Hamilton Southeastern Senior Recognized at Youth Service Awards
Senior Laksmhi Pendela from Hamilton Southeastern High School was awarded the 29th Annual Hamilton County Youth Service Award this afternoon. The ceremony is sponsored by the Hamilton County Commissioners and the Hamilton County Council on Alcohol and Other Drugs (HCCOAOD). Pendela was awarded a $1,000 scholarship.
Pendela is a youth blogger for the National Suicide Prevention’s You Matter Council, a student board member for the Southeastern Education Foundation, secretary for the Key Club, and co-captain of her school’s Speech and Debate Team. She also volunteers for Buddy Help, her local COVID-19 vaccine clinic, and ENGin, where she teaches English to Ukrainian children.
“Drug and alcohol problems are common in Ukraine,” Pendela says. “So, in addition to teaching English, I talk to the kids about the value of good mental health and the harmful effects of using drugs and alcohol. My ultimate goal is to one day become a pediatric psychiatrist and start a telehealth platform to accurately assess an individual’s overall health.”
Six other students were nominated for the Youth Service Award by their school’s counseling department. The other nominees included Samantha Brigham from Carmel High School, Megan Mybeck from Fishers High School, Elianna Watson from Hamilton Heights High School, Delany Shoemaker from Noblesville High School, Elijah Kinkead from Sheridan High School, and Addison Rismiller from Westfield High School. They will each receive a $300 scholarship.
“We are proud of each of the applicants that have chosen to lead a drug free lifestyle and contribute their time to help make positive changes in the lives of others,” says Monica Greer, executive director of HCCOAOD.