Ethan DeAngelis, a junior at Concord High School, has been working with his dad for two years using a mapping system to mark veterans’ graves at the New Hampshire State Veterans Cemetery.
Once this system is up, family members and friends can simply look for the name of a veteran and it will show where that person’s grave is.
The name of the system DeAngelis and his father used is RTIS, a storytelling mapping tool “but not necessarily a navigation system,” DeAngelis said.
“It took about a year to a year and six months to map it all out and we are still working on finalizing it,” he added. “It was really on and off throughout the years because of school and my job.”
DeAngelis’s work has earned him recognition for his leadership skills and community service by the National WWII Museum. The name of this honor is the Billy Michal Student LeadershipAward, also known as the American Spirit Award.
DeAngelis was surprised when he was notified that he’d won the award, which his father had nominated him for.
The two will head to New Orleans so DeAngelis can collect his award June7-8. All expenses are being paid by people sponsoring the program.
“I was the only one picked for New Hampshire and they only pick one from each state,” said DeAngelis, who explained that he was the not the only student who had begun work on this project two years ago. Other included “people my dad knew, some kids from Bow High School, but most of them dropped out.”
“My dad didn’t tell me he put me in for this award and when I got the letter he was surprised and excited,” said DeAngelis.
Billy Michal, for whom the award is named, was sixteen years old when he started volunteering and helping his community in Louisiana. He would work at the sawmill and the scrap yard.