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Mayor Greg Fischer Newsroom

Mayor Honors Outstanding High School Seniors

Tuesday May 14, 2013

49 Louisville students to be recognized Tuesday night

Public, private and Catholic students who have excelled in and out of the classroom are being honored today by Mayor Greg Fischer as recipients of the annual Mayor’s Outstanding High School Seniors Award. Fischer will present the honor to 49 students this evening at 7:15 p.m., following a reception at Louisville Metro Hall.

This year’s recipients include a student who survived a refugee camp in Africa, another who emigrated from the Ukraine, several who survived serious accidents and life-threatening illnesses and several students who have excelled despite violence, abuse and their parents being incarcerated. The students include at least 22 National Honor Society members and eight Governor’s Scholars. One student maintains a perfect 4.0 despite being unable to walk or write. Another student “commutes” to Louisville’s School for the Blind from far western Kentucky. At least one of the students will be the first in their family to attend college.

“These are young people who have shown dedication, who have overachieved and overcome obstacles in life and in the classroom while taking the time to help and motivate others along the way,” Fischer said. “They are real-life examples from schools large and small of what you can achieve through focus, teamwork and perseverance.”

In addition to their academic accomplishments, the winners include notable athletes in a variety of sports, artists, actors, musicians and poets. Principals and guidance counselors at public, private and Catholic schools throughout Louisville are asked to nominate a student for the award.

AT&T and Sullivan University are the presenting sponsors of the Outstanding High School Seniors Award which began in the mid-1980s.

2013 Mayor’s Outstanding High School Seniors

Ashleigh Keister, The Academy @ Shawnee

Ashleigh has an impressive resume for such a young age. Ashleigh’s involvement includes NJROTC, Color Guard Commander, Drill Team and Commander, varsity Track & Field and Cross Country. She has a prefect 4.0 and was named Lieutenant Commander with the NJROTC her senior year. Ashleigh is a Governor’s Scholar Program recipient. Ashleigh has received such honors and awards as Officer Sword, Peer Mediation, Book Award from the University of Kentucky Academic Excellence and Top Cadet Award presented by the US Air Guard. Ashleigh will attend the United States Naval Academy.

Drew Dever, Ahrens Work Transition Program

Drew is known for his positive attitude. Over the past three years he has learned to successfully read community signs, symbols and has developed a remarkable level of independence and skills. During Drew’s time at the Ahrens Work Transition Program, he has been recognized for his excellent attendance. Drew is an active member of Downs Syndrome of Louisville, Best Buddies of Kentucky and the Special Olympics of Kentucky. He is currently employed in the electronics department at Wal-Mart where he stocks DVDs and provides Customer Service. After graduation, Drew plans on continuing his education through Downs Syndrome of Louisville and to continue his employment at Wal-Mart.

Tess Bettler, Assumption High School

Tess has a heart for service. She has been actively involved in her church and youth group for years and loves giving back to the place that has played such a huge role in her childhood and development. But, perhaps the activity that has had the biggest impact on Tess is the time she has given in service to the residents at a local nursing facility. Tess’s grandfather has declined over the years due to Alzheimer’s. Giving of her time to the elderly residents has had a profound effect on Tess. Her perspective of the world has shifted and she has gained such a sense of empathy. Tess has an aspiration to help change some corner of the world. Tess has maintained an outstanding 4.0 un-weighed cumulative grade point average since her freshman year. Her enthusiasm and zest for learning and living is contagious to all that she meets.

Megan Schrader, Atherton High School

Megan’s success has earned her numerous accolades. Her achievements include international baccalaureate diploma candidate, University of Virginia Book Award recipient, Furman University Scholar, Distinguished Art Award and a Distinguished Science Award. In addition, she was selected by the Jefferson County School District to represent the district at the Bill of Rights Institute’s Constitutional Academy in Washington D.C. While at Atherton, she has been a member of the Marine Biology Club, Future Problem Solving, Stagecraft, Class Officer, Principal’s Forum, National Honor Society, Beta Club and the National Ocean Science Penguin Bowl Competition winner and team captain. After graduation she plans to attend college where she would like to major in Biology and/or Marine Biology.

Jackson Burrus, Ballard High School

Jackson is a student who has excelled in and out of the classroom. He is a Governor’s Scholar, First Honors, AP Scholar with Honor, and scored a 33 on his ACT. It should be no surprise that he is the 2013 Valedictorian for Ballard High School. Jackson is a member of the Mu Alpha Theta, National Honors Society and Golf Team. His recognitions include all “A” Honor Roll, Commonwealth Ambassador, Furman Scholar, Washington and Lee Book Award, Wafford Scholar and 2012 Kentucky Collegian. Jackson is planning on attending the University of Kentucky with a Presidential Scholarship where he will major in Engineering.

Christopher Aden, Beth Haven Christian School

Chris demonstrates great leadership skills both in and outside of class, maintaining a 4.0 GPA throughout high school and will graduate as the Valedictorian of his senior class. Chris is an active member of the National Honor Society and the National Beta Club. He has been the class President all four years of high school, served on the Student Council and has participated in the spring production of the school’s drama department for three years. This past year, Chris participated in the UPS School to work program. He has been on the President’s All “A” Honor Roll for grades 9-12 and received a Presidential Academic Fitness Award in the 12th grade. Chris will attend the University Of Louisville’s Speed School of Engineering.

Madeline S. Haydon, Bethlehem High School

Madeline has overcome numerous obstacles in her young life. Since the loss of her father, she has gone on to achieve AB Honor Roll for four years and the recipient of Monsignor Horrigan Scholarship. Her academic achievements include APUS History Award, Spanish III award, first place written composition in Governor’s Cup regionals and districts and first place Language Arts Governor’s Cup district and Daughters of American Revolution Award. She has been an active member of the Spanish club, Spanish National Honor Society, National Honors Society, St. Joseph WoW Youth Group, Interact Club, choir and drama clubs, academic and speech teams. After graduation, Madeline plans to attend Bellarmine University and major in Biology.

Brittany Dean, James Graham Brown School

Over the past four years, Brittany has built an impressive record of service participating in Beta Club, Yearbook, Journalism, Church Youth Group, Varsity Volleyball, American Red Cross volunteer/Blood Drive Coordinator, Ronald McDonald House Volunteer, Superintendent Student Council, Derby City Crush Softball, Walgreens Pharmacy Tech, Incarnation Athletics, and as a volunteer for the Crusade for Children. Brittany has received the Young Minds Change Lives Scholarship, the Begley Scholarship, and Business First: First Honors. She has an overall GPA of 4.12 and has been on the Principal’s Honor Roll all four years and is the Valedictorian of her senior class. Her achievements also extend to the volleyball court. Brittany was Max Preps AVCA KY Volleyball player of the week, 7th Region Volleyball All-Tournament team, and 25th District All American Tournament Team. Brittany plans on attending Lindsey Wilson College on a full scholarship and major in Biology. After college she plans to attend Pharmacy School.

JD Morgan, Butler Traditional High School

JD has academic ability, demonstrated leadership, athleticism and a dedication to serving others. JD is ranked as one of the top seniors in his class with a perfect 4.0 grade point average and 34 ACT score. He consistently challenges himself in the classroom by taking the most rigorous course of study available which helped him earn Mr. Butler. His academic excellence has resulted in his selection for the National Honor Society, Beta Club and 2012 Kentucky Governor’s Scholar. JD has served as a class officer for all four years of high school and is the Varsity Football Quarterback. He was the Business First Scholar, Vogt Achievement Scholar, PLAN Academic Award, ACT Academic Award, Crown Trophy Student of the Month, Hugh O’Bryan Youth Leader (HOBY), University of Kentucky Book Award, Varsity Football and Basketball Academic Award. JD plans to participate as a member of Centre’s football team and to study in the field of sports medicine.

Cormel Floyd, Central High School

Cormel has managed to succeed in academics and athletics while maintaining a 3.8 G.P.A. Based on his outstanding academic performance, Cormel received the University of Louisville Woodford R. Porter Scholarship. Cormel is also a member of the Central High School Wrestling Team, where he achieved second place in regional competition. He represented Central High School as a Kentucky Governor’s Scholar and was one of the winners of the McAnulty Essay contest from the University of Louisville Law School. Cormel volunteers his time as a tutor for the Educational Justice Program, whose mission is to increase the number of disadvantaged student who are admitted to college and/or receive scholarships. Cormel plans to attend the University of Louisville and major in Biology. He is interested in becoming a bio-medical engineer.

Tommy English, Christian Academy of Louisville

Tommy excels in the classroom making all A’s for the past four years. Tommy’s extracurricular participation involves National Honor Society, Beta Club, Class President, Varsity Soccer, Student Ambassador, Governor’s Scholar, Band, Orchestra, French Club and First Baptist Shelbyville. But Tommy also excels in the community. He is the director and founder of Project 13 and led his senior class and the entire school to raise over $45,000 for a medical center in Honduras and an orphanage in Nicaragua. He was awarded the presidential scholarship from St. Louis University where he plans to attend and major in pre-med and chemical engineering.

Sabrina Sowell, Churchill Park School

Sabrina continues to exceed expectations and prove her abilities to do things independently. Sabrina has made progress on all goals. She is currently in the process of learning how to use texture coded envelopes to make a purchase within the community. She is an active member with the Special Olympics. Sabrina plans on doing as many independent tasks as possible while attending an adult program that provides volunteer opportunities and job tasks.

Christopher Padilla, DeSales High School

Chris is a dedicated student both inside and outside of the classroom. He has sacrificed every summer break to work at the school and paid for his own Catholic education. Chris does not regret this in any way—in fact, he’ll tell you it was worth every second. Chris has been an active member of the Beta Club, Math Team, Academic Team, National Honor Society, Y-Club, Student Ambassador, Adelante Hispanic Achievers and Ambassador, a peer leader, varsity soccer and Intramural Basketball and Ultimate Frisbee. Chris has received such awards as the UK Book Award, 3rd place District Governor's Cup Math, 1st place District Governor's Cup Future Problem Solving and Quick Recall, 1st place Region Governor's Cup Future Problem Solving, 2nd place Region Governor's Cup Quick Recall, 15th place State Governor’s Cup Future Problem Solving and Hispanic Student of the Month of November 2010. Chris plans to attend the University of Kentucky this fall.

Katie Schroeder, Doss High School

Katie is an exemplary young lady who is serious about her school work and her future. She is the Valedictorian and 2013 Miss Doss. She has achieved All A’s, a 4.25 GPA, Academic All-Star, College & Career Ready. Katie has received the following awards and recognition: Business First, UK Book Award, Athlete of the Month, Class of Kentucky, Academic Excellence in Foreign Language and Chemistry, Who’s Who at Doss High School and Most Likely to Succeed. She is a member of the National Honor Society, Young Ladies with a Mission, Class Officer, Cross Country, Soccer, Louisville Girls Leadership, Young Professionals of Doss, and Yearbook club. Katie plans on attending the University of Louisville to major in Pre-veterinarian. Her goal is to pursue a career as an Equine Veterinarian.

Dishan Romine, duPont Manual High School

Dishan’s success in high school has come in the face of overwhelming challenges within his family. He has chosen a path of success while watching family members struggle with addictions and being incarcerated for dealing drugs, theft, illegal weapons, and domestic violence. Dishan credits his success to the efforts of his mother and great grandmother who have constantly reinforced with him the ideals of clean living as well as law abiding citizenship and Christian principles. Dishan has chosen the most difficult course load possible earning an overall GPA of 3.8 and Academic Honor Role. Dishan is a student athlete lettering in varsity football, basketball and track. He also maintains a part-time job. He has been a member of the Black Achievers Program, and has volunteered at More Than Conquerors Youth Ministry, Brandeis Elementary School, Home of the Innocents and Center for Women and Families. Dishan plans on attending the United States Naval Academy upon graduation with plans to become a Navy Pilot and has interests in chemical engineering and kinesiology. He will be the first of his family to complete college.

Peter Heiniger, Eastern High School

Peter has managed to thrive in academics and athletics while maintaining a 4.0 GPA and a 33 ACT score. Peter is a Governor’s Scholar, National Merit Scholar and a Grawemeyer Scholar at the University of Louisville. He has been a member of the men’s varsity lacrosse, soccer, FCA, National Honor society and Beta Club. He was the recipient of the Harvard Book Award, AP Scholar with Distinction and Eagle Award for Academic excellence. He plans on attending the University of Louisville Speed School and become a mechanical engineer. It is Peter’s dream to one day work for NASA.

Destiny Alford, Evangel Christian School

Destiny is a student with a tremendous amount of heart. While overcoming family struggles, Destiny has held herself to high academic achievement and has served both in the school and community. She has maintained a 3.0 or higher GPA and received numerous awards in academics including 3.5 GPA or higher two years in a row, a Conduct Award, Perfect Attendance Award, and the President's Education Award. Destiny has been involved in Beta Club, National Honors Society, and Varsity Cheerleading. She has served her community in a number of ways by volunteering at the YMCA, Red Cross, Rite Aid Pharmacies, local nursing homes, Samaritan's Purse, and as a volunteer elementary cheerleading coach. Overcoming the challenges, Destiny has grown into a strong, hard-working, dedicated young lady who is always willing to lend a hand to those in need. She plans on attending JCTC where she will begin her studies in Education or Nursing.

Lanham “Boo” Crabtree, Fairdale High School

An exceptional scholar, leader and athlete, Boo has maintained a 3.6 GPA and is the captain of Fairdale’s football, basketball and baseball teams. He is the senior class President and a member of FCA, a Peer Mentor and Student Council. He was recognized as an Exceptional Student by JCTC, was the Huffman District Football player of the year and 2nd team all-region for basketball. Boo has been offered a football scholarship from Lindsey Wilson and Campbellsville University. He is undecided on which college he will attend, but plans on majoring in history with a minor in communications. Boo would like to become a history teacher and eventually pursue a career in coaching and become an athletic director.

Anna Hoke, Fern Creek High School

Anna came to America when she was 7 ½ years old. She was adopted from the Ukraine and did not speak any English. Anna overcame the language barrier and took AP classes throughout her high school career. Anna is an intelligent, easy going and productive young lady. For the past four years she has been an active member of Fern Creek’s Golf team, ROTC and drill team. She has exceled in the classroom as well within Fern Creek’s ROTC. She received such honors as MCROA Outstanding Unit Award, Outstanding Cadet Ribbon, Student Leadership Ribbon, Best Drill Cadet Ribbon, Color Guard Ribbon and Marine Corps League Community Service Medal. Anna holds a part time job at Charlie Vettiner Golf Course. She plans on attending Kentucky Community and Technical College and the University of Louisville to earn a degree in Business.

Kimberly Cecil, Holy Cross High School

Kimberly has mastered the ability to remain in the top of her class while being actively involved in a variety of clubs, sports and organizations. She has been a member of the National Honor Society, Guild Council Representative, Cougars for Christ, field hockey, softball, and volleyball. Kimberly has also found time to volunteer for Kid’s Café, Kosair Charities and Ronald McDonald House. She has received Academic All State in volleyball, softball and field hockey. Kimberly is undecided on which college she will attend, but has been accepted to Bellarmine, Spalding and the University of Louisville to pursue a degree in Nursing.

Abdullahi Kassim, Iroquois High School

Living in a refugee camp, there was never enough food, the weather was horrible and the education was terrible. Since coming to the United States and Iroquois High School, Abdullahi has excelled. He has been an Academic All State and was the freshman of the Year in 9th grade. He has lettered in soccer and track & field and is a member of the international club, chess club, book club and Iroquois Scholars. Abdullahi was also recognized with a certificate of Excellence for Volunteering. He plans on attending college where he will pursue an engineering or business degree.

Jordan Jackson, Jefferson County High School

Jordan is a self-disciplined and self-directed learner who has made education her top priority. She has been a member of the All County Chorus and Orchestra, Honor Roll and Principal’s Award. Jordan has had a chronic illness for three years. Jordan had many scheduled visits to the Cincinnati Children’s Hospital that conflicted with the high demands of a student in the comprehensive high school setting. The JCPSeSchool program provided the perfect match with flexibility on assignments, tests and writing that that gave Jordan the time she needed to rest and receive medical treatment. Jordan now flourishes as a student with a 3.68 GPA who will graduate high school in three years. She realizes that transition must happen in an organized fashion and she has planned the necessary steps for a smooth transition. This compassionate student has the heart of a caregiver and will major in Psychology this fall at Bellarmine University.

Taylor Brown, Jeffersontown High School

Taylor is an extraordinary young lady who consistently demonstrates brilliance and determination. She is a three time recipient of the All Academic Bowler Award and has prefect attendance. She has been on the all ‘A’ Honor Roll and will be the 2013 Valedictorian. Taylor is a member of the Girl Scouts, class officer, bowling team, Beta Club, Environmental Club, National Honors Society, Orchestra and Principal Forum. She has also received the Gold Award from the Girl Scouts, Silver Award USBC Scholarship, Orchestra Player of the year and the Commonwealth Scholarship at Morehead State University. Taylor will attend Morehead State where she will pursue a bachelor’s in veterinary science before entering veterinary medicine school.

Khaleel Wilson, Kentucky Country Day

Khaleel acknowledges that being raised in a single parent household wasn’t always easy. At a young age, it was instilled in Khaleel to work hard, learn as much as possible and to be a leader, not a follower. These traits have shaped Khaleel in exceeding in the classroom and as an athlete. Khaleel is a Malone Scholar and received the University of Kentucky Book Award. His leadership skill has been recognized in being selected the captain of the varsity football team and a class officer. He is a member of the FCA, Jefferson Teen Court Program, Chess Club, varsity basketball and lacrosse team. Khaleel plans on attending a 4- year college or university to pursue a career in medicine.

Kenton Smith, Kentucky School for the Blind

Kenton is from LaCenter, Kentucky, in the far western corner of our state. He chose to attend the Kentucky School for the Blind during his junior year of high school to better prepare for college life. It takes over three hours each way to go back and forth to school each week. He has no trouble meeting the demands of this schedule. He takes a rigorous course load and is involved in many outside activities. He is very artistic and is a musician. He is the KSB video yearbook editor, and a member of the Ballard County Future Business Leaders and Marching Band. Kenton received the Unsung Hero Award in 2012 and in 2008 received the American Printing House for the Blind Annual Art Award. Kenton plans to attend the University of Louisville, WKU, or Murray State University. He would like to focus his studies on music production and the music business industry.

Jennifer Larson, Liberty High School

Jennifer has earned a 3.7 GPA and is a peer mentor and representative of the Student Forum at Liberty High School. Jennifer has proven to be a dedicated student. She works hard in the classroom to achieve good grades, but also maintains a full time job. Jennifer has been accepted to Spalding University where she will pursue a degree in nursing. It is her goal to be a labor and delivery nurse.

Samantha Westrum, Louisville Collegiate School

Samantha moved to Louisville from California in the middle of her freshman year. Since coming to Collegiate, she has earned a 3.67 GPA and will graduate Cum Laude. Samantha is a member of the National Honors Society, French Club, Mu Alpha Theta, Senior Class President, Quick Recall and the team captain for varsity track and soccer. Samantha also was the winner of the Watt Whitman Film Festival. She will attend the University of Virginia to major in Global Development and French. It is her career goal to someday work with international non-profits.

Jacob Wollam, Louisville Male Traditional Program

Jacob is an accomplished student as well as musician. He is the 2013 Mr. Male High School. His achievements include the Governor’s Scholar Program, Jefferson Book Award Recipient, Summa Cum Laude-National Latin Exam, McConnell Scholar Finalist, National Honor Society and Beta Club. He has also been class officer for four years, a member of the Louisville Male High School Orchestra, Academic Team, Pep Club, Louisville Youth Orchestra, Environmental Club, Math Team, Latin Club, All-State orchestra member, All County orchestra member, Academic Team MVP, National Honor Society Officer and has earned various KMEA Solo awards. Jacob plans on attending the University of Louisville with a double major in Civil Engineering and Political Science.

Amanda Collins, Mary Ryan Academy

Amanda has overcome an abusive childhood while transitioning through the foster care system in Muhlenburg, Union, Crittenden and Jefferson Counties. Despite all this, Amanda has maintained a high GPA through several school transitions. Amanda is a hard worker and has been a member of the Fashion Club and Choir. Amanda plans to attend college and study culinary arts.

Heena Iqbal, Mercy Academy

During Heena’s sophomore year she was diagnosed with an illness that resulted in the loss of muscle coordination and difficulty with fine motor skills. This disease has left Heena unable to walk or write. She is an exceptional student and young lady that has battled back from her illness and is a true advocate for the physically challenged. She is a true role model for others to follow. She maintained a 4.0 GPA in advanced level coursework and is a member of the National Honor Society. Her life experiences have taught her to be a caring, patient, hardworking and courageous. She has been a student volunteer for several events at Mercy and is a co-facilitator of a girls support group that fosters the development of advocacy skills for students who have learning and physical challenges. She is also a volunteer at the Home of the Innocents, Louisville Zoo and Jefferson Memorial Forest. Heena will attend the University of Louisville.

Jaymes Coleman, Moore Traditional High School

Jaymes credits his parents for pushing and instilling the importance of education. He has held an impressive GPA of 4.14 and will be the salutatorian for his class. Jaymes has been a member of the varsity basketball and track team, National Honor Society, River City Drum Corps, Community Youth Talk and the Upward Bound Men of Quality. He is a Whitney M. Young Scholar, Governors Scholar, Churchill Scholar, Carter G. Woodson Legacy Award and received the basketball leadership award. Jaymes has been offered a full scholarship to the University of Louisville where he will study bio-engineering.

Christina Whisenant, Phoenix School of Discovery

Christina is a dedicated student both inside and outside of the classroom. She has made the honor roll all four years and will be the 2013 valedictorian. She is involved in the Art Club, and took part in the advisor/advisee senators program. Christina’s commitment to her community is apparent by volunteering with programs such as Brightside, Best Buddies and with her church. She has also been published in four celebrations of poet’s books and in the newspaper. But what is most impressive, is Christina has achieved all this while completing UPS’s school to work program and attending college courses. She plans to continue to work at UPS and attend JCTC where she will work towards becoming an optometrist.

Tori Williams, Pleasure Ridge Park High School

Tori has continued to have a positive outlook on life while dealing with tragic events within her family. Throughout these events she met the demands of her schoolwork, two part-time jobs, and multiple extracurricular activities. She is a member of the Beta Club, a class officer all four years, National Honors Society, Student Ambassadors, Student Council, Tourism Honors Academy, Varsity Cheerleading, Young Politicians of America, Yearbook and Yearbook Editor-in-Chief. Tori continues to put the needs of others before her own. She will be attending the University of Kentucky and majoring in Human Health Sciences. Her ultimate goal is to become a Pediatric Oncology Pharmacist at Kosair Children Hospital.

Heather Kissel, Presentation Academy

Heather is an astonishing student who consistently demonstrates intelligence and determination. She will be the valedictorian for Presentation. She is a National Merit Commended Student; a Governor’s Scholar and was named outstanding Student in Art, Spanish, U.S. History, and Science Silver Key. In addition she received an Honorable Mention from the Scholastic Alliance for Artist and Writers. Heather is a member of the St. Pius X Parish Youth Council, Interact Club, Amine Club, National Art Honor Society, Drama Club, STEM Club, National Honor Society, and Archdiocese Youth Advisory Board. Heather will attend Bellarmine University where she will major in psychology and minor in Spanish. She plans to attend medical school and become a psychiatrist.

Eileen Lou Macaspac Embry, Sacred Heart Academy

Eileen is a participant of the King Scholar Program which help pay for her education at Sacred Heart. She has maintained a 3.8 GPA while holding a full time job. Eileen is a member of the National Honor Society, marketing club, Students Against Destructive Decisions (S.A.D.D.) Breakfast Club, Culinary Club, 100 Club and intramural flag football. Eileen has been on the Service Honor Roll, Principal’s List, Honor Roll and Quest Leadership Program. Eileen plans on attending Saint Vincent College as a pre-dental and biology major. She then hopes to return to Louisville and attend the University of Louisville’s School of Dentistry.

Parker Howard, Seneca High School

Academically, Parker has achieved at a high level, demonstrating talents that are consistently strong across subject areas and disciplines. He is a National Merit Commended Student, AP Scholar with Distinction, received 3rd place District Governor’s Cup Science Competition in 2011 and 1st place in 2012 District Governor’s Cup Science Competition. Parker is a member of the Science Olympiad, Math Team, National Honor Society, Beta Club, Mu Alpha Theta and STEEM. He has received such honors as a 2012 Churchill Downs Winner’s Circle Governor’s Scholar, Commonwealth Ambassador, 2012 Kentucky Governor's Scholar, University of Kentucky 2012 Book Award and First Honors Recognition by Business First Publication. In 2007 after a long battle, Parker’s mother passed away from colon cancer. In this Parker lost a great role model and parent, but in turn gained a motivator which has helped him decide on educational and career goals. Parker will attend the University of Louisville next fall with a major in biology. After graduation, he aspires to continue his studies in medical school.

Hannah Watkins, South Park TAPP

Hannah is a teen parent who suffered the death of her father this past year. Hannah has gone on to receive awards for Perfect Attendance, Outstanding AP U.S. History student, A/B Honor Roll, Outstanding Student and student speaker at the 1st Trimester Awards ceremony. Recently her original play was selected by New Voices to be performed at Actor’s Theatre. Hannah is a member of the S.M.A.R.T (Science, Math and the Right Technology) program, Student Leadership Team, performed in and hosted South Park TAPP’s talent show and is a member of the South Park TAPP’s Dance committee. Hannah has been accepted to Bellarmine University and plans to major in Theatre Arts.

Patrick Hamilton, Southern High School

Patrick has won scholastic awards all through high school. He has maintained over a 4.0 GPA and is a Who’s Who winner. Patrick has been a member of the varsity basketball, soccer, track, cross country, National Honors Society and Beta Club. Patrick has received district and all region awards for soccer. This fall, Patrick will attend Morehead State to pursue a degree in physical therapy.

Anthony Dion Perry, Jr., St. Francis School

For the past three years, Anthony has dedicated himself to raising awareness in Louisville about the crisis posed by mass incarceration. This has led to Anthony working on a city-wide conference this spring to confront the most pressing racial justice issue of our time: the mass incarceration of poor people of color in the United States. Anthony has been an intern with the Muhammad Ali Center, American Civil Liberties Union and Kentucky Teen Institute, he was a member of the World Affairs Council, Tavis Smiley National Youth Advisory Council and Black Achievers Teen Senate. His involvement at St. Francis includes debate team, varsity basketball and track. Anthony will attend the University of Pennsylvania-Wharton for business.

Bradly Browning, St. Xavier High School

In July of 2012, Bradly came out of a healthy seven-year remission with an autoimmune disease called Evan’s Syndrome. After seven units of blood, a month of chemotherapy and many months of medicine and countless hospital visits, Bradly went back to remission in January of 2013. During that time, he remained completely involved with his church youth group, Ryken Service Club and attended every basketball practice and game. Bradly has been a member of the Honor Roll all fours year and was the varsity basketball captain. He also received the Brother Benjamin Award for Leadership. He has attended several mission trips and helped lead the sophomore retreat last month. He has used his illness and treatments to try and be an example for others so that they might also embrace their faith. He accredits the helping hand of God, the immeasurable support from his St. Xavier family, his parents and friends for helping him make it out alive and being able to persevere. Bradly will attend Oklahoma Christian University to study Electrical or Mechanical Engineering.

Jack Eichenberger, Trinity High School

Jack excels in the classroom making the principals list and retaining all “A”s for the last three years. Jack placed first in the Global Business for the Future Business Leaders of America’s regional conference for two years. He is an active member of the National Honor Society, Future Business Leaders of America, Spanish Club, Beta Club, and Engineering Club. After graduation, Jack will attend Rose-Hulman and pursue an engineering degree.

Jamarco Carnell, Valley High School

Being raised in a single parent household did not stop Jamarco from achieving academic excellence. For the past four years he has earned Honor Roll and maintained a 3.67 GPA. Jamarco is a member of the Valley Justice League, Students Youth Rights Conference, Muhammad Ali Center Council of Students, Healing Futures Fellow and Black Achievers. In January of 2013 he was the student of the month. Jamarco also received the Ambassador for Health Equity Award, UK William C. Parker Scholarship and the University of Louisville Woodford Porter Scholarship. He plans on attending the University of Louisville and majoring in sociology.

Destiny Purri, Waggener High School

Life challenges and a family illness have caused Destiny to mature faster than many of her peers. Destiny has taken on major responsibilities at home while maintaining academic merit, perfect attendance, honor roll and being a leader on the softball field. Destiny has participated on the Superintendent’s Advisory council and assists the school with various projects and is deeply involved in running the bookstore. Destiny is a member of the softball team, newspaper and yearbook staff. Destiny will attend the University of Louisville to pursue a degree in education and sports administration.

Guy Holloway, Walden School

Guy is a remarkable young man; he is very talented and diligent worker. He has held an impressive GPA of 3.59, perfect attendance and received a Merit Award in AP Human Geography. He is an active member of the Key Club, Environmental Club, Kiva Club, National Honor Society, Spanish Club and is the record holder in track for the 200 & 400 meter dash. Guy will attend Miami of Ohio, Bradley University or Centre College and major in business with an emphasis in human resources.

Jamesha Ricketts, Western High School

Jamesha is a dedicated student and athlete. She has earned a perfect 4.0 GPA. She is an active member of the Quick Recall Team, Beta Club, National Honor Society, and Wall Street warriors, cheerleading, tennis, softball, basketball, Tourism Honors Academy and Talent Search Program. Jamesha is a William C. Parker and Woodford K. Porter Scholarship recipient. Her accolades include, Yarmuth Book Award, First Honors of Business First, Best Work Ethic in Art, History and Math class and Louisville Girls Leadership. Jamesha will attend the University of Kentucky and major in Math with a minor in Spanish. She hopes to become a professor or administrator.

Berniece Woods, Westport Teenage Parent Program

Berniece’s story is amazing and inspiring. She is currently an independent student as her mother has been in prison since Berniece was 6. She has had much trauma in her young life including abuse and neglect, but has handled everything without complaints. Neither one of her parents are available for support. Despite this, she knows that her future is dependent on her success both in high school and college. She works tirelessly to make good grades in school and continues to work five days a week at KFC. In addition to this, she is an excellent mother to her daughter Carsyn. You will always find Berniece smiling and focusing on the positive things in her life. She is a member of the SMART (Science, Math and the Right Technology) organization, Key Club, and is the student leader of the Mayor’s make a difference campaign at Westport TAPP. She is extremely grateful for those who offer her support and encourages those around her to do their best. Berniece will be a freshman this fall at the University of Kentucky where she plans to get a bachelor’s degree in nursing eventually becoming a neonatal Practitioner.

Vanessa Pfeffer, Whitefield Academy

Vanessa excels in the classroom and her extracurricular participation involves athletics, music and volunteer work. Vanessa has been a member of the soccer, basketball, dance team and was a member of the cheerleading squad. She has participated in student council/government, Prom Committee, Senior Beta, a member of the University of Louisville Community Band, Louisville Youth Band and member of the band at the Louisville School of Rock. Vanessa is also actively involved in community service activities through her church. Vanessa has played flute for eight years and piano for 14 years, annually she plays the flute at Cancer Society memorials, and for the Golden Living Camelot Nursing Home. Her achievements include Governor’s Scholar, United States Army Certificate of Achievement, Headmaster’s Honor Roll, National Beta Club, KHSAA Academic All-State Award, Published Essay, Homecoming Court, All-County Concert Band, and numerous classroom awards. Vanessa plans to attend the University of Louisville to pursue a degree in Nursing.

Lydia Grossman, Youth Performing Arts School

An exceptional artist, scholar, and humanitarian, Lydia’s most defining personality trait is her kindness and compassion for others, and her quiet insight into human nature. Lydia for the past four years has been a student in YPAS’s award winning vocal music program receiving such honors as All-State and All-County choirs, and Kentucky Governor’s School for the Arts. Lydia has volunteered at the Humane Society, Louisville Zoo, Louisville’s Fairness Campaign, Manual student clubs such as the Gay Straight Alliance, Action for Africa, and Amnesty International. She has participated in the Hunger Walk and AIDS Walk annually with her church youth group. Last year, Lydia was one of two Louisville students accepted into the Iraqi Young Leaders Exchange Program (IYLEP) through the World Affairs Council. Lydia is also well-rounded academically as she was a National Merit Commended Student. She has maintained a high GPA throughout high school and is on track to become one of the valedictorians for the Class of 2013. Lydia plans on majoring in International Relations in college with hopes of one day being engaged in Foreign Service, such as working for the State Department, Peace Corps, or a nonprofit organization such as OxFam.