Senior Kaitlyn Piston recognized, Buddies Helping Buddies workshop

Each year the Mayor’s Committee for Persons with Disabilities presents multiple awards to individuals, businesses, and service organizations that signify behavior targeted towards bettering the lives of disabled citizens in Virginia Beach. This year, the school’s own, senior Kaitlyn Piston received this distinguished award alongside seven other local heroes.

Piston has led the Buddies Helping Buddies Workshop for the last two years and has spearheaded the new program. This workshop allows disabled and special needs students from all of the high schools in Virginia Beach high schools to get a chance to learn leadership skills, play engaging games, and make new friends at the school. Piston initially started the program in her Virginia Teachers for Tomorrow (VTFT) class as her entry for the EdRising competition, where she placed 2nd at states and 1st at the national competition in the leadership category.

Mayor Bobby Dyer awarded Piston with the accomplishment at the Williams Farm Rec Center.

“I wasn’t expecting to win the award because there were so many other great competitors. I’m grateful that I was able to be recognized for the program I worked so hard on,” Piston said.

VTFT teacher Jennifer Nardelli nominated Piston for the award as she has worked closely alongside her for two years in VTFT I and VTFT II.

“Kaitlyn is a leader in every sense of the word. She planned and implemented an original idea and turned it into a legacy that will remain at Cox for years to come. She has and will make a difference in a ton of lives,” Nardelli said.

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