Avondale School District Students Celebrated as Role Models

Avondale Youth Assistance Honors Students for Community Service and Personal Achievement

Avondale School District staff and administrators nominated more than 100 students to receive special recognition during the 49th Annual Youth Recognition Awards Night hosted by Avondale Youth Assistance (AYA). Students were nominated in two categories – Community Service and Personal Achievement – and received recognition awards from dignitaries and elected officials representing various levels of local and state government and public service.

Sisters Brianna and Bridgette Morris celebrate their awards with Avondale High School Principal, Sharon Hyde; Assistant Principal, Jamie Brooks; and Superintendent, Dr. James Schwarz

Sisters Brianna and Bridgette Morris celebrate their awards with Avondale High School Principal, Sharon Hyde; Assistant Principal, Jamie Brooks; and Superintendent, Dr. James Schwarz

More than 40 students received the Personal Achievement nomination for effecting a dramatic positive change in their life; overcoming a significant obstacle; or making a strong positive academic turnaround. “These student experienced significant changes in attitude and behavior through hard work and committed effort. They turned adversity into success even though some of them faced very difficult circumstances,” said AYA Chairman, Mike Kazyak who served as the Master of Ceremonies for the event. “These students serve as role models for all of us,” he added.

Community Service nominees included students who have performed community volunteerism through the school district or through a church or other community-based organization. A large number of Avondale High School students were recognized for volunteering to assist AYA with special projects and events like the Fall Pumpkin Painting Party, the after-school tutoring program KAMP (Kids Academic Mentoring Program), and serving on the AYA Board of Directors. Likewise, many student from Avondale Middle School received Community Service recognition including members of the school Bridge Buddy Program and a group of Leadership Class students. The Bridge Buddy students volunteer to mentor their classmates who have autism and the Leadership Class students raised money for an Avondale family in need by organizing and hosting a dodge ball tournament. Students in the Avondale School District SKILL Program were honored for their work with Blessings in a Backpack.

Three students received special honors during the event. Receiving the Avondale Youth Assistance Award for Community Service and Personal Achievement was Avondale Middle School eighth-grader, Alexus Riera. Receiving the Auburn Hills Morning Optimist Club Award was Avondale High School senior Tristian Townsend and Avondale Middle School eighth-grader Noelle Chan who received their awards for exemplifying the tenets of the Optimist Creed. The Morning Optimist Club, co-sponsors of the event, provide funding and volunteer support for several programs and initiative around the Avondale School District community including the Oratorical Contest, AYA Back-to-School and Holiday Shopping trips, AHS All-State Student Athlete plaques, Girls State and Boys State scholarships, the AEF Hearts and Hands 5K Fun Run and much more.

At the end of the evening, after all the awards had been given out, Kazyak reflected on the event. “These students are role models for all of us, “ he repeated.

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