Twelve Local Students Named Second Quarter Mayor’s Youth Commission Award Recipients


Twelve local students were recognized for their personal achievements and positive contributions to the community by the Mayor’s Youth Commission.

Recognized as 2022-2023 Second Quarter Winners:

This is Arroyo, which was named by the teacher, Julie Neumaier. A third-grade student at Frank Elementary School, Arroyo was January’s VIP (student of the month). She was recently nominated to receive the District Kindness Award as a model student. She has been cited as an exceptional student who also knows when help is needed and does it without hesitation.

Isabelle Corcoran, who was nominated by school counselor Terri Hujik. Corcoran is a senior at Tremper High School. She is a member of the Student Government Executive Council, NHS, Spirit Squad-Lead Senior, Link Crew and was a first year officer. She made Spirit Squad a top hit through her leadership.

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Rosa Contreras, who was nominated by school counselor Samantha Rodriguez. Contreras is a senior at Tremper High School where she placed in the top 5 in her first FBLA competition during her freshman year. She participated in a UW-Madison clinical research continuum in the summer of 2022, where she was able to work with a mentor to further her career exploration of wanting to become a surgeon. Rosa received a Certificate of Completion from Georgetown University for the “Becoming a Surgeon: Skills, Specialties and Diseases” program and received the National Academy of Future Physicians Achievement Award. She also received a Certificate of Recognition for her dedication and commitment to youth learning and was honored by her workplace (Old Navy) for her excellent sales standards and perfect attendance. Outside of school, she is involved with the FBLA, volunteers at Aurora Medical Center, participates in youth apprenticeships, and works at several local businesses.

Alexa Didinsky, which was named by teacher Brian Chike. Didinsky is a senior at Bradford High School where she ranks No. 1 in her class. She is involved with Youth in Governance, Kenosha Youth Collection, Environmental Club, Multi-Cultural Club, girls tennis, NHS Student Government Association, Kenosha Youth Activism Group, Get Out the Vote Campaign, Garden of Eatin’ and Rebuilding Kenosha Efforts, and works at Starbucks.

John Fitz Gerald, which was named by the teacher, Melissa Whitaker. FitzGerald is a freshman at Tremper High School where he is a top 10 student. Hen has created two Youtube accounts, “Histolang”, describing parts of speech, as well as providing additional linguistic material, and “Egalpolitik”, which explores political ideas and processes in government, such as the creation and approval of new legislation. HE is a violinist in the Tremper Golden Strings, and plays cello and piano. His art was featured last summer at the KUSD Art Show. He is a varsity cross-county and track runner, a member of Tremper’s student government community services branch, and a reporter for the school’s local “news.” Last year, he was a PBIS student representative for the class of 2025 and is the blood drive coordinator for the school’s annual blood drive this year. Because of his interest in linguistics, George Mason University offered him the opportunity to visit Washington, DC, as part of the National Youth Leadership Forum.

Beautiful grain, who was appointed by councilor Lora Lehmann. Greno is a senior at Indian Trail High School where she excelled in tennis and as president of DECA. She built beds for children without beds, collected canned goods for the homeless, went singing to raise money for less fortunate families in Indian Trail, and made blankets for the homeless.

Emma Meadows, who was appointed by church leader Ryan Taylor. Meadows is a senior at Indian Trail High School where she took eight AP courses and has a 4.2 grade point average. She is a talented musician and attained the state soloist ensemble throughout middle and high school, is the first president of a symphony orchestra, a top band as a freshman, and has been nominated for the Carthage and Parkside Honor Bands. She has taken on many leadership responsibilities in her church, including leading the congregation’s music each week, as well as organizing, teaching, and managing activities for more than 100 high school students from across the South. east of Wisconsin. She has over 100 hours of community service over the past four years. Additionally, she is a black belt in taekwondo, participated in high school sports, and currently works at Target.

Kayla Mitchell, which was nominated by her mentor, Felicia Dalton. MItchell is a senior at Harborside Academy. She was an AP/Honers honor roll student for her entire time at Harborside. Kayla co-organized the National Expeditionary Learning Conference attended by hundreds of schools across the United States. She is a member of the Student Leadership Council for Schools of Expeditionary Learning. Kayla also participates in the African American Youth Initiative and performed a poem at the annual luncheon and was a praise dance teacher for her church. She is a mentor at the Boys and Girls Club of Kenosha where she facilitated SMART Girl Groups that empower young girls to recognize their power by fostering self-esteem, self-identity, and positive peer relationships. She was also selected as the Boys and Girls Club of Kenosha Wisconsin’s Youth of the Year and was named a finalist for Midwest Youth of the Year. Kayla was a member of the Mayor’s Youth Cohort that was responsible for providing potential school board members with a space to talk about their platform and educate other students and parents ahead of the upcoming election. As one of Kenosha’s youngest makeup artists, her company Kays Eyes has competed in local and out-of-state hair and makeup salons as the youngest entrant.

Tyson Pfeffer, who was named by Principal Camille Schroeder who noticed that Pfeller, a fourth-grade student at Prairie Lane School, befriended a classmate because at the start of the year, when he noticed that the classmate was regularly alone at lunch. Tyson is a good friend and a good student every day, in addition to being a good athlete.

Lillyanna Rodriguez, who was named by teacher Elizabeth Uelmen, Rodriguez is in the seventh grade at Bullen Middle School. She is a student-athlete who plays softball and basketball at Bullen and is also part of a traveling softball team. She is also involved in the National Junior Honors Society. She volunteers to clean the classroom or help other students with their homework every day during lunch. Outside of school, she volunteers to mow grass and shovel snow for the elderly.

Leo Ruffolo, which was named by a staff member at Tremper High School where Ruffalo is a senior. He balanced a rigorous academic schedule, a variety of extracurricular activities, and a part-time job for four years. He was a member of Tremper’s student government and the National Honor Society throughout high school. He spent the summer of 2022 involved with Badger Boys State and the Badger Summer Scholars program at UW-Madison. He was a straight student during his high school career.

Rebecca Susmilch, who was appointed by Councilman Matt Kellner. Susmilch is a junior at Tremper High School with a high GPA in the AP, Honors, and UW-Parkside coursework program. She participates in golf, swimming and other clubs. She completed Eagle Scout honors this year and is working towards a career in IT, planning to attend a highly selective college.

The Mayor’s Youth Commission Awards recognize community youth for their outstanding personal achievements and the significant and positive contributions they make to the Kenosha community. Nomination forms can be obtained from the Mayor’s Office, Room 300, in the Municipal Building, or on the internet at under the Mayor/Administration tab.

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