Compassionate students honored by Bainbridge Youth Services

Compassionate students honored

Nearly 70 Bainbridge Island students were honored recently for their acts of compassion and generosity at the Bainbridge Youth Services 17th Annual Compassionate Action Celebration.

The Compassionate Action Celebration was created by BYS to recognize community youth who give of themselves in a spirit of kindness and generosity.

“BYS wishes to encourage community services and honor those youth who exemplify service, integrity, courage and stewardship,” said Cezanne Allen, BYS executive director.

Michael Tomberg, a former board member for BYS, welcomed the group Nov. 15 at Bethany Lutheran Church and acknowledged all of the honorees for their “acts of kindness, compassion and service that can easily go unnoticed.”

“Each honoree is here today because someone in our community took the time to let this young person know, in their own unique way, ‘I see you,’” Tomberg said.

“Looking at the number of honorees tonight, our young people are up to a lot of good. Whether it’s looking out for peers having a hard time, volunteering free time to a nonprofit or taking the risk to speak up when it would have been much easier to remain silent,” he added. “Each one of the actions described in the nominations — no matter the size — impacts lives for the better.”

Bainbridge High sophomore Emmett Watson kicked off the ceremony with a personal electronic music composition. He composed his piece by weaving drums and special effects into a song inspired by this summer’s forest fires.

Bainbridge Mayor Kol Medina, Bainbridge Island School District Superintendent Peter Bang-Knudsen, Deputy Police Chief Jeffrey Horn and BYS board president Tom McCloskey were on hand to help greet and honor the recipients.

BHS senior Nina Davis and junior Cruz Strom spoke about the work they do in the community and how their own levels of hope were impacted in the process.

Performing at the event were Sarah Jung (violin); Abby Sullivan (cello); and Nina Davis, singing “I Hope” by the Dixie Chicks.

BYS board member Shannon Dierickx announced the awards and board member Warren Read presented the certificates.

BYS also thanked its premier sponsors: Windermere Real Estate, CHI Franciscan Health and Kwik Lok; and year-round silver sponsors: Beckey Anderson/Realogics Sotheby’s Realty, Puget Sound Energy, ACE Hardware, Clark Construction, Virginia Mason and Island Fitness.

This year’s 66 honorees were:

Madison Barnes, Cal Breen, Mary Brooks, Emma Brundige, Sophia Byron, Claudia Chan, Minyoung Cho, Lyra Cromwell, Abi Curtis, Nina Davis, Claire Dumouchel, Jane Eckstrand, Gene Ellerby, Kendall Emerson, Noah Faust, Molly Fisher, Wyatt Friedman, Molly Gildner, Maizy Goerlitz, Ingrid Griffin, Kieran Griffin, Miranda Grogger, Faith Halko, Amelia Hall, Taylor Hall, Celeste Hansen-DeRonghe, Josie Hill, Emily Hung, Kashmira Irani, Sydney Oswald, Kate Jarecke, Julia Keys, Angelina Kollodge, Eva Kurtzman, Ryan Laukaitis, Simon Linski, Noelle Lipshutz, Paulina Lopez, Josie Meier, Edgar Mendoza-Valdovinos, Caroline Michaels, Abbey Mikami, Marianne Milander, Cade Miller, Julianna Moeller, Jackson Oswald, Caroline Payne, Alden Peterson, Tyler Pickett, Izzy Powell, Zoe Ransom, Cara Reinke, Ben Robinson, Ava Rockefeller Campbell, Emma Russell, Duncan Rutherford, Ali Spence, Cruz Strom, Abby Sullivan, Madeleine Swietlik, Natalie Taylor, William Theile, Kate Trevino-Yoson, Maia Vigneron, Aidan Wagner and Grant Wolff.

In closing, Tomberg thanked all of the honorees and said: “You are igniting hope in our community. May we all live a little bit more by your example.”

BYS is a nonprofit organization that offers free and confidential counseling for youth ages 12 to 21, and has sponsored the Compassionate Action Celebration for the past 17 years.

Since the program’s inception, BYS has honored more than 2,000 youth for their acts of compassion and kindness in our community.

Nominations for next year’s Compassionate Action Celebration may be submitted to BYS throughout the year on its website at