Elected leaders, friends, family and peers feted an Oneonta High School senior Tuesday night as a recipient of the city’s Trailblazer Award for Young Leader and Community Achievement.
Jennifer Stanton, 18, of Oneonta, said during a reception at City Hall that she was shocked but ecstatic to receive the award.
The city’s Commission on Community Relations and Human Rights selected Stanton as the 2014 recipient based on her leadership activities in student groups at school and in the community.
Mayor Dick Miller read a proclamation Tuesday night during the reception before a Common Council meeting. However, the phrases didn’t adequately reflect the positive comments received from Stanton’s supporters, he said in recognizing her achievements.
“I am in your awe and appreciative,” Miller told the OHS senior.
Stanton said she didn’t consider herself “nomination material” for the award, and thanked those supporting her for being her inspiration.
“The people in my life and in my community really build me,” she said.
Stanton said she will attend the State University of New York at Buffalo, where she will study pharmacology. Her mentor, Leigh Briscoe-Dwyer, a 1982 Laurens Central School graduate, traveled from New York City, where she works as a pharmacist, to see Stanton receive the award.
“I’m thrilled for her,” Briscoe-Dwyer said. Stanton’s high school achievements set the stage for her future, she said.
Stanton is the daughter of Kathy and Scott Stanton.
The Trailblazer Award is presented annually to a woman who has made outstanding contributions to the Oneonta community through her profession and/or professional organization or as a community volunteer. Stanton was nominated in the “Young Leader & Community Service” category.
Stanton, who goes by “Jen,” has been recognized as a leader in the classroom and in her extracurricular activities, which have included the track team, the Robotics team and drama club. She has been an active in vocal and instrumental music ensembles at OHS, and has earned positions in area all-state and all-county choirs.