Aviela Lim with her parents.

Senior Recognized for Volunteer Work

In recognition of her very long list of volunteer activities, New Rochelle High School senior Aviela Lim received the Andy Cahn Student Community Service Award at a ceremony last month during the annual High School Human Rights Institute organized by the Holocaust and Human Rights Education Center (HHREC).

The award is given in memory of the contributions and commitments made by Andy Cahn, former Assistant Director of Education for HHREC, who was instrumental in the creation of the High School Human Rights Institute.

Aviela, together with Elliott Saiontz of Horace Greeley High School, was selected from dozens of nominations of students from Westchester County.

To be considered, candidates should be engaged in community service outside the school setting and should exemplify values consistent with ethical behavior. 

“Aviela is exactly that and much more,” said Social Studies teacher Francisco Sandoval, who noticed her extensive volunteer activities when writing her college recommendation. “She was the perfect fit.”

She is a longtime volunteer teacher at Songcatchers, a community program that provides affordable access to high-quality music education, training, and enrichment for children and families. Aviela is also the Vice President of Communications for Communiteen Tutors, an organization that provides tutoring for the New Rochelle community, where she is a math tutor. 

At school, Aviela is a Math Honor Society tutor, a member of Tri M Music Honor Society and the Science Honor Society.

“It was a complete surprise to me,” said Aviela when she heard about the award. “I was filled with joy when hearing my name called up on stage. I felt relieved to know that all those long days had paid off knowing that I was able to help many in my community.”

The High School Human Rights Institute organized by the Holocaust and Human Rights Education Center (HHREC) is an annual day-long seminar where high school students discuss important topics including human rights abuses and injustices, and the importance of youth leadership in confronting prejudice and discrimination. The High School Student Institute is intended to further our mission by promoting student awareness of human rights issues on both local and global levels and to empower students to be Upstanders by creating and implementing Action Plans in their schools and communities.