KETTERING, Ohio (WDTN) – Police officers, K-9 handlers, and citizens were awarded Wednesday for their outstanding service in 2019, including a student from Kettering.
Michael Valencia is 18-years-old and a senior at Kettering-Fairmont High School, and on Wednesday afternoon, his neighbor, 97-year-old Winnie Fiedler sat right beside him as he was awarded Miami Valley Crime Stoppers’ Student of the Year at their awards luncheon.
For seven years, Valencia has lived next to Winnie Fiedler, making sure anything she needs is taken care of.
They said he comes over to help at least once if not twice a week, and does anything from moving furniture to changing door knobs, and shoveling snow from her driveway.
“On Thursdays, I take the trash out for her, but other times when there’s emergencies, like she’s not doing well or sick, I come over and help her with everyday activities,” said Valencia.
That care and compassion is what led his school principal, Jenny Britton, to nominate him as the Miami Valley Crime Stoppers’ Student of the Year.
Britton and Fiedler were both there as he received his award.
“We always have a hug together before he leaves,” said Fiedler. “He’s a charmer and a kind presence.”
Fiedler said she calls him up to help not only for his young strength but because of his kindness.
Valencia was adopted seven years ago and has lived next to Fiedler ever since.
They both said their friendship is a two way street, with enough memories to last a lifetime.
“Playing Scrabble with her, I learn new words because she’s very intelligent,” said Valencia. “She went to Harvard at age 16.”
“He needed someone who understood him and honored the strengths that he has,” said Fiedler. “Life has not always been kind to Michael.”
Many others were recognized at the luncheon for their work as police officers, and community members during the Memorial Day Tornadoes, opioid crisis, and Oregon District Tragedy Fund.
The event was sponsored by AT&T.
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