Chatham Middle School is proud to announce it has nominated eighth graders Abby Prevratil and Ethan Narofsky for Siena College’s Student Courage Award, which honors young people who actively promote the ideal of a just and inclusive society that values diversity and uniqueness.
Abby Prevratil is an advocate for others and an agent of change. While Abby is an athlete and a National Junior Honor Society Member, she still finds time to dedicate her gentle ways to others. This year, Abby has become an advocate for a boy with special needs who was having difficulty adjusting to middle school. When she witnessed the boy being upset in the hallway, Abby quickly befriended him with a hug. That was the beginning of her dedication to helping him. Since then, Abby spends her study halls in this boy’s classroom playing games, doing puzzles or reading with him. This has allowed the boy to settle in and be comfortable in school, and has made Abby a trailblazer for other 8th graders who are now interested in helping others during their free time.
Ethan Narofsky is someone who exhibits compassion and interest towards his fellow peers, always offering compliments, encouragement and support. His empathetic nature leads him to undertake the challenge of helping others. When Ethan noticed one of his classmates was struggling with self-confidence and anxiety, he took it upon himself to reach out and help the student prepare for an upcoming test. His outreach helped the student show noticeable improvement on the test, but even more importantly, become more confident to take on tasks in other classes. Ethan is also a member of his school’s National Coalition Building Institute (NCBI) Group, where he conducts classroom lessons to debunk stereotypes and celebrate diversity.
Ethan and Abby join other courageous students from around the greater Capital Region in being nominated for this award. A committee comprised of area leaders in social justice issues will review the nominations, from which they will select three recipients of the award. Siena College will announce the winners at its annual Martin Luther King Jr. and Coretta Scott King Lecture Series reception held March 15.