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Aidan-Lemuelle Ascio

Falcon Middle School eighth-grader Aidan-Lemuelle Ascio received the Presidentís Volunteer Service award at a school assembly Feb. 24. To Ascio, community service is a normal part of life.ìI did a lot of (community service) hours in the Civil Air Patrol,î Ascio said. CAP, formed one week prior to the attack on Pearl Harbor, is a 501 (c) 3 organization and auxiliary of the U.S. Air Force. ìCAP performs emergency services, aerospace education, cadet programs and volunteer service,î he said. ìI went to the program on Peterson Air Force Base. When I heard about it, I knew I wanted to join, too.îAscio said he has always been interested in the military because his dad was in the Air Force and Ascio wanted to follow in his footsteps. Ascio has been in CAP for more than a year and has earned the rank of chief master sergeant.He has set his sights on achieving the Gen. Carl A. Spaatz award, which is the highest award a CAP cadet can earn. ìI want to try to achieve that by the time I’m 16, at least,î Ascio said. To reach his goal he will have to take multiple written exams, participate in physical fitness tests and write essays, he said.Earning the Spaatz award plays into his future goal of attending the Air Force Academy. ìNo Spaatz cadet has ever been turned down for the Academy,î Ascio said.For now, Ascio said he is focused on school obligations. ìI’m the National Junior Honor Society treasurer,î he said. ìI was inducted at the end of grade seven.î Ascio also plays percussion in the band at Falcon Middle School and guitar in the FMS jazz band.He is on the football and wrestling teams as well. ìWe had our varsity Tri County League tournament (for wrestling) in March, and I got fourth,î Ascio said. He plans to continue with wrestling and football in high school.Over the summer, Ascio said he will continue his volunteer work with CAP and at the High Prairie Library in Falcon. ìDuring the summer, there is a summer reading program at the library,î he said. ìI volunteer helping people and helping kids read.îAscio appreciated receiving recognition for volunteering. ìIt makes me feel like I actually did something to help somebody,î he said. In addition to the President’s Volunteer Service award, Ascio received a letter from President Obama, congratulating him on his efforts.How has he achieved so much at his age? ìYou just have to work hard,î Ascio said. ìIt’s something you have to do for the community and you have to really want to do it.î

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