Home Our Diocese Saint Mark’s High School students Grace DiGiacomo, Lauren Tyree earn Jefferson Awards

Saint Mark’s High School students Grace DiGiacomo, Lauren Tyree earn Jefferson Awards

Saint Mark's students Lauren Tyree (left) and Grace DiGiacomo pose with Gov. John Carney, a Saint Mark's alumnus, at the Jefferson Awards ceremony in May. Photo courtesy of Saint Mark's High School

Saint Mark’s High School students Grace DiGiacomo and Lauren Tyree were recognized recently with the 2023 Jefferson Award, founded in 1972 to honor individuals who help improve the lives of those around them.

DiGiacomo, who is entering her senior year, has a long history of service, particularly to the residents of Marydale Retirement Village in Newark. She has led fundraising efforts for the Marydale Food Pantry and also to support residents who suffer from food insecurity. DiGiacomo has planned events to connect Marydale residents with Saint Mark’s students in social and gardening activities.

In addition, she has helped build relationships between students from the school and residents through events like “reverse trick or treat” and a Christmas cookie exchange. She is also a member of Saint Mark’s service club Students in Action.

Tyree, a rising sophomore, has accumulated more than 500 hours of community service. At Saint Mark’s, she has served as a Spartan Ambassador and as a member of the Peace of Mind Club, Students in Action and the Z Club. She also has been a Girls on the Run volunteer for the past eight years.

During the coronavirus pandemic, Tyree and a friend began a “Cul de Sac Concerts” program, which produced weekly livestreamed concerts that attracted more than 30,000 online viewers and raised more than $50,000 for local food banks. She has earned Eagle Scout status, the youngest member of her Boy Scout troop to do so, and she founded an organization that charters four Scout troops after the national United Methodist Church discontinued its relationship with Boy Scouts of America.