SYCAMORE -Seneca County Juvenile and Probate Judge Jay Meyer said there are three parts to being a good citizen: having personal responsibility, being a person of action and choosing to be happy.
Meyer was the featured speaker Monday at the 56th Annual National Machinery Citizenship Awards program at Mohawk High School.
"Where you are today are the results of the decisions you've made," Meyer said. "You are responsible for your (own) success."
Meyer thanked the parents and teachers for devoting their time.
"You are the ones that spend countless hours dropping and picking up your children and up late at night working on projects that your students have forgotten," Meyer said.
Being a person of action, Meyer said to the students, means that history records the timid and the old but we all remember the bold.
"You being here tonight means you are people of great things," Meyer said. "Go out and do. Be bold."
The third part to being a good citizen is choosing to be happy, Meyer said.
"The society today programs us to be pessimistic. You have to choose to see the positive in your life. Have a positive outlook and be grateful to the ones around you," Meyer said. "There are many great benefits to being happy; you'll have more friends, and greater success financially and professional."
Meyer spoke about the two people who changed his life. In eighth grade, Meyer said that he had been bullied for two years. It was his choir director, Curtis King and especially his cousin Matthew Meyer who changed his life.
"Matthew took me under his wing and made a tremendous difference that changed my life," Meyer said. "I see a lot of success and confidence out there. Go reach out to that kid, that misfit to just talk to them. You'll make a big difference in their lives."
More than 250 underclassmen and 88 seniors from Bettsville, Hopewell-Loudon, Mohawk, New Riegel, Old Fort and Seneca East high schools received the award. Of the seniors who received the award, 29 received monetary awards.
Monetary award winners were:
Bettsville: Kennedy Hossler.
Hopewell-Loudon: David Beleny, Logan Frank, Jenna Gosche, Cassandra Hohman, Marissa Reinhart, Erin Reinhart-Anez and Olivia Wolph.
Mohawk: Mitchell Brown, Patricia Concepcion, Julia Daniel, Grant Ekleberry, Tyler Krupp, Robert Parker and Sarah Parker.
New Riegel: Cassandra Acree, Brady Hall and Ashley Mathias.
Old Fort: Kristin Bender, Tyler Bowes and Amy Hartman.
Seneca East: Jordan Bowerman, Ashton Daniel, Jessica Enders, Samantha Miller, Nathan Phillips, Michayla Stallings, Riley Wagner and Dalton Wise.