SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – A celebration was held Thursday evening in Springfield to honor youth scholars of Western Massachusetts.

The Junior Achievement of Western Massachusetts held an event for 18 high-achieving students from Hampden, Hampshire, Franklin, and Berkshire counties. Judging criteria were divided into three categories:

  • Innovative spirit.
  • Leadership.
  • Community involvement.

The age of the honorary students ranged from middle school up to high schoolers.

“It feels really good kind of inspiring especially everyone here has been doing good things so it’s like let me try a little harder now,” said Kayla Staley of Springfield Conservatory of the Arts

“It feels nothing short of amazing I always thought if you could do good why not so to do good for yourself and others is a great feeling,” said Nathaniel Claudil of Roger L. Putnam Vocational Technical Academy.

Those recognized will be invited to participate in a virtual leadership workshop later in the year.