Each year, The Malibu Times recognizes local students for their dedication to their schools and the local community. The recipients are chosen by teachers, administrators and peers at their respective schools. The Malibu Times Citizenship Awards were established in 1987 to acknowledge students who show commitment to the community and demonstrate a concern for the rights and needs of others.
See above photos to learn more about our winners.
Franklin Marshall was chosen as one of the Juan Cabrillo Elementary students honored with one of this year’s Malibu Times Citizenship Award for his citizenship, honesty and helpfulness. He was described in his nomination as considerate, going “out of his way to be helpful and kind to both peers and adults.” Polite, respectful and willing to stand up for what’s right, Marshall leads by example in the classroom and on the playground at Juan Cabrillo. “Franklin improves each situation he is in by doing his best to make it better,” his nomination states. “He is well equipped to meet the world and make it a better place.”
Fifth grader Talia Swindal was chosen by her peers and teachers to receive a 2017 Malibu Times Citizenship Award. “Talia is a well-liked, admirable leader at Point Dume Marine Science School both inside and outside of the classroom,” her nomination said. Swindal served as the president of the PDMSS student council this year, representing the interests of students from first through fifth grade. Among the council’s accomplishments was the weekly schoolwide Character Counts assemblies. A role model for other students, Swindal is described as “kind, respectful and inclusive” in her nomination for this award, solving problems “in a diplomatic way always considering others’ rights and feelings.”
Lee Sandel earned this year’s Citizenship Award for her active participation in the Viewpoint School community as a talented athlete, musician, student and volunteer. Captain of the varsity tennis team, Sandel also helped lead the varsity soccer team to its D5 CIF championship. She was a dedicated violinist in the Advanced Orchestra and a member of the Music Honor Society, as well as the French and Math Honor Societies. A good citizen, Sandel’s passion for community service led her to become president of Viewpoint’s Community Service Honor Society. She heads to Tulane University in the fall where she is sure to make an impact.
Maya Sandel, Viewpoint School senior, is a recipient of the 2017 The Malibu Times Citizenship Award for her achievements in music, sports, extracurricular and activism. A talented flautist, Sandel earned a position in the Music Honor Society, as well as earning membership in the Science National Honor Society, French National Honor Society and Cum Laude Society. A star on the varsity soccer team, Sandel helped lead the team to Viewpoint’s first ever women’s D5 CIF soccer championship, making the All-CIF team her senior year. She also earned MVP of the mock trial team and participated in Model UN. A board member of the Feminism Club and Environmental Sustainability Council, Sandel will take her talent and passion with her as she heads to George Washington Univeristy in the fall.
Alexandra Comfort is this year’s honoree from Webster Elementary School, selected for not only her contributions to the community, but also for exemplifying good character in all she does. She’s described as having an ever-positive attitude. “She always welcomes others and looks out for their well-being,” her nomination states. She also constantly goes above and beyond academically, participating in math club, the Malibu Public Library Bookmark Contest and the Reflections Contest, plus she’s received “Best on the Beach” numerous times and a Character Counts Award this year. In addition to these pursuits, Comfort participates in a range of extracurriculars including many sports and piano, flute and vocal music performance. She does trash pick up and collects donations for UNICEF, the Malibu Labor Exchange and other worthy causes, constantly showing thoughtfulness and compassion toward others.
Juan Cabrillo Elementary School student Charli Clark is described as an “exemplary citizen,” who is respectful and well-mannered. “Charli Clark is always the first to volunteer to help with anything or anyone who needs it,” her nomination form described. Dependable and hardworking, she is willing to step in and help out wherever there is need.
Matthew Le, better known as Jaime by his peers, is the Citizenship Award winner from Malibu High School, nominated for his exceptional service learning contribution.Le, a graduating senior at MHS, has spent time not only volunteering here in Malibu but around the world, including in Nairobi, Kenya, with an organization called Made in the Streets, to provide education and skills to homeless teens. He also spent time in Tijuana, Mexico, volunteering with Amour Ministries helping to build houses for the homeless and those in need of more adequate housing. “Matthew Jaime Le is a true contributor to bettering the lives of so many around the globe as well as here in his hometown of Malibu,” his nomination said.