Every member of Huntington High School’s Class of 2019 can testify without any hesitation that Ashlyn Case and Luke Farrell exemplify the qualities of kindness, compassion and consideration. They both provide encouragement and support to their friends or anyone who happens to seek out their help and they are always available when someone needs them.
The two teenagers are this year’s recipients of the American Legion Citizenship Award medals. The duo was recognized during the senior academic awards ceremony in the high school auditorium last month.
“Youth are often awarded for their scholastic achievements, but the American Legion believes they should also be praised when they demonstrate strong qualities of character and good citizenship,” states the organization’s website. “That’s why since 1926, the Legion has recognized such students with its school award medal program.”
The award is given annually to one female and one male in the senior class. Recipients must exemplify six qualities that define character: courage, honor, leadership, patriotism, scholarship and service.
“The local American Legion post involved with the school makes the final selection upon receiving recommendation from students and faculty,” according to the organization. Each recipient receives a certificate and a medal with the six qualities listed on the face of the medal. The back bears the Marine Corps motto, “Semper Fidelis” (always faithful).
Ms. Case was the Class of 2019’s vice president. She is headed to the University of Rhode Island where she plans to study communications.
President of Huntington’s Grandfriends Club, Ms. Case was a member of the high school’s National Honor Society and English Honor Society chapters. She played on the Blue Devil varsity girls’ tennis team.
Mr. Farrell will be studying in Hofstra University’s Honors College after being accepted into a five year dual degree psychology and school counseling program. He will graduate with bachelor and master degrees.
The teenager’s portfolio includes participation in Huntington’s Interact Club chapter and robotics team. Mr. Farrell wrote for The Dispatch, the high school’s student newspaper and he exhibited a daily zest for life that lifted the hearts and minds of anyone he came across.
The senior duo was presented with their awards by high school counselor Catherine Croke before a crowd of 325.
“The American Legion was chartered and incorporated by Congress in 1919 as a patriotic veterans organization devoted to mutual helpfulness, states the organization’s website. “It is the nation’s largest wartime veterans’ service organization, committed to mentoring youth and sponsorship of wholesome programs in our communities, advocating patriotism and honor, promoting strong national security, and continued devotion to our fellow service members and veterans.”
The American Legion counts 2.2 million members in 13,000 separate posts in all 50 states and many countries around the world.