Gananda Junior Recognized as Future Leader by Senator Helming

Cohen Kelley isn’t quite finished with his junior year at Gananda, but he has a solid understanding of what his time at Ruben A. Cirillo High School is preparing him for.

And apparently, other people are taking notice.

As a student, athlete and musician, Cohen was recognized on March 8 by New York State Senator Pam Helming as part of her Youth Leadership Recognition ceremony at Victor’s Town Hall. Kelley was one of 24 students from 22 area districts recognized for their all-around achievements..

“It’s helped me realize that the hard work I’m putting in is paying off,” said Cohen.

Cohen, a High Honor Roll student, said he’s taking several Advanced Placement and Gemini courses that keep him busy in addition to his involvement with Project Lead the Way. He’s also a varsity swimmer and on top of that, he’s a clarinet player in the band who has earned All-County recognition every year he’s been eligible.

Cohen finds a way to manage his time to pursue a goal already in place for life after Gananda. His mother is a nurse and he has a sister in nursing school, so Cohen wants to follow in those footsteps and work as a nurse in a neonatal intensive care unit, or NICU.

“I’ve always been exposed to the health care field and I know deep down I enjoy helping people,” he said. “And I’ve always loved babies, too. They’re so cute.”

Being on the helping end of what can be a trying situation for a newborn and its family is what draws Cohen to the field. And it’s a heart like that which makes his recognition by Sen. Helming no surprise.

“He is one of the most well-rounded students that I have had the privilege of working with,” said Dr. Chris Whipple, Principal at Gananda High. “Not only does he earn strong marks academically, he has earned All-League recognitions as a varsity swimmer, earned All-County recognition for band and still manages to participate in a variety of community service activities. Cohen has a great influence on the atmosphere at the high school and you can always count on his positive attitude, smile and sense of humor to brighten anyone’s day.”

Congratulations to Cohen for this distinguished honor that makes us all #GanandaProud!