Saint Mark’s Students Win Prestigious Jefferson Award

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Saint Mark’s High School would like to congratulate Grace DiGiacomo ‘24 and Lauren Tyree ‘26 for
being honored as winners of the 2023 Jefferson Award.

DiGiacomo and Tyree were recognized at an awards ceremony on May 11 at Riverfront Events on the Wilmington Riverfront. The non-profit Multiplying Good presented the event, which included award recipients in several categories. The Saint Mark’s honorees were cited in the ‘Outstanding Service By A Young American’ category.
The Jefferson Awards were founded in 1972 as an awards platform focused on extraordinary achievement in public service. For over 50 years, the organization has consistently celebrated, elevated and recognized individuals who build better communities and help to improve the lives of those around them. This honor places DiGiacomo and Tyree among the most distinguished individuals in America and part of a national community of service.

Grace DiGiacomo is the daughter of Michael and Brandy DiGiacomo. Grace has a long and distinguished record of community service, but her service to the senior residents of Marydale Retirement Community in Newark is most telling. She has led fundraising efforts for the Marydale Food Pantry and raised money to support residents who suffer from food insecurity. She has planned events to engage residents with Saint Mark’s students in social and gardening activities, leading to intergenerational relationships. Grace has encouraged Saint Mark’s students in the Key Club and Z Club to build relationships with the residents of Marydale through events like Reverse Trick-or-Treat, and a Christmas Cookie exchange. She is also a member of the Saint Mark’s service club Students in Action.

Lauren Tyree is the daughter of Ty and Maureen Tyree. Just a freshman, Lauren has accumulated over 500 hours of volunteer community service. At Saint Mark’s, Lauren has served tirelessly in roles as a Spartan Ambassador, the Peace of Mind Club, Students in Action and the Z Club. She is an 8-year Girls on the Run volunteer. Her concern for food insecurity led her to enlist her family in the ‘Cul-de-sac Concerts’ program. This program produced weekly live streamed concerts that attracted over 30,000 online viewers and raised over $50,000 for local food banks.

Lauren became the youngest member of her scout troop to earn the prestigious Eagle Scout award. When the national United Methodist Church decided to discontinue their charter relationship with Scouts BSA, Lauren’s troop was at risk of disbanding. She jumped into action and created a non-profit called ‘Growth and Leadership Development’ to charter four scout units in her area, including her own.

The accomplishments of these outstanding students have not gone unnoticed. “It was great to see our Spartan students recognized at the Jefferson Awards (Multiplying Good) event this year. I am so thrilled that we have an active Students In Action group at Saint Mark’s. Their work and the work of our Jefferson nominees/winners help make this world a better place, which aligns so well with the school’s mission,” noted Patricia Curtin White, MD, ‘76, 2016 National and Local Jefferson Award Winner.

Saint Mark’s Modern Language Teacher and Students in Action coordinator Sirama Adzalla noted, “With all the
darkness in America right now, Grace DiGiacomo and Lauren Tyree are the bright lights making a difference in their communities. Students In Action at Saint Mark’s High School is proud of these two young ladies who, through their service and leadership, put smiles on the faces of the elderly and food on the plates of those in need.”

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