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29 Teens to Receive “Eagle of the Cross” Award from Diocese of Youngstown


April 5, 2022

MORE INFO: Rev. Ryan Furlong, Director of the Office of Youth and Young Adult Ministry, 330-744-8451,

YOUNGSTOWN, OH — The Office of Youth and Young Adult Ministry of the Catholic Diocese of Youngstown is pleased to announce the 29 recipients of the 2022 Eagle of the Cross Award. The Eagle of the Cross, created by the National Federation for Catholic Youth Ministry (NFCYM) and introduced to the diocese in 1999, is given each year to a group of extraordinary high school upperclassmen who model the dedication, integrity, values and promise for Church and society. 

The award is presented to teens in the six counties of the Diocese of Youngstown who model Christian discipleship and exemplify the qualities of moral integrity, prayer, good works and Christian leadership in their school and parish communities. While a limited number of recipients are chosen for the Eagle of the Cross Award, they represent many admirable young people around the diocese.

The Most Rev. David J. Bonnar, Bishop of the Diocese of Youngstown, will present the awards at a ceremony on Monday, May 2nd, from 6:30 – 8:30pm, at Saint Columba Cathedral in Youngstown. The ceremony will include Evening Prayer, with Bishop Bonnar presiding. Light refreshments will follow in Saint Columba Hall.

The names of each of the 29 award recipients follows, in two sections: those awarded based on their outstanding involvement in their parish and larger community, listed by county, followed by those awarded based on their outstanding involvement in a diocesan Catholic school, listed by school.

Editors are asked to refer to both lists in publishing stories and notices about award winners.


Recipients demonstrating outstanding involvement in the parish and larger community:

Ashtabula County:

Nathan Boiarski – St. Mary, Orwell
Monica Hamalainen – St. Andrew Bobola, Sheffield
Ian Fuentes – Assumption, Geneva

Columbiana County:

Nicholas Bryan – St. John the Evangelist, Summittville
Samuel Murray – St. Paul, Salem
Grace Leslie – St. John the Evangelist, Summittville

Mahoning County:

Jeffrey L. Howe II – Basilica of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel
Scott T. Cross Jr. – Basilica of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel
David Vuksanovich – Holy Family, Poland

Portage County:

Grant Thieding – Our Lady of Perpetual Help, Aurora
Justin Barzellato – University Parish Newman Center, Kent
Sarah Conroy – St. Peter of the Fields, Rootstown

Stark County:

Sydney Thomas – St. Joan of Arc, Canton
Lauren Vaughn – St. Peter, Canton
Olivia M. Huzyak – St. Paul, North Canton

Trumbull County:

Lauren Haynie – St. William Parish, Warren
Nicholas Jaros – Blessed Sacrament, Warren
Ronald Lame – St. Rose, Girard, Ohio


Recipients demonstrating outstanding involvement in a diocesan Catholic school:

Canton Central Catholic High School (Stark County):

James Brown – St. Joan of Arc, Canton
Ian Paul – St. Joseph Massillon

Cardinal Mooney High School (Mahoning County):

Michael DiVencenzo – Christ our Savior, Struthers
Jenna Hughes – Holy Family, Poland

John F. Kennedy High School (Trumbull County):

Thomas Valent – Blessed Sacrament, Warren

Saint John High School (Ashtabula County):

Devyn Mercilliott – Our Lady of Peace, Ashtabula
Anya Shevchik – Assumption, Geneva

Saint Thomas Aquinas High School (Stark County):

America Maribel Villegas-Camacho – St. Anthony All Saints, Canton
Andras Lane – Regina Coeli, Alliance

Ursuline High School (Mahoning County):

Joseph Carlini – St. Charles, Boardman
Nina Dill – St. Paul, New Middletown



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