The Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) honored senior John Henry Breen as Walpole High School’s recipient of the Good Citizen Award.
“I like to think of myself as a good person, and apparently a couple other kids in our grade [do] too,” Breen said. “Patriotism is a big part of the award, and being someone who takes a lot of pride in their country, I think I was qualified for the award.”
Breen was recognized at the George H. Morse Historic House in Norwood along with four other selected student leaders from the same district. At the ceremony, Breen read the essay he submitted for the scholarship competition and received a certificate, a pin and a flag that flew over the Capitol Building in Washington D.C.
Walpole High School’s staff and senior class selected Breen because of his exemplification of qualities including leadership, service and patriotism. Breen had to meet a certain level of criteria and also participate in an essay writing competition, where he produced an essay about the United States Government and a personal piece on his own benevolence to receive the award.
“I am not the best writer, especially under a time constraint,” Breen said. “But the essay contest prompt about America’s role in the preservation of Democracy and freedom in foreign countries was a question I had no problem answering, since I was able to write about a topic I was interested in and had been learning about the two previous years in U.S. History.”
Breen’s award is a community-wide recognition to start with; however, he can be acknowledged statewide if he receives a scholarship associated with the Good Citizen Award. The members of the Norwood Chapter of the DAR review the essays that each participant submits in order to make a decision regarding who they will award scholarship money to.
“I believe it is a statewide scholarship contest that I became eligible for, but it is a nationally recognized award with recipients in high schools across the country,” Breen said. “In May, I will receive word on the status of my essay to see if I won a scholarship.”
In school, Breen keeps himself busy through his involvement in the National Honor Society, Robotics Club, as well as the varsity lacrosse team. Outside of school, Breen volunteers as a lector at Saint Mary’s Parish and works a part-time job at Monkey Sports.
“Sports are very important to me, and having many different roles on many teams in and out of school has helped mold me into the person I am today,” Breen said.
In the past, the DAR honored Paul Heffernan as Walpole’s 2016 recipient of the Good Citizen Award. Additionally, Heffernan received a scholarship of $100.
“Winning that award was a great honor for me—especially knowing that it was my teachers who chose me as the recipient—and I was proud to represent Walpole at the DAR Meeting,” Heffernan said. “Congratulations to [Breen]; I am sure he fully deserves the award and represents the values of the scholarship well.”
While Breen waits until May to be notified of the final status of his scholarship essay, he plans to continue to embody the qualities that the DAR embraces with the Good Citizen Award.
“I think the best way to uphold an honor like the one I have won is to keep being a good person,” Breen said. “It doesn’t take hours of community service to create positive impact in a community, so I plan on continuing to do the little things in life that make a difference.”