Miriam Talalay, a graduating senior at Dulaney High School, has long had a spirit for service and a love and passion for animals, which led to her recently being named Baltimore County’s Young Woman of the Year. Given annually since 1983, the award is presented by the Baltimore County Commission for Women to one high school senior who exhibits strong leadership while making an extraordinary impact on her school and community through volunteering.
A self-described “plant and animal enthusiast,” Miriam has spent thousands of hours volunteering for the SPCA and leading the horticulture and environmental issues clubs at Dulaney.
Miriam got her start with the SPCA back in elementary school when she began fostering animals at home since she was too young to volunteer in person. Now more than 3,000 hours later, Miriam has fostered countless dogs and cats — which was especially important during the pandemic — and received recognition from Gov. Larry Hogan for her service. Miriam has also been active with The Key Club at Dulaney and is the chair for any animal-related events that the club undertakes. This has included numerous pet food drives, which benefit the SPCA’s Kibble Connection, a program that provides pet food to low-income residents in Baltimore City, as well as projects to use recycled items to make dog toys.
Miriam is also a violinist, an artist and a member of the National Honor Society. She has received several other prestigious honors for her service and leadership, including being named one of five national honorees of the Duke of Edinburgh’s USA Infinite Potential Award. She was also awarded the President’s Volunteer Service Award and the U.S. Congressional Gold Medal Award for Voluntary Service and Personal Development. Miriam is off to the Honors College at the University of Maine in the fall where she intends to major in zoology. She will be recognized as the Young Woman of the Year at an awards presentation on June 13. Congratulations to Miriam on this and all the wonderful honors she has received.
Alyssa Alvarez, a sophomore at Dulaney, recently took top honors in the Hunt Valley Rotary’s 4-Way Test Speech Competition. Alyssa wrote and performed a speech to persuade others while applying the principles of the Rotary 4-Way Test. More simply put, the 4-Way Test asks of the things we think, say, or do, a few simple questions — Is it the truth? Is it fair to all concerned? Will is build goodwill and better friendships? Will it be beneficial to all involved? The Hunt Valley Rotary has long sponsored the program in area schools and Alyssa bested competitors from both Franklin and Hereford High schools to take top honors. She moved on to compete on the district level with Dulaney runners-up and classmates, Kerrie Bynam and Mingni Dong, at the district level against students from all over Central Maryland and Washington, D.C. Great work, Alyssa!