Apply for Michael-Waly Community First Award

Kent Weeklies

Any high school senior who is a Hudson resident is a candidate for the Michael-Waly Community First Award. This award recognizes a student of good character who has made a significant impact in the life of another person in a positive way.

The Michael-Waly Award was created in 2013 by the parents of a young man whose friends, for whom the award is named, came forward with information about their son’s addiction problem of which they were unaware. Their brave actions ultimately led to his recovery. This award is not based on grades, activities or athletics. It is simply to recognize a student who has seen another individual in need and provided whatever help they could with care and concern.

The Michael-Waly Award is not only a thank you to the two young men who saved the life of another; it’s also a way of encouraging others to step up when they know that something is not quite right. This award speaks to the See Something, Say Something program that is a fundamental part of Hudson Community First.

Laura Gasbarro, co-executive director, Hudson Community First, added, “Part of Community First's mission is to nurture competent, caring and responsible children and young adults. The Michael-Waly award illustrates the epitome of this. The award is named after youth that made a significant difference. They stepped up when it was hard and not only helped their friend, but showed their own caring and responsible nature that ultimately saved his life.”

Previous winners include a young woman who helped her best friend through a nine week in-patient treatment program. The teen sent letters, pictures and gifts every day to help bring her troubled friend back to the mindset she once had. Another winner includes a high school senior who tutored and mentored a middle school student, significantly boosting the confidence and independence of this young man.

Nominators for this award can be a teacher, peer, or parent. Applications are due March 19 and can be obtained through the guidance departments of Hudson High School, Western Reserve Academy, Cuyahoga Valley Christian Academy, and Walsh Jesuit High School or submitted online at under the MW Community First Award tab.