Belcher and McLean honored for service work


Jacob Belcher and Alexis McLean pose with other recipients of the Gloucester Universalist Church Citizenship Award on May 7th

Spending several hours every day to help enhance their peers’ experience in Gloucester, GHS seniors Jacob Belcher and Alexis McLean were awarded the Gloucester Universalist Church Citizenship Award on May 7th for their contributions to GHS and the community.

“It’s really rewarding to know you’re making a difference in someone’s life,” said McLean.

McLean helps students who speak Spanish learn English, as she has taken Spanish throughout middle school and high school.

Belcher earned the award through his diligence in putting up and taking down the American flags outside of GHS every single day. His role as the youngest trustee for the Awesome Gloucester Foundation, one that has given out approximately 45 thousand dollars of scholarships to the community, O’Maley Innovation Middle School, and Gloucester High School, also factored into the decision to award Belcher with the recognition.

“I really hope a few individuals from the JROTC program will continue the legacy of the flag raisers at GHS that we’ve had in recent years, but it’s not easy to be dedicated 180 days of the year, two times a day,” said Belcher. “I’d also like to thank the people who helped me; Noah Mcnair for getting me into it and Nicholas Soares for folding it with me everyday. These are the patriotic people of GHS.”

Belcher and McLean were two of about 100 recipients of the award and the only GHS students to win the award. Most winners were adult members of the community.

“It isn’t something I do for awards or prizes,” said Belcher. “It’s something I do because it’s the right thing to do. When something is the right thing to do, it doesn’t feel like hard work.”

Recipients of the award were nominated by members of the community. Belcher was nominated by GHS DECA teacher Anne Grassetti, while McLean was nominated by GHS English Language Learner teacher Millie Zinck. This award earned the students citations from Massachusetts Senator Bruce Tarr and Gloucester Mayor Sefatia Romeo Theken.

After graduating from GHS in June, Belcher plans to attend the Gloucester Biotechnical Academy located at Blackburn Industrial Park, and after that he hopes to enlist in the Coast Guard. McLean is set to study criminal justice at North Shore Community College in the fall.