2018 John Kirby Simon Service Awards Presented

On May 8, during school meeting, a John Kirby Simon '79 Service Award was presented to a student from each form. This award celebrates students who have made, and continue to make, great contributions to local and global communities through service to others. Presented by Melissa Koomson, Director of Community Service, the award is named in honor of alumnus J. Kirby Simon, Class of '79, who was a member of the foreign service. This is the 19th year awards were presented.


(l-r: Kelly Moh '18, Ethan Wedge '19, Director of Community Service Melissa Koomson, Haley Strom '20, Ula Lucas '21)

The third form recipient, Ula Lucas '21, truly embraced the spirit of community service this year by joining several organizations, including Women for Women Choate, RISE (Responsibility, Intellect, Sisterhood, and Empowerment), a women of color affinity group, Young Democrats, Choate Afro-Latino Student Alliance, Interact Reading Buddies Club, and Make-A-Wish. She also participated in numerous service opportunities, assisting with a river clean-up, preparing a home for a refugee family, and joining charity walks for Walk Against Hunger and the New Haven Juvenile Diabetes Research Fund Walk.

Fourth former Haley Strom '20 looked on campus and beyond for service opportunities. Off-campus, she helped lead a fundraiser in her hometown to raise awareness for the Coral Restoration Foundation. She also took part in a three-week service trip to the Florida Keys volunteering with the Foundation. At Choate, she has been an active member of Women for Women Choate, Teach Wallingford, Make-A-Wish, Interact Reading Buddies Club, PAWS (Protection of Animals & Wildlife), Girl Up Choate, Adaptive Swim, Helping Hands, and Gold Key.

Ethan Wedge '19, the fifth form recipient, recognized a need in the community and sought to address it by co-leading the new Interact Reading Buddies Club. The club gives young children more opportunities to improve their reading skills outside of school, without relying solely on summer reading. He has been committed to this club throughout the year, but has also dedicated his time to river clean-ups, volunteering at animal shelters, helping prepare a home for a refugee family, and participating at Teach Wallingford, the Connecticut Food Bank, and Rotary International events.

Kelly Moh '18, sixth former, is no stranger to volunteering, having dedicated over 300 hours to community service since her junior year. As a fifth former she was a member of Choate's Community Service Seminar, participating in her after-school service locations in addition to Adaptive Swim. This year she started a new club, PAWS (Protection of Animals & Wildlife), while serving as a C-Proctor and volunteering at Moses Y Beach Elementary School. She has made meaningful contributions to the community while focusing on her areas of interest: children, animals, and those with disabilities.

Choate congratulates the recipients of this year's John Kirby Simon '79 Service Award!