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One S. Church Street, Suite 200, Hazleton, PA 18201      
570.455.1508   570.454.7787    


During CAN DO’s 68th Annual Dinner, seniors from the organization’s Student Action Committee will be honored for their volunteered efforts throughout the year. CAN DO’s Student Action Committee consists of juniors and seniors from high schools throughout Greater Hazleton appointed to serve as non-voting members of the CAN DO Board of Directors. The purpose of the committee is to enhance student knowledge about the region's businesses, resources, and opportunities – enabling them to become more involved in the community through various initiatives such as programs, events, seminars, and volunteer activities.

The students work under the guidance of CAN DO’s Student Action Committee Advisor, Cal Herring, and Economic Development Assistant, Ana Perez, to help organize various signature events throughout the community, such as Operation: CAN DO, CAN DO Community Park Tree Lighting, and CAN DO Community Christmas.

This year, six students are graduating after a very successful year. CAN DO would like to recognize and thank them for their hard work and dedication to the Greater Hazleton community.

Meet the graduates

Here are the six outgoing seniors who left their mark on the Student Action Committee program. Each student received a certificate of appreciation during the Annual Dinner:

Sarah Polashenski Student ChairSarah Polashenski: A passionate leader with a love for dance and theatre, Sarah served as the Student Action Committee’s first Student Chair and worked closely with CAN DO staff to coordinate committee efforts. During her time with the committee, The Immanuel Christian School graduate learned the importance of perseverance and credited the program's role in honing her communication, organization, and teamwork skills. “The most impressive thing I have learned is that even a small idea could later become reality,” she said. “With the right motivation and resources, your ideas can become something so much greater.” After high school, Sarah plans to study Exercise Medicine and Physical Therapy.



Jadey MercedesJadey Mercedes: Aspiring to study English and open a bookstore cafe, Jadey found the program instrumental in building confidence and learning business basics. The Hazleton Area Academy of Sciences graduate said that the confidence she learned during her time with the Student Action Committee will undoubtedly help her in the future: “Over time, I built more confidence in speaking to others. I learned how to speak and present my ideas more efficiently compared to what I was able to do before.”




Andrea Buenano 1Andrea Buenano: A Dessen Scholar and HAHS Water Polo Defensive MVP, Andrea is a multi-talented individual involved in various activities. Her time with the Student Action Committee helped her develop more communication, leadership, and organization skills, which will benefit her small business, ‘Memories In Motion 360 Photo Booth’. The Hazleton Area High School graduate says that one thing she has learned from CAN DO that she will take with her wherever she goes is, “You can be whoever you want in the world, and your work will never be in vain.” After high school, Andrea plans to study Business, Psychology, and Graphic Design.



Lachlen SegedyLachlan Segedy: Inspired by a strong work ethic, Lachlan values the program for fostering connections and the importance of giving back to one's community. After being nominated by his school’s administration, Lachlan quickly learned how many people pride themselves in community service and wanting to make Hazleton a better place. Looking to the future, Lachlan believes this experience with SAC will help him appreciate where he came from. “This experience [has taught] me the importance of remembering where you come from and how rewarding it is to have a positive impact on your community wherever you live,” he said. After graduation, Lachlan will be attending Immaculata University to study Sports Management and play baseball for the Mighty Macs.


Sophia PlonkSophia Plonk: Aspiring to become a future restaurateur, Sophia cherishes the connections she made through CAN DO and the program's emphasis on fostering a supportive community. “Having connections to CAN DO is extremely helpful to me because I want to own a restaurant in the future,” she said. “It’s amazing to have such a welcoming and helpful community who is supportive of my dreams.” In addition to her interest in food entrepreneurship, The MMI graduate is also passionate about music and the arts.




Trinity McCutchenTrinity McCutcheon: Driven by a love for science and the arts, Trinity credits the committee with improving her confidence and time management skills. “This experience has made me more confident around strangers and will help me in a career environment,” she said. After high school, The Weatherly Area High School graduate plans on attending Loyola University Maryland to study biology and enter either the science or medical field.

CAN DO is committed to promoting student involvement within the community and inspiring young entrepreneurs. We are proud of these graduating seniors and all they have accomplished with their fellow Student Action Committee Members.

To learn more about CAN DO’s Student Action Committee, contact Ana Perez at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..