Two remarkable youth honored by Yates County Legislature

John Christensen
The Chronicle Express

Morgan Andersen and Conor Clancy praised for their community spirit and service

PENN YAN — The Distinguished Youth Award was created by the Yates County Youth Board in 2011 to recognize youth who are positive role models, have performed outstanding service for their community, and/or have assumed extraordinary roles within their families. The Youth Board has selected two youth to receive recognition this year with the first youth recognized at the July 11 meeting of the Yates County Legislature. The Legislature also voted to honor a Penn Yan Boy Scout for his exceptional efforts to recognize the Veteran's of Yates County.

Yates County Youth Services Director Christine Yonge, Legislator Carlie Chilson, Distinguished Youth Morgan Andersen, and Legislature Chairwoman Leslie Church.

Morgan Andersen

Distinguished Youth Morgan Andersen was presented to the Legislature by Christine Yonge, Yates County Youth Bureau director. Morgan attends Penn Yan Academy. She is a member of National Honor Society, Rotary Interact, International Club and Varsity Club; Student Council vice president; treasurer for the Class of 2023; a member of the varsity girls soccer and lacrosse teams; and an outstanding student.

"That’s naming just a few of the many things she is involved with and gives her time to," said Yonge. "Outside of school, Morgan is a Youth Representative for Milo Center Methodist Church helping with service projects and initiatives and she holds a part-time job. Her involvement in our community is a bit of a family tradition which is not limited to just school activities or a certain time of year."

In her letters of recommendation from Penn Yan Academy staff, Morgan was described as being thoroughly engaged in community service, a student with an exemplary work ethic, and always willing to help and encourage others around her, as well as being an honest, reliable, and unselfish individual.

"The theme that repeated in all the letters of recommendation for Morgan is that she is a positive role model for her peers and adults alike — that she looks at each situation as an opportunity to learn and grow" said Yonge. "Through her community service and helping others, she is continually strengthening her character. Her efforts to make our community a better place, benefit us all. Morgan is the type of person that the Youth Board looks for in a Distinguished Youth. We look forward to hearing about all that she accomplishes as she moves into adulthood."

Conor Clancy

Conor Clancy was also recognized for his Yates County "Hometown Hero" Eagle Scout project, which resulted in 114 Veterans being recognized on 57 Hometown Heroes banners, now being displayed in downtown Penn Yan.

Yates County Veterans' Service Agency Director Phil Rouin introduces Eagle Scout candidate Conor Clancy to the Yates County Legislature.

"I initially met with Conor in November 2018 to begin developing a plan for his Eagle Scout project to honor our Veterans," said Yates County Veterans Service Agency Director Phil Rouin, who introduced Conor to the legislators.

Conor recognized that our community was lacking the recognition that so many other communities in our region had for our veterans and active service men and women. This prompted him to initiate the Hometown Heroes Banners for the Penn Yan community. Conor’s Eagle Scout project is currently being reviewed by the Finger Lakes area Boy Scout Council and it is expected he will be awarded the rank of Eagle Scout in the near future at formal Eagle Scout Court of Honor. 

The Hometown Heroes banners in downtown Penn Yan were the Eagle Scout project of Conor Clancy.

“Conor epitomizes what's good and wholesome in today's youth. He displays a strong work ethic, industriousness, community mindedness and strong determination to succeed in achieving a challenging goal," wrote retired Yates County Judge Pat Falvey. "The Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 745 and American Legion Johnson Costello Post No. 355 are very proud in having supported Conor's Eagle Scout Banner Project. It truly exemplifies that portion of the American Legion's Preamble, 'Fostering a 100% Americanism,' by helping to inculcate a sense of individual obligation to the community, state and nation by helping to educate the citizen, young, old and future. While at the same time highlighting Americanism, one of the American Legion's Four Pillars, by seeking to inspire love of country and good citizenship through our support of youth activities such as Boy Scouts.”

Conor has been in the Scouting program for almost 12 years. He started as a Tiger in Pack 44 and crossed over to Troop 44 upon earning the Arrow of Light Award in 5th grade. He has been an active member of the Troop, serving as the Senior Patrol Leader for the last four years. He has also served in leadership roles in the Brotherhood of the Order of the Arrow, which is the honor camping society of BSA.

Conor will be a Senior at Penn Yan Academy in the fall and will continue his BOCES education in Diesel Technology, in which he earned the Top of the Trade honor last year. Conor currently works at his dad's store, Pinckney Hardware. He showed early dedication and mechanical ability when he wanted to assemble a grill for the St. Michael's School talent show. He plays tennis and golf for PYA, and skis in the winter.