Samantha DiBacco '17 has been awarded the prestigious Barnes Service Award from the WALKS Foundation for "outstanding and exemplary" community service performed off campus.
Founded in 1956 to recognize talented, motivated, and community-minded students, the WALKS Foundation is a consortium of five private schools: Westminster, Avon Old Farms, Loomis Chaffee, Kingswood Oxford, and Suffield Academy. Over the past 60 years, it has presented awards and scholarships to more than 300 students.
Along with other students from WALKS schools, the DiBacco was recognized at an Apr. 25 dinner at Avon Old Farms.
According to the foundation, DiBacco was selected for the Barnes Award because of her extensive community service including the past four years raising money with local radio station Lite 100.5 so that the underprivileged would have Christmas presents. The event culminates with roller coaster rides at Lake Compounce. She said, "When you see the look on the kids' faces, it's so rewarding. I'm excited every time the event comes around."
DiBacco is deeply committed to Mary's Place, a center for grieving children who have lost family members. The organization is dear to DiBacco's heart because the group helped with her own healing when her mother passed away several years ago. "I think it's important to give back and help families who are going through what we did."
Last summer, Dibacco took a mission trip with her local church, St. Paul's in Glastonbury, to Rochester, NY and helped paint and scrape a local residence. This summer she intends to take a service trip to North Carolina for similar work.
"I am so grateful to have what I have. I feel the need to help out. It makes me happy to do something right. I'm not sitting in my room. I'm doing something useful."
Located in West Hartford, CT just steps from Blue Back Square, Kingswood Oxford is a private school inspiring co-ed day students in grades 6-12 with a college preparatory curriculum. Empowered students become clear confident communicators, resourceful problem-solvers, and ethical leaders. KO: where unlimited potential meets endless opportunities.