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When it comes to correcting problems in school, senior Mathew Vega has some advice for fellow classmates: Keep your head up and get active.

“Getting involved in school basically saved me,” he said.

Mathew was honored in the Student as a Community Contributor category Tuesday night as the Cheektowaga Central School Board presented its 10th annual Community Involvement Awards.

While he admits he wasn’t the greatest kid growing up, Mathew said that joining clubs gave him opportunities that shaped his life for the better. When he sought to be a student ambassador, school counselor Claudia Rodems, who nominated him, said she was a little wary because Mathew had difficulties during his freshman year, but she is happy she gave him a chance to prove that he could be welcoming to other students and take on leadership roles. Mathew has been a student ambassador for 3½ years and currently is club president.

He also is Student Council president, was vice president of the Drama Club last year and is a member of the cheerleading team and has served as its captain in the past.

Other honorees included:

• Ken Makowski, in sports/athletics. Makowski is a member and treasurer of the district’s soccer boosters. Teacher/coach Nick Bordonaro described Makowski as supportive of varsity and junior varsity teams.

“We truly appreciate all of the time and effort that Ken has put in to try to make our coaching job easier,” Bordonaro said.

• Mary Kreuzer, volunteers. She is a national officer of the Veterans of Foreign Wars Ladies Auxiliary, a member of the Harvey D. Morin Post, VFW, and volunteers with the Leonard Post VFW Post as well as the VA Hospital. Middle School Principal Gretchen Sukdolak and teacher Lenette Braddock nominated Kreuzer for her efforts in fostering patriotism in the community.