New York Mills Optimist Club Youths of the Month
November – Lesya Voloshchuk
Lesya Voloshchuk has been named Optimist Club Youth of the Month for November 2020. Lesya is the daughter of Nina Voloshchuk and a member of the New York Mills Class of 2021.
Lesya is a high honor roll student and a member of National Honor Society. Her activities, past and present, include Model United Nations, participation in class fundraisers, peer tutoring and numerous activities in her church community. Lesya has held jobs babysitting and as a cashier.
Lesya plans to attend Mohawk Valley Community College in the fall and pursue a career as a nurse anesthetist.
December – Aryana Thomas
Aryana Thomas has been named Optimist Club Youth of the Month for December 2020. Aryana is the daughter of Christopher and Maris Thomas of New York Mills, and a member of the New York Mills Class of 2021.
Aryana is a member of the National Honor Society, Student Council (where she served as executive historian and executive secretary), and a founding member of our chapter the Model United Nations (where she served as secretary, and president twice). Through these organizations, she has attended various conferences and events. She has also been a member of the cheerleading squad since ninth grade, for which she has been designated as captain. Aryana has also played field hockey, volleyball and softball. She has attended classes through Colgate Seminar and volunteered for a number of local events while also holding a part-time job.
Aryana will attend Mohawk Valley Community College in the fall and will pursue a career as a psychiatric nurse or a correctional facility psychologist.
January – Judy Chen
Judy Chen has been named Optimist Club Youth of the Month for January 2021. Judy is the daughter of Dong Min Chen and Ai Xian Lin of New York Mills, and a member of the New York Mills Class of 2021.
Judy is a high honor roll student and a member of our chapter of the National Honor Society, serving as the secretary of the organization. She has been a member of the Student Council since middle school as class vice president, until this year when she was elected class president. She is co-president of the Model UN and Multicultural Club and has also been a member of the varsity field hockey team, for which she was named a Scholar Athlete during all years of her participation. Judy works at her family restaurant as a hostess and cashier after school and on weekends, and she has volunteered for a number of community service activities.
Judy plans to major in business with a double major or minor in Chinese studies.
February – Tyler Kantor
Tyler Kantor has been named Optimist Club Youth of the Month for February 2021. Tyler is the son of Christopher and Alicia Kantor of Yorkville, and a member of the New York Mills Class of 2021.
Tyler has been his class secretary since ninth grade and has participated in community service activities as a member of Student Council. His activities have included two years on the varsity football team, one year on the varsity basketball team, and two years on the varsity baseball team. He has received a number of accolades for his participation in all three sports. Unfortunately, baseball season last spring and football season last fall were canceled due to the pandemic. This year, Tyler volunteers in one of our kindergarten classrooms once a week.
Tyler would like to pursue a career as an elementary teacher. He is considering a number of colleges and universities and hopes to play football on his chosen college campus.
March – Kristen Despins
Kristen Despins has been named Optimist Club Youth of the Month for March 2021. Kristen is the daughter of Brian and Kate Despins of New York Mills, and a member of the New York Mills Class of 2021.
Kristen is a high honor roll student and is a member of the National Honor Society. She has served as a member of the student council since middle school, and this year she serves as vice president of the senior class and executive historian of Student Council. Kristen has been involved in a number of leadership conferences, including HOBY and NYSCLSA, for which she was on the student board to plan and run the state conference through sophomore year and into her junior year. Kristen runs a field hockey league, is a member of the Drama Club, has a part-time job, and has participated in a number of volunteer activities, including volunteering at animal shelters and running an annual golf tournament with her family to benefit an organization supporting people with Alzheimer's Disease, in memory of her great-grandmother. Kristen also played for four years on the varsity field hockey team, two years on the varsity track and field team, and two years on the varsity volleyball team.
Kristen plans to pursue a career in the medical field, either in orthopedic surgery or in the military. Kristen has been accepted into a number of colleges and universities and at this time she plans to attend Keuka College to major in biology with a focus on biomedical science.