The Knights of Columbus, Edmund P. Perkins Council #6626 located in Tolland host an annual youth awards event to recognize young people who are making a significant and positive difference in the Tolland community. There are four awards given:
The Civil Citizenship Award was created as a direct result of Columbine High School shootings in April of 1999. After witnessing the exaggerated amount of attention given to the shooters, a group of knights met and came to the conclusion that we must find a way to recognize those individuals in our middle school who exemplify the role of peacemakers and bridge building between the many peer groups. The first awards were given in the Spring of 2000, and have continued to this day. Winners are chosen by the Knights from the list of candidates nominated by their teachers. The candidates represent those who display kind, selfless acts towards others, and a willingness to encourage others to be the best.
The Catholic Leadership Award is presented to 2 students from St Matthew’s current year Confirmation class. Nominees are selected based on their display of leadership skills exemplifying their Catholic upbringing. Nominees submit an essay detailing examples of how they show Catholic leadership in their everyday life. All of the essays submitted provide examples including acts of charity, volunteerism, kindness towards their peers and community and most of all how they show leadership. The submissions are reviewed blindly and two are chosen for recognition.
The KOC Scholarship Award is given to 2 or 3 high school senior students who reside in Tolland. The awards are based on their academic achievements as well as their contribution to the support and welfare of the surrounding community.
The Youth of the Year Award is presented to a graduating senior who exemplifies the Catholic ideals of charity, compassion, fortitude and leadership, as well as scholastic achievement. In addition, the winner is nominated by the Tolland Council for the Youth of the Year Award presented by the Connecticut State Council of the Knights of Columbus.