Some people perform acts of service and hope for recognition, while others set about doing the right thing even when no one is watching. St. Francis High School’s Danny Bozanic is the latter.
The junior is actively involved in a program at La Cañada Fire Station No. 82 that introduces youths to service careers and is a member of the school’s campus ministry team, which leads student retreats and regularly helps communities with their needs. As president of the school’s Habitat for Humanity chapter, Danny’s efforts have put roofs over the heads of those who could use a helping hand.
“I just like helping others, I guess,” the 17-year-old said of his volunteerism. “I don’t think I could see myself doing anything else.”
For embodying the Franciscan virtues of humility, service and integrity, among others, Danny was recently recognized with an honor never before given to any Golden Knight — the St. Francis High School President’s Coin.
The award is modeled after challenge coins presented by military or law-enforcement commanders to service members who transcend the call of duty, Fr. Tony Marti, president of St. Francis, said.
“We thought we could do the same thing here and reward a young man who’s lived the Franciscan virtues,” Marti said. “[Danny] is not only a good student, he’s a humble man. He goes to church and values spirituality. He was given this coin because of his humility and the service he’s given to other people.”
On May 24, Marti called Danny into his office. The teen didn’t think he was in trouble but was nervous all the same. He was presented with a small polished gold coin bearing the school’s name and crest on one side and the phrase “Exemplifying the Franciscan Virtues” circling a rendering of the school’s namesake, St. Francis of Assisi, on the other.
By the time the young Glendale resident reached home, his parents, Robert and Nancy, had seen the news on social media and were sharing it with friends and relatives on Facebook, causing the teen mild embarrassment.
In a world that often rewards boastfulness and one-upmanship, Danny’s humble nature makes him a fitting recipient of the newly minted honor, said St. Francis fundraising manager Tim Murphy.
“His efforts are not intended for the sake of acknowledgment,” Murphy said. “He’s doing that because that’s the type of person he is.”
Marti said future coins will be granted in private, when and to whom he sees fit.
“If I see someone who’s doing something I feel is out of the ordinary, I’ll give him the coin,” he said. “I’ll do it whenever I feel a kid deserves it.”
And, although Danny is not one to brag, the junior said he will honor the coin and what it symbolizes the rest of his days.
“I’m definitely going to frame it,” he said of the reminder to live a Franciscan life. “Not that I need it or anything, but it’s a good reminder of why I’m doing the things I do.”