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Kaneland student honored for community work

Kaneland High School senior Nicole Hanlon is not content with having a weighted grade point average of 4.14 or being a National Honor Society member.

The 18-year-old Elburn resident also feels the need to give back, whether that involves registering blood donors or distributing school supplies to children in need. For her efforts, Hanlon on Monday received a Ted Brattin Civic Youth award at the 43rd annual Pearl Harbor Day Memorial Luncheon in Aurora.

The awards are sponsored annually by the Aurora Navy League, the Aurora-Naperville Rotary Club and Aurora University and are given to Fox Valley youth who have exhibited qualities of citizenship, service and leadership as demonstrated through school, church or community activities.

“It’s an exciting feeling,” Hanlon said after receiving the award. “It’s more of an honor because my grandfather nominated me for it.”

Hanlon for the past several years has helped the Aurora Golden K Kiwanis Club with blood drives and a back-to-school fair for needy families. Her grandfather, David Frerich, is program chairman for the Golden K Kiwanis Club.

“I thought she deserved recognition for what she has done,” Frerich said.

Laura McPhee, who works in Kaneland High School’s student services office, agreed. She wrote a letter in support of Hanlon’s nomination for the award.

“She’s the real deal,” McPhee said. “She is helpful to others in her school. You can count on her.”

Hanlon, who also is enrolled in six AP classes, is a World Youth in Science and Engineering team member and soccer player, said giving to others is in her nature.

“It’s very rewarding to know that you are helping someone out and giving back,” she said.

Hanlon was one of 10 students to receive a Ted Brattin Civic Youth award. Also receiving an award was Madeline Bozik of North Aurora, who is a 13-year-old Herget Middle School student.

Bozik’s activities have included growing her hair long enough to donate four 17-inch braids to Locks of Love for pediatric cancer patients and organizing her own charity, “Maddie’s Mitten March.” Now in its fourth year, the charity collects, cleans and donates outdoor winter apparel for the needy.

“We are very proud of her, at this young age and all the accomplishments she’s had,” said her father, Mark Bozik. “We’re excited to see what the future holds for her.”

Other students who received Ted Brattin Civic Youth awards were: Rosary High School student Julie Hoyda, Aurora Central Catholic High School student Rachel Rahn, West Aurora High School student Ariel Smith, Marmion Academy student John Mason, East Aurora High School student Tanner Cassidy, Wuabonsee Valley High School student Steven Harrison and Naperville North High School student Nathaniel Moxon.

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