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Grafton Resident Honored With John L. Buono Award for Civic Engagement at Hudson Valley Community College \"Photo

CONTACT: Eric Bryant (518) 629-8072
FOR RELEASE: Immediate, Friday, April 15, 2005

Matthias Besse, second from left, is honored with the John L. Buono Award for Civic Engagement. He is joined by, from left, master of ceremonies CBS6 anchor Joe Pagliarulo, Rensselaer County Executive Kathleen Jimino, Dr. Peter Sawyer, director of the college's Center for Service Learning and Civic Engagement, and associate director Lori Latrice Sykes.
Grafton resident Matthias Besse, a senior Business Administration student at Hudson Valley Community College, was recently honored with the John L. Buono Award for Civic Engagement. He received the honor at a National Youth Service Day celebration at the college, Friday, April 15.

Besse was nominated by Mark Schmiedeshoff, the director of the Center for Careers and Employment at the college, because of his ongoing volunteer commitment to the Mustard Seed Café, a weekly children's program at Brunswick Church.

Besse, who has volunteered at the café for more than seven years, began as a waiter and meal-time helper and moved on to serve as a teen leader and mentor for younger children. He currently supervises the teen staff. He also volunteered for three years at Crossroads Café, a local youth café outreach program in Rensselaer County.

The award is given in honor of former Hudson Valley Community College President John L. Buono.

Founded in 1953, Hudson Valley Community College offers more than 60 degree and certificate programs in four academic divisions: Business; Engineering and Industrial Technologies; Health Science; and Liberal Arts and Sciences; and an Educational Opportunity Center for academic and career training. One of 30 community colleges in the State University of New York system, it has an enrollment of more than 12,000 students, and is known as a leader in distance learning initiatives and workforce training. Hudson Valley has nearly 60,000 alumni.