A Kings Park High School student with a passion for community service has received a prestigious volunteer award — for the fifth time.
Madeline Canonico, a junior, recently received the gold-level President's Volunteer Service Award for volunteering more than 100 hours during a 12-month period. She previously has received the gold-level award, as well as the silver-level award twice and the bronze-level award once, she said.
The award is an initiative of the Corporation for National and Community Service and is administered by Points of Light, the Atlanta-based nonprofit founded by the late former President George H.W. Bush.
"I'm really excited to get them; it's something special to me," Canonico, 15, said of the awards. "I like to feel like I'm helping out and being part of the community."
Canonico's volunteer efforts have ranged from cleaning cages and feeding birds at the Sweetbriar Nature Center in Smithtown to reading with children and doing craft projects as part of buddy programs at local public libraries, she said.
She also spent time clearing nature trails this summer in Yellowstone National Park and will engage in sea turtle conservation efforts this winter in Costa Rica. Those efforts are through a program called Girl Scout Destinations.
Canonico is on her school’s varsity soccer team, National Honor Society, Leadership Club and Student Environmental Action Society (SEAS) Club.