, Salem, MA


June 11, 2013

Letter: Recognizing community contributions


— simply be kind to others no matter what type of day or week she is having.

— be a phenomenal role model to her siblings.

This award, it should be noted, is not a scholarship and has no academic requirements whatsoever. That said, it should be pointed out that this student does all this while balancing loaded extracurricular and rigorous academic schedules.

The recipient of this award, like her predecessors, never brags about accomplishments or seeks out accolades, because that is not what motivates her.

The recipient of this year’s award’s motivation is the success and happiness of others.

I present to you the 2013 recipient of the Giving Tree Award, Hannah Morin.”

Ken Rothwell

“The Giving Tree Award to a community member is awarded to a member of the Greater Salem Community who has given of themselves, in time or treasure or both, to in some cases enrich and in other cases ease the lives of members of our community. Many of our past recipients were seen early on as givers and “most likely to succeed.”

Tonight’s recipient is a bit different. When he was a student here. His academic activities did not, at that time, distinguish him one way or another. He had some personal struggles, but the adult community was essentially not aware of them or of their level of seriousness.

He made some horrifically bad decisions as a young man, decisions the consequences of which caused him to run afoul of society and pay a heavy price.

Many people who get themselves into such negative situations never pull out of that downward spiral. Tonight’s recipient did — and then some. With the help of a mother who never quit on her son, he became a successful businessman and entrepreneur and one of the most aggressively positive people it is possible to know. In short he overcame his past, but he never forgot it.

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