Avondale Youth Assistance Celebrates Student Service and Achievement

At the Avondale Youth Assistance 50th Annual Youth Recognition Awards Ceremony in March, 158 Avondale School District students from fifth-grade through post-high school were celebrated by school and governmental leaders. To be recognized at the event, students had to be nominated by Avondale staff or community members who provided supporting information that confirmed the students’ commitment to betterment of their community or their own lives. Students honored for bettering their community participated in activities such as after-school tutoring, fund-raising efforts for community-based non-profits, special needs outreaches, and efforts to provide food and clothing to those in need. Students honored for bettering their own lives overcame a personal challenge through changes in attitude and behavior and through hard work and effort. These students chose to turn adversity into success and pursue positive goals.

Avondale student Andrew Zankas waits to be called to the stage for recognition of his community service

Avondale student Andrew Zankas waits to be called to the stage for recognition of his community service

During the event, students were called to the stage of the Avondale High School Performing Arts Center and congratulated by a receiving line of government and school leaders including Avondale Schools Superintendent Dr. James Schwarz; State Representative Tim Greimel; Mary Schusterbauer, Oakland County Youth Assistance Chief; Oakland County Commissioner Shelley Goodman Taub; Auburn Hills City Councilmember Henry Knight; Rochester Hills City Councilmember Stephanie Morita; Troy City Councilmember Edna Abrahim; Troy City Councilmember Ellen Hodorek; Auburn Hills Chief of Police Doreen Olko; Ray Watts (liaison for Representative Martin Howrylak); and Shawn Ciavattone (liaison for Senator Marty Knollenberg). Members of the Avondale Board of Education, principals, assistant principals, counselors and teachers joined the receiving line too as each in turn shook hands, hugged, and celebrated the students.

Highlighting the evening was the acknowledgment of nine students who excelled over and above the accomplishment of the criteria for Avondale Youth Assistance recognition. The students, Atchyasri Anbarasu, Brooke Babinski, Anjika Jain, Briana Palmer, Mitchell Payne, Charles Smith, Gabriel Stach, Gloria Stach, and Michael Williams received special tribute from event cosponsor, the Auburn Hills Morning Optimist Club. The nine students were recognized by the Optimist Club because they “excelled over and above the accomplishments of the criteria for Avondale Youth Assistance recognition and because they personify the tenets of optimism in the Optimist Creed”.


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