Babinec, Golembiewski Elks Students of the Month

MANISTEE — The Manistee Elks Lodge No. 250 likes to honor area high school seniors who go above and beyond with the Elks Student of the Month recognition throughout the school year.

For the month of January they selected two students who fit that image to perfection in Bear Lake High School’s Yuki Babinec and Manistee Catholic Central’s Emily Golembiewski. Both are extremely active in the community and in their school.



Manistee Elks Student of the Month committee chair Gini Pelton said they look for set criteria in making their selections.

“We base the selection on character, school and community service, leadership and scholastic achievement,” said Pelton.

Babinec is the daughter of Greg and Etsuko Babinec of Bear Lake and excels in the classroom where she carries a 3.95 grade point average at Bear Lake Schools.

Athletics also play an important role in her life, but she also shows good leadership qualities for her teammates in serving as captain of the cross country, golf and basketball teams and was all state in track and field. Other honors relating to sports were the scholar award for basketball and academic all state and first team all conference in cross country.

Babinec said participating in four sports can be challenging, but she doesn’t lose sight of the more important goals in school.

“Although I play four sports, I still manage to maintain a good grade point average,” she said. “Dual sporting in the spring is a challenge, but I am thankful I have the opportunity to participate in two sports that I love. I work very hard to achieve academically by taking advantage of my available time.”



Besides those challenges of her time, Babinec also finds time for class government, Manistee County Community Foundation Youth Advisory Council, Student Council (president and class representative), the National Honor Society, Relay for Life, Speed-e-Camp (instructor) and legacy program. She also has volunteered for Toys for Tots and Homeward Bound.

“This past summer I went to a leadership conference for Youth at Central Michigan University and learned how other communities are volunteering as well,” said Babinec. “I brought back the lessons I learned back to my council to help improve our sector.”

Bear Lake teacher Diane Pargeon praised Babinec for all she does to excel in and out of school.

“As a student, Yuki has always been very dedicated to her studies and has worked very hard for her high marks,” said Pargeon. “As a teenager, Yuki’s conduct is top notch and she is an excellent role model for others. Her leadership, tencity and responsible nature make her an outstanding young lady.”

Manistee Catholic Central’s Emily Golembiewski is the daughter of Gary and Tana Golembiewski of Manistee and has recorded at 3.42 grade point average in her studies.

Golembiewski has been extremely active in community service events like the Washington Group paper drive, serving as an altar server, food pantry, Hall of Fame Dinner, Manistee County Right To Life Dinner, Ramsdell Theatre events and as a volunteer for the MCC Athletic Association Sports Festival.

“I am also looking for a strong community with many opportunities to help others, since this has always been a strong foundation in what I firmly believe in,” she said.

At school she has been active in the National Honor Society, band, Science Olympiad and varsity cheer. She also has been active in dance at the Conservatory of Dance where she also served as a teacher and in Girl Scouts including being an honor scout at Mackinac Island.

Golembiewski also had the honor of winning a scholarship to attend the Economic for Leaders Seminar at Oberlin College and at the West Michigan D Conference Leadership Conference.

She pointed out that when she gets challenged it makes her want to do even more.

“School has always made me challenge myself in different ways and I hope education continues to challenge me,” she said. “During college I plan to grow and learn new things I could participate in that I couldn’t during high school.”

Manistee Catholic Central teacher Rachel Henderson said she feels that Golembiewski has things waiting for her in the future.

“She is a true go-getter and has many dreams and goals set before her,” said Henderson. “As Emily approaches high school graduation, I anticipate the path laid out before her. She will certainly make positive contributions to our community and world as she pursues education and career post secondary.”

Henderson went on to say that Golembiewski is a well rounded student.

“Not only is she a wonderful student, busy athlete and a participating citizen, she also is an avid volunteer,” said Henderson.


Posted by Ken Grabowski

Ken is News Advocate’s education reporter. He coordinates coverage for all Manistee County schools and West Shore Community College. He can be reached by phone at (231) 398-3125 or by email at

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