Catholic Youth Ministry Awards

🌟 On May 21, the Catholic Youth Ministry (CYM) of the Diocese of Wilmington honored exceptional contributors to youth ministry within their parish or Catholic school at the Annual CYM Recognition Dinner.

Join Padua Academy and the CYM Office in congratulating our very own:

✨ Mrs. Vanessa Vavala (St. John Bosco Diocesan Award)
✨ Mr. Chris Schimpf (Volunteer of the Year Award Winner)
✨ Lydia Fowler '25, Alexis Frick '24, and Hannah King '24 (St. Timothy Award Winners)

The St. Timothy Youth Award is given to a junior or senior high school youth who lives as a disciple of Christ, sets a positive example for other youth, witnesses to their faith by exhibiting Catholic morals and integrity, demonstrates Gospel values through service to others, and exhibits Christian leadership in parish, school, and/or community settings.

Lydia has been an eighth -grade aide in the religious education program for three years. She is actively involved in each class and brings a youthful perspective to the meetings.  Lydia is incredibly giving of her time and serves as an excellent role model of her faith. Lydia is a natural leaders and has a great rapport with the students and with the other catechists.  She is a shining example of faith in action. She was nominated her parish, Immaculate Heart of Mary.

Alexa has held leadership roles within the Student Council and Campus Ministry. She participated in Salesian Leadership Camp and has been a Peer Leader. Lexi's dedication to her academic pursuits is truly commendable. She continually challenges herself academically and actively cultivates her faith, demonstrating a well-rounded commitment to personal and spiritual growth. Lexi Frick embodies the values of leadership, compassion, and dedication that we hold dear at Padua. Her contributions to our school community have been invaluable.  She was nominated by Padua Academy.

Hannah is a dedicated and well-rounded student with a strong commitment to both her academic success and her faith-based activities. She is involved with Blue Gold, Campus Ministry, participated in Salesian Leadership Camp, and is a Peer Leader. She has also been a part of the Diocesan Youth Board for two years. Hannah has exhibited a passion for service, leadership, and integrating faith into her school community. She was nominated by Padua Academy.

Christopher in his two years at Padua Academy has become an invaluable asset, embodying the very essence of dedication, passion, mission and community spirit. His ability to inspire and mentor young talents is truly commendable. Chris has moderated the Young Playwrights, Dissection Club, created the Acting and Directing for the Stage Class, been Set Designer for our musicals and produced a fall show, all while being a member of the science department. Whether assisting with extracurricular activities, supporting fellow teachers, or volunteering for school events, Chris is ready to lend a helping hand.

St. John Bosco is the founder of the Salesian Society and is the patron saint of young people. The St. John Bosco Award is given to adult leaders who have been involved in youth ministry for 5 or more years and have been positive role models in one of several categories, in Vanessa's case, Catholic Schools.

Vanessa has demonstrated exemplary dedication to Catholic education throughout her thirty years of service to Padua Academy. As a Religious Studies teacher, Vanessa adeptly tailors her approach to meet students at their individual faith levels, igniting curiosity, nurturing spiritual growth, and empowering students to live Catholic social teaching. She champions an inclusive environment rooted in the school's cultural norms. During her years as Director of Campus Ministry, Vanessa significantly enriched the faith community through prayer services, retreat programs, and Music Ministry collaborations. Vanessa's ministry has helped to mold Padua students into compassionate leaders in the Franciscan and Salesian traditions.
Spirituality. Scholarship. Service. Sisterhood.