Yesterday Governor Andy Beshear and Cabinet for Health and Family Services Secretary Eric Friedlander recognized volunteerism and service contributions across the commonwealth at the 27th annual Governor’s Service Awards.
Senior Arianna Martinelli and her twin brother, Lorenzo, received the Governor's Service Award for Tandem, a nonprofit they founded that facilitates weekly 30-minute virtual conversations between senior citizens and high school students, building impactful intergenerational mentorship-based relationships. Many of the first participants were Sacred Heart Academy students and Ursuline Sisters, who began communicating together during the COVID-19 lockdown period. Family members, Sacred Heart Academy and Saint Xavier High School staff accompanied the Martinellis to the awards ceremony at the Mellwood Arts Center in Louisville. Former deputy major and past SHA Alumna of the Year, Ellen Hesen, was also in attendance to support Arianna.
Governor Beshear also recognized past Governor's Service Award winners from Sacred Heart Academy: Tara Singh '22, founder of Bluegrass Literacy Project, and Amelie Beck '24, co-founder (with cousin Jacqueline Teague '23) of MedTechConnect. Tara, now a sophomore at Duke, was awarded the Youth Volunteer Award in 2021. Amelie and Jacqueline were recognized for their implementation of MedTechConnect during the COVID-19 pandemic. These students were able to celebrate in person after receiving their awards during a remote ceremony broadcast in 2021 on Facebook. Read more about the past award winners from Sacred Heart here.
The nonprofit Tandem facilitates relationships and builds connection and community between old and young. According to the press release, "During the calls they share meaningful stories, learn about different generational issues, and create consistent, long-lasting friendships. Since June of 2021, Tandem has had more than 15 pairs meeting for more than 600 calls adding up to at least 300 hours of connection between generations. They have piloted three programs and continue to improve Tandem through collecting feedback through end-of-call forms and monthly focus groups."
Congratulations to Arianna, a true servant leader, who displays the Ursuline Core Values of Community, Reverence, Service, and Leadership.
Photo credit: Serve KY