Steven Conaway Seymour Award 2020-2021 South Central Region Finalist

Steven Conaway
South Central Region
Chapter 1395 – Saint Monica Academy
Adviser Jessica Halpin

​Steven Conaway is a senior at Saint Monica Academy in Montrose California where he is actively involved in his CSF chapter and serves as its president. A national merit commended scholar and an AP Scholar with Honor, Steven also works heavily with Robotics. 

His CSF adviser, Jacqueline Halpin , mentioned that “Steven founded the Robotics Club that has successfully competed in regional and state competitions in addition to his garnering a multi-thousand dollar grant from the Dan Murphy Foundation to build a dedicated Robotics classroom.” 

Michael Murry, from the East Los Angeles Youth Center commends Steven for his hard work and dedication.  “Steven was part of a group that was tasked with teaching the Arduino run Smart Car Class to elementary aged children.” states Mr. Murry, “As time went by, we offered courses in robotics, drones, and even initiated a grant-funded Air Quality Testing Using Drone Technology to test the ambient air in East Los Angeles” all of which Steven helped greatly with. 

In the next phase of his life, he plans to go into Computer Science or Computer Engineering at Notre Dame, or MIT.  He looks forward to continuing to teach robotics both virtually and in person.

Yadira Castillo Seymour Award 2020-2021 South Central Region Finalist

Yadira Castillo
South Central Region
Chapter 634 – Ulysses S Grant Senior High School
Adviser Erin Suess

Yadira Castillo attends Ulysses S Grant Senior High School in Van Nuys where she has served as the Secretary of her CSF chapter. Throughout her school career she has spent a lot of time working with a variety of community service projects including canned food drives, Teacher appreciation days and videos, and a local Secret Santa program.  She has excelled in the Academic Decathlon program through her school, receiving numerous Medals in both the regional and state levels of competition. 

Erin Suess, her CSF adviser states “If you ask Yadira why she works so hard, she will tell you it is to honor her parents. Yadira’s drive is not just for herself but for her entire community.” 

“As a volunteer at the Casa Durango, Yadira had an integral role in teaching both English and basic arithmetic classes. She is a shining example of someone who is both proactive and driven.” says Nilsa Dipp. 

She found economics the most difficult subject to understand when working in the academic decathlon, so after high school, Yadira plans to attend Yale, or Harvard, or Columbia and study economics.

Anika Madan Seymour Award 2020-2021 South Region Finalist

Anika Madan
South Region
Chapter 667 – Sunny Hills High School
Adviser Hera Kwon

Anika Madan is a student at Sunny Hills High School in Fullerton.  She is the president of her CSF chapter, and has participated in a multitude of CSF activities, including the recent CSF Virtual Student Leadership Conference, Project Teddy Bear, and the CSF Panda Express fundraiser. 

Her CSF adviser, Hera Kwon explains, “As CSF President, Anika Madan exceeds expectations.  I could not have asked for a more capable individual to lead us through the challenges of running CSF remotely.  Anika brings both a high level of competence and a genuine warmth to her responsibilities…always the first one to arrive and the last one to stay…”  Along with CSF, Anika is also the Editor-in-Chief of the school yearbook, vice-president of the Key Club, vice-president of Amnesty International, president of the International Baccalaureate Student Council, and Appreciation Team Commissioner for the Link Crew.  Her community activities include being a judge at the Orange County Debate League, a summer camp volunteer, a children’s museum volunteer, and founder of the All Smiles Here Project.  Anika is an AP Scholar with Honor, and an IB Diploma Candidate. 

Her Seymour Award application included a letter of recommendation from Jaeeun Lee, the President in Division 30 North Key Club.  Ms. Lee explains that throughout the time she has known Anika she consistently demonstrates the qualities of leadership with her community, both in and out of school…distinguishing herself as an incredible leader, saying, “…she not only excels as an individual but also as a member of a team.  When I think about all of the qualities I respect in an individual — determination, integrity, leadership, hard work, and tenacity —- I think of Anika.” 

In her personal statement Anika explains how she learned to take risks as a first grader, choosing to recite the Gettysburg Address in the school talent show, rather than singing or dancing like the other students.  Her performance was a success, and from that success she fell in love with the idea of risk.  Anika goes on to describe taking risks as being innovative, trying something new, committing to one’s interests, and moving beyond a stagnant glance at learning.  Anika’s words say it all, “Whether it is with inspiration, encouragement, or shock, I strive to make an impact.” 

In the fall Anika plans to attend UCLA and major in Psychology.

Macey Leonard Seymour Award 2020-2021 South Region Finalist

Macey Leonard
South Region
Chapter 1411 – San Juan Hills High School
Adviser Vivian Nguyen

Macey Leonard is a student at San Juan Hills High School in San Juan Capistrano.  In CSF she has been a tutor, and participated in the Walk for Wellness.  Macey is also a member of student government, Link Crew, the National Honors Society, and the community volunteer program called Lion’s Heart.  She has earned her Girl Scout Gold Award, is a varsity track member and is the captain of the varsity soccer team.  Among her recognitions, Macy has been on the principal’s honor roll all four years of high school, and earned the Spirit of Stallion award. 

“Macey is always ready to volunteer her time to help others and does so with a genuine smile and upbeat energy that is contagious,” states Macey’s CSF Adviser Vivian Nguyen. 

Macey’s Girl Scout leader, Janine Schunk, describes her as outgoing and welcoming, and always taking a leadership role.  Ms. Schunk explains, “I have also seen [Macey] consistently handle herself with grace and dignity. Her values and her commitment to her family, her friends, her education, and her community will leave a lasting impression.” 

Both of Macey’s letters of recommendation commend her on having founded the free community program “We assist, You Score”.  In her personal statement, Macey explains that she created this program to help girls with low self-esteem increase their confidence through one-on-one soccer coaching and personalized mentorship.  Macey says “I spent countless hours developing “We assist, You Score”, researching strategies for confidence-building, and speaking with experienced soccer coaches.  Helping these young girls develop self-confidence I never had during middle school meant everything to me.  Not only did these girls grow, but I did as well.” 

Macey has committed to Brown University where she plans to play soccer, and pursue a degree in Astro-Physics, with the dream of someday being an aerospace engineer working for NASA.

Kainath Kamil Seymour Award 2020-2021 South Region Finalist

Kainath Kamil
South Region
Chapter 1399 – Mission Vista High School
Adviser Joy Straub

Kainath Kamil is a student at Mission Vista High School in Oceanside.  She has served as CSF publicist, treasurer, and currently as president of her chapter.  Among many CSF activities, Kainath has participated in the awards night, a field trip to UCI, book-sorting, and the fall fundraiser.  Besides being CSF President she holds officer positions in the Health Occupation Student Association, STEM Club, Academic Team, Students Together Assisting Refugees, and TedxYouth.  Kainath is the co-founder and president of a non-profit organization called the San Diego Youth Environmental Association which promotes environmental interest in youth.  She has worked with a mentor from UC Berkeley on a project on genetic engineering, and has also worked on a study of genes involving caffeine addiction in fruit flies.  Kainath’s volunteer work includes working at a soup kitchen and working with the SEED program in Bangalore, India.  For her numerous volunteer hours, Kainath has received the 2020 President’s Volunteer Service Award.  She is currently employed as an Addiction Dad Scientist. 

In her personal statement Kainath explains how she is the daughter of a serviceman and immigrant from India, stating, “My world was built with Indian values and Indian love.  Family comes first, next to education.”  These teachings place her on a path of self-discipline which enhances her passions and work ethic. 

Kainath’s CSF adviser, Joy Straub explains how she has worked closely with Kainath for past three years, and has observed her strong leadership ability and her innate ability to lead and serve.  Ms. Straub explains, “[Kainath] has strength in humility that leads our club to confident and active in our community.” 

Denise Seymour, the Volunteer Co-ordinator at Brother Benno’s Soup Kitchen expresses how Kainath, as a regular volunteer, “…spreads so much joy and exhibits kindness that is rare in a heart so young.” 

Kainath dreams of attending UCLA, and becoming a bio-engineer.

William Nguyen Seymour Award 2020-2021 Central Coast Region Finalist

William Nguyen
Central Coast Region
Chapter 844 – Oak Grove High School
Adviser Laurie Pizzuti

William Nguyen is a student at Oak Grove High School in San Jose where he has been active in CSF, participating in tutoring, and the Get Online and Grow service project in which high school students prepare online literacy workshops to help business owners launch their businesses online during the pandemic.  William is also involved in Interact, a Rotary-sponsored service club.  As Area 8 Director, he is the liaison between the Rotary and students, as well as being involved in student government as ASB Finances.  He does library tutoring in the Homework Club at the  Edenvale Branch Library.  William is a varsity badminton player, and on the varsity swim team.  William has received 1st place in the Spark Founding Scholar Award, the Gary Robinson Award, and the Scholar Athlete Award. 

Oak Grove High School CSF adviser, Laurie Pizzuti, begins her letter of recommendation with “Scholarship, Character, Leadership, Service: The foundational qualities of this award are rarely demonstrated by one individual whole heartedly.”  She goes on to say that William can demonstrate all of these qualities with such sincerity, “The ability to see a need and attempt to fill it runs deep in William;  from his strong stance against bullying to his involvement and creation of school clubs on campus.  His ultimate desire to seek an education that will allow him to fulfill his desire to help the environment only further demonstrates William’s selflessness and desire to be of service.” 

Interact Advisor Jimmy Nguyen explains, “As an advocate for service, William has inspired many of his peers through his charismatic personality, contagious energy, and drive to improve himself and the community.  His eagerness to improve the community around him is contagious.” 

In his personal statement, William explains how he learned from his childhood challenges “…how to view life with a happy heart and a smile on my face…the values of seeking opportunity through my initiative and helping me find my lifelong dedication to service..[how to] speak eloquently, network with incredible people, and lead my fellow peers with respect.” 

William hopes to attend UCLA, and major in Computer Science and Engineering, then go on to get his MBA.