The Forum: Taconic juniors earn S.A.Y It Proud Awards


PITTSFIELD -- Each month, The Berkshire Eagle partners with the Pittsfield Prevention Partnership and Berkshire United Way to honor monthly winners of the S.A.Y. It Proud Award -- Supporting and Acknowledging Youth.

Earning recognition for the month of April are Kevin Aldam and Bailey Prescott, both juniors at Taconic High School. They were nominated for the S.A.Y. It Proud Award by the area faith community and Pittsfield Area Council of Congregations, as coordinated by the Rev. Timothy Weisman, pastor of the Zion Lutheran Church in Pittsfield.

The awards were presented on Thursday evening in a small ceremony hosted by the Beacon Cinema prior to a special screening of the film, "Noah," inspired by the Biblical story.

Weisman, who nominated Kevin Aldam for a S.A.Y. It Proud award, describes Kevin as "one of the busiest high school students I know."

Kevin is a lead percussionist in the Taconic concert band and jazz ensemble. He's a member of the track team and the Ken's Bowl junior bowling league.

He is also active at Zion Lutheran Church of Pittsfield, having served as a delegate to the 2012 Evangelical Lutheran Church in America Youth Gathering held in New Orleans. Kevin also plans to attend the 2015 ELCA Youth Gathering in Detroit.

"But it's more than being busy; for Kevin it's about living out his teenage years in a way that's not being brought down by poor decisions. Kevin is a bright, thoughtful youth, and it's great to see the energy he puts into life," said Weisman.

Kevin plans to attend Berkshire Community College and then transfer to the University of Massachusetts to study agriculture.

Bailey Prescott was nominated for a S.A.Y. It Proud award by the Rev. Sheila Sholes-Ross, pastor to the First Baptist Church of Pittsfield.

"As the new pastor of First Baptist Church in Pittsfield, Bailey has impressed me so as a young person who truly aspires to live the life of Christ as a caring and giving servant of God."

Sholes-Ross said that Prescott is the only teenager in the church's Chancel Choir and recently stepped up to serve as assistant committee chairperson on a ministry team at the church.

At Taconic, Prescott is enrolled in the school's business academy, and is part of the school's Business Professionals of America program, led by teachers Lynn DiSimoni and Heather McNeice. As a group, Taconic earned 13 first-place awards at the State Leadership Conference held back in March, and will head to the National Leadership Conference in Indianapolis from April 29 through May 4. Prescott said she was also recently selected as president of the Massachusetts BPA.

"It's such a great organization. It's really brought me out of my shell," Prescott said. "I've never been able to really talk with people, but BPA has given me the confidence to do this and more."


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