NEW ROCHELLE, NY -- New Rochelle High School senior Angel Bonilla gives back to his community in many ways, including volunteering at the New Rochelle YMCA and tutoring fellow students in math.
Recently, his willingness to help earned him the Milly Kibrick Youth Service Award, a distinction that was given to 10 seniors throughout Westchester by the County Youth Bureau. It is an annual honor given to high school seniors in Westchester who demonstrate leadership in community service.
"I like seeing growth; to see it in other people makes me happy," he said. "I had people help me, so I like paying it forward."
Bonilla was nominated for the distinction by Elizabeth Alvarez-Peña, a teacher who instructed him in her pre-calculus class and worked with him during after-school Math Honor Society tutoring sessions.
"He's such an intelligent, hard-working young man," said Alvarez-Peña. "He always wants to help. He's someone who's caring and thoughtful."
The high school students granted the award were honored in an Oct. 17 dinner at the C.V. Rich Mansion in White Plains.
Milly Kibrick Youth Service Awards are granted to honorees who "demonstrate leadership in community service, particularly in the areas of community empowerment; science, technology, engineering and math; or innovative thinking," according to the Westchester County website. The awards are given in memory of Milly Kibrick, a prominent county social worker and youth activist.
Bonilla said he was honored to be chosen, but that helping people brings its own rewards.
"You're helping someone else, but at the same time, you're helping yourself," he said. "You can learn a different perspective."