteering at their chicken BBQ and serving on work details, cleaning, maintaining, and servicing facilities and equipment. He serves as a mentor to other junior fire members across the state, offering guidance and assistance at training or on calls when needed.


First State Club

Nominator: Nicole Worthley
Kent County

The First State Club, a group of 13 students from Milford High School volunteered 800 hours in 2022, working year-round to create educational programming and social media content for First State Heritage Park. They have contributed to several successful projects, including a historical-based craft for the annual Market Fair event and a Women’s History Month video series. They conducted research and prepared materials for these projects and presented them to thousands of visitors. They also assisted in smaller programming and large-scale events, demonstrating exceptional skills in research and public interaction.

Girl Scouts of the Chesapeake Bay, Troop 200

Nominator: Brittany Lloyd
Kent County

Girl Scouts of the Chesapeake Bay Troop 200 freshmen Kaitlyn Boyette, Lorelei Kozak, and Kayden Shockley achieved the Silver Award, the highest achievement in the Cadette Girl Scouts, as they were still Cadettes. They tackled the issue of recycling in their community, carrying out over 50 volunteer hours in Kent County, DE, and raising funds for their project. They collected plastic for recycling, encouraging younger girls in their troop to do the same. Partnering with Eco Plastics of Delaware, they created a bench out of recycled plastic and donated it to the SPCA. The girls also built two insulated outdoor animal shelter boxes by hand and gathered donations of food, toys, blankets, and more for the SPCA. They partnered with funds2orgs to collect shoes to donate to charities and the homeless across the country and overseas. In addition, they participated in the Girl Scouts Cookie Program, raising funds for their troop and council while learning valuable skills. The seniors also engaged in community support, helping the homeless, fire victims, and nursing homes.

Black Student Summit Student Planning Committee

Nominator: Raina Allen
New Castle County

The Black Student Summit Student Planning Committee is a group of African American high school students from public, private, and parochial schools in Delaware who came together to plan and convene the first-in-Delaware 2022 Black Student Summit. The group of seven students met bi-weekly to plan all aspects of the event, including creating the agenda, identifying speakers, selecting food, creating plans for the use of space, and marketing the event. Following the Summit, the planning committee continued its service by debriefing the event and identifying ways to continue to push forward the new network of Black-serving high school student groups. Now, Black-serving student organizations have an annual conference and network in Delaware for training, to share ideas, and ask for help and guidance.

Maranatha Life Changing Church – Youth Ministry

Nominator: Sally K. Hardy-McClain
Kent County

The Maranatha Life Changing Church-Youth Ministry is a group of 42 individuals who have dedicated themselves to serving their community through countless outreach projects. In 2022, they provided over 1,000 service hours. These projects range from Back 2 School backpacks, holiday meal boxes, Code Purple, and community activities, to an Easter production and anti-bullying and anti-tobacco initiatives. The group also takes time to tutor young children and are supervised to assist with childcare services. They are committed to promoting positive behavior and conduct in their communities and are involved in projects such as Girls Inc., MLCC High School Ambassador.


Amanrai Kahlon

Nominator: Mark Baylin Thompson
New Castle County

Amanrai Kahlon, a junior at Sanford School, is a student leader with a passion for healthcare and education, serving over 250 volunteer hours. He provided hands-on leadership for three major volunteer initiatives in 2022 – Apollo, Learn.Lead.Launch! and Chiron. As a student leader of the Apollo: Youth in Medicine program for the last three years, he has facilitated nearly 189 Delaware high school students’ interest in medicine. This program is the first statewide high school program of its kind and is aimed at addressing the physician shortage in Delaware. Amanrai’s biggest leadership initiative led to the creation of over 10 medical specialty education primers for Apollo students, as well as the content for the Apollo HIPAA education training program and the Apollo Student Shadowing Protocol Manual. He co-founded Learn.Lead.Launch! (L3), a student leadership education program, and coordinated a speaker series called “Pathways to Professions” aimed at helping teens explore different career paths. Amanrai has also worked on a digital health information platform called “Chiron” for incarcerated populations.

Isheta Kulshreshtha

Nominator: Sireesha Malempati
Statewide (Kent County, New Castle County, Sussex County)

Isheta Kulshreshtha, a junior at the Charter School of Wilmington, led her team to participate in the Diamond Challenge, an international high school pitch competition that taught her valuable skills in creating a pitch deck, composing a written concept narrative, and presenting to judges, business professionals, investors, and experts. As President of the Delaware Entrepreneurship League (DEL), she bridged the gap for young entrepreneurs, providing them with the resources to build an entrepreneurial mindset. She organized free conversation series that brought together young change-makers and launched the DelawareLaunch, a “shark-tank” style pitch competition that secured $750 in sponsorships from local environmental organizations to support youth eco-entrepreneurs with their ideas. Isheta’s leadership skills have been on full display through her work with DEL, where she has created engaging content for high school students and helped bridge the gap between resources and young entrepreneurs.

Katie Sanborn

Nominator: Captain Sharon Dounce
New Castle County

Katie Sanborn, a junior at North Penn High School, is a volunteer with the Kalmar Nyckel Foundation, a non-profit organization with a mission of education. Katie serves as a mentor for new volunteers in the crew training program and works as a deck chief during day sails. Her winter activities include ship maintenance, where she helps preserve the tall ship of Delaware by scraping and sanding wooden parts, working on the rigging, and sewing the sails. Katie does presentations about the history of Delaware with guests who visit at festivals or on day sails. She helps people get involved so they can learn what it’s like to be a 17th-century sailor. Over the course of her 3 ½ years of service, Katie has volunteered for 442 hours, 137 of which were in 2022. Katie leads the new trainees in her role of deck chief, helping them set sail safely and leading them through emergency drills.

Sanya Dudeja

Nominator: Lisa Kowalski
Statewide (Kent County, New Castle County, Sussex County)

Sanya Dudeja, a sophomore at Padua Academy, has a deep admiration for our veterans, which is why she volunteers at the VA medical center in Wilmington. In 2022 Sanya volunteered 176 hours. Despite the often-traumatic stories shared by veterans, Sanya remains mature beyond her years and provides much-needed human interaction to those who are isolated. She has organized birthday parties and other social events for veterans while they are hospitalized. Sanya has also founded a club at Padua called Girls United, which raises awareness of accomplished women and holds drives for local women’s shelters. She prepares activities for each meeting and organizes all events.

Ava Stumpo

Nominator: Andrea Caswell
Sussex County

Ava Stumpo is a high school junior who volunteers every Saturday at The New Life Thrift Shop, where she demonstrates her understanding of the organization’s mission to help people in need and give back to the community. Her creativity is an asset to the team, she is responsible for pricing miscellaneous items, putting them out on the sales floor, and designing displays. Ava is dedicated to her role and takes charge when new volunteers arrive, guiding them through the procedures and making them feel comfortable. She volunteers throughout the year with 280 hours served in 2022. She is an excellent role model to the students who come in for community service hours, quickly establishing relationships with them and showing them the ropes.