Wilton High School counselor wins Americanism Award

From left, Wilton High School student Catalina King, counselor Dann Pompa, and students Eli Ackerman and Roen Crameri at the American Legion Post 86 100th anniversary ceremony on Oct. 3. Pompa received the American Legion's Americanism Award at the event. Catalina is a member of the PeerVention program at the high school and Eli and Roen are team leaders for Socks for Soldiers, two programs Pompa oversees.

From left, Wilton High School student Catalina King, counselor Dann Pompa, and students Eli Ackerman and Roen Crameri at the American Legion Post 86 100th anniversary ceremony on Oct. 3. Pompa received the American Legion’s Americanism Award at the event. Catalina is a member of the PeerVention program at the high school and Eli and Roen are team leaders for Socks for Soldiers, two programs Pompa oversees.

Jeannette Ross / Hearst Connecticut Media

WILTON — For his work serving veterans and young people, Wilton High School counselor Dann Pompa was honored with the Connecticut American Legion’s highest award for civilians — the Americanism Award.

Pompa was recognized at Wilton Post 86’s 100th anniversary celebration on Oct. 3, which was attended by several of his students.

Connecticut Commander Dennis Beauregard presented Pompa with a plaque that read “in recognition of your service, dedication, patriotism and unwavering support of teaching Americanism ideals in coordinating programs such as PeerVention, a peer mentoring leadership program, Socks for Soldiers, a program that has collected over 13,000 pairs of socks for veterans both local and abroad, and Kids on the Block, a program using lifelike puppets to help children deal with problems such as bullying, disabilities and physical challenges.

“Through your programs, you promote the true American values in both your community, state and beyond.”

The Socks for Soldiers program has been collecting socks since 2008, and Pompa has helped the program grow through the work of his students who not only collect the socks in several drives throughout the school year, but also deliver them to the Pfc. Nicholas Maderas Home for veterans in Bridgeport. The socks are also distributed through Kick for Nick and Provisions for Patriots program in Georgia.

PeerVention is a collaboration between the high school, Wilton Youth Services and Wilton Youth Council. Through the program a “helping network” of teens receive training to serve as informal helpers to other students.

Through Kids on the Block, high school students use puppetry to help younger students understand the physical, emotional and learning challenges others may have.

These programs encompass the Legion’s four pillars: veterans affairs and rehabilitation, national security, Americanism, and children and youth.