Junior League of Greenwich

Community Service Award

Each year the Junior League of Greenwich presents a Community Service Award.  The award recognizes an outstanding local high school girl who exemplifies our mission and whose volunteer activities show a significant and sustained commitment to community service and leadership. Our Community Council reviews the applications and votes on the winner.

2015 Community Service Award Winner Isabella Horzempa

Izabela is a senior at Greenwich High School and is an exceptional student.  She is a member of the National Honor Society, is a national gold medalist and a state silver medalist for her ceramic art work.  She has raised more money as Homecoming Chair than anyone previously.  In addition, she tutors disadvantaged youth.  Isabella's high school guidance counselor states she is "unequivocally the most impressive and amazing young person I have met in 16 years as a guidance counselor".  Isabella has been accepted to Fairfield University and will use the Community Award to help fund her college tuition.


Thank you for your interest in our Community Service Award.  If you are interested in applying for the 2016 award, please check back in the Fall 2015 for an application. 

Deadline:  Applications are due by March 11, 2016

Completed applications should be mailed to:

The Junior League of Greenwich
Attn: Sue Rogers, President Elect
231 East Putnam Avenue
Greenwich, CT 06830

If you have any questions regarding the JLG’s Community Service Award process, please contact Sue Rogers, President Elect, through the JLG office at (203) 869-1979 or email at jlg@jlgreenwich.org 

Congratulations to Our Past Award Recipients:

2014 Community Service Award Winner

Gabrielle Liflander stood out for her significant and sustained community service and leadership, but also her fulfillment of the JLG's mission of developing the potential of women (in this case girls).  Her Girl Scout Gold Award Project: Math Girls Add Up created curriculum about famous women in STEM fields for an after school program at Waterside School in Stamford. She is going to Johns Hopkins to study Engineering and we look forward to seeing the next amazing contributions this dedicated and talented young woman develops in her future communities.

2013 Community Service Award Winner

Stephanie Williamson from Greenwich High School was the JLG 2013 Community Service Award recipient. Since her freshman year in high school, Stephanie has been an active volunteer at the Basset Hound Club of America and  recipient of an outstanding achievement award for Therapy Dog Work.  She started a program at Cos Cob Library that allows struggling young readers to practice reading aloud to Rosie, her basset hound.  In addition, Stephanie volunteers at Greenwich Hospital and is editor in chief for the GHS yearbook, and a bronze star Girl Scout.

Stephanie stated in her application that she has found a way to "merge my passion for animals with my love of community service."  Having always dreamed of becoming a veterinarian, receiving this scholarship makes it possible for Stephanie to enter an undergraduate pre-veterinary program.

Congratulations again, Stephanie.  The Junior League of Greenwich looks forward to watching Stephanie Williamson continue to make an impact in her community here and at college.

2012 Community Service Award Winner

Meei Hayashida from Greenwich High School is the 2012 Community Service Award recipient. Since her freshman year in high school, Meei has been an active volunteer at Abilis lending her time and talents year-round to the organization’s arts program including both visual and performing arts. She is the co-president of the Abilis Youth Board and Come Together at Greenwich High School, a program she initiated that allows students with and without special needs to dine together at lunch or gather in a Resource Room to foster understanding, compassion and respect between students.

In addition to her work with Abilis and teens with disabilities, Meei has volunteered her time raising money for the Japanese Earthquake and Tsunami Relief Fund, serving as a youth leader at her church, working on the GHS yearbook, and acting as a peer mentor. She was the Town of Greenwich Youth Volunteer Award winner in 2011 and runner-up for the District Community Service Award in 2012.

Meei stated in her application that community service “has taught me more about myself”, and that “my being involved in community service can make a difference in someone’s life, no matter how small or how big”. The Junior League of Greenwich couldn’t agree more with Meei’s sentiment and looks forward to watching her continue to make an impact in her community here and at college.

2011 Community Service Award Winner

Caela Murphy from Greenwich High School is the 2011 Community Service Award recipient. She is the Co-Founder and Co-President of Go Green!, the Greenwich High School Environmental Awareness Club, which works with Greenwich High students, administration and town officials to raise awareness of environmental issues and implement new initiatives both at school and throughout Greenwich. This year’s events included Race Against the Waste - a grade level recycling competition, planting herbs and vegetables at Armstrong Court Organic Community Garden, holding a reusable water bottle sale, holiday recycled clothing drive and Green Dream Contest, aiding the Go Greener Greenwich Survey, and constructing and displaying plastic bottle sculptures.

When she isn’t improving our environment, Caela is or has recently been a GHS AVID Peer Tutor and Peer Mentor, Anti-Defamation League Names Day Team Facilitator, Bruce Museum Seaside Center Touch Tank volunteer, GHS Habitat for Humanity Club member, Red Cross Youth Council member and a volunteer at her church’s soup kitchen.

Caela stated in her application that she “believes service to others is the hallmark of a good citizen.” And that one of the most gratifying feelings for her is “the one that comes from leaving something better than (she) found it” and “seeing that (her) actions have made a positive impact.” All of us at the Junior League echo her sentiment.

2010 Community Service Award Winners

In 2010 only, the JLG honored both a local high school senior AND a high school junior.

Lucy Williams, a junior from Greenwich Academy, maintains a solid academic average and is a very dedicated community volunteer. She volunteers with numerous organizations, but says that her time at Family Centers is one of the most meaningful organizations she’s had the opportunity to work with, going there during summers, vacations and Fridays over 4 years, focusing primarily in their preschool program. In connection with that work, she introduced a program called Kidz Kitchen, a summer cooking camp that she created and has run for 7 years (meaning she started this camp at around age 11), where children cook, and play games, but learn about healthy choices and gain the self-confidence to make their own meals or help their parents to cook.

In addition to this, she, along with her sister, started the organization Relight CT, to get energy saving light bulbs to low-income housing residents and help reduce the carbon footprint of those homes. By working with the Greenwich Housing Authority, she has learned to navigate the process of non profits working with government organizations to take effective action.

Elizabeth Buffone, a senior at Greenwich Academy, has a strong academic background and a plethora of volunteer activities. Her passion for volunteering began at a young age, 8, when she initiated a book drive for a school in Idaho she had visited, and followed with her standing outside Starbucks to collect funds to help with victims of Hurricane Katrina, raising over $1,000. However, the most significant of her accomplishments is her role as Founder and President of Greenwich Academy’s Do Something Club, and correspondingly, a member of Do Something’s National Youth Advisory Council for 3 years. The Do Something Club operates like the JLG in many ways, looking for needs that are not being serviced, and has over 60 active members out of the 300 girls at the school. As a result of her successes with the GA chapter of Do Something, she has been asked to serve on committees for the national parent organization, interned at the headquarters, and was invited to attend the Impact Academy, hosted by America’s Promise Alliance, being one of 150 youth leaders from across the country to attend this event where they were taught community service leadership and organizational skills, and which led to her being offered an internship with that organization.

2009 Community Service Award Winner

In 2009, the Council granted Margaret Beneville the 2009 Community Service Award. Miss Beneville, from Greenwich High School, maintained a GPA of 4.5 and was a dedicated community volunteer. As founder of the "Read to Nora" project, which is dedicated to the memory of Margaret's good friend who died of cancer at the age of 14, she raised more than $8,500 for cancer research. Additionally, she was actively involved with Pegasus Therapeutic Riding, which helps children with mental and physical handicaps, and the Greenwich High School Cancer Club, where she helped to raise awareness and funds for cancer research.

Margaret stated in her application "My community service work has allowed me to gain a greater perspective and to feel part of something greater than myself. I have found community service to be an incredibly empowering experience.”