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Earlier this year I wrote about the importance of mothers and fathers in the raising of a healthy generation of young people who can not only live happy, productive lives themselves, but can help make the world a better place to live in for all people. In his 1995 Proclamation, President Bill Clinton made July 23rd the day to celebrate all parents in the United States:

“Teaching the lessons of honesty and caring in a way that no school or government can, America’s parents pass on the spirit, values, and traditions that have made our Nation strong for more than two centuries. Whether stepparents or foster parents, biological or adoptive, parents provide the security, stability, and love that enable children to grow up healthy, happy, and strong.”

This month our office celebrated the accomplishments of twenty-three students who have benefitted from such parenting when we awarded eighteen Academic Encouragement Awards, and the following five Recognizing Achievement Scholarships to these graduating seniors who are going on to higher education:

Charles Coats
Charles graduated this year from Cornerstone Christian College Prep School and has been admitted to the Doermer School of Business at Purdue University Fort Wayne to major in Accounting starting this fall. He writes in his personal statement that at the beginning of high school, he was challenged by his own mindset that made him doubt his ability to make it through high school. But with the help of his teachers and counselors at Cornerstone, he kept up the good fight, worked hard and succeeded in graduating. He describes the lesson he learned: that success depends on “whether you get back up after the fall or just stay down, because you only fail when you stop trying.”

Dominic Lyons
Dominic has been admitted to Ivy Tech Community College to start this fall. When he started his high school career, he did well as a freshman. But when he turned sixteen he had to start working to help support his family, and he found it hard to balance his work duties with his schoolwork. His grades suffered, but he kept the faith that he could become one of the few graduates in his family. He says that he wanted to make his hard-working mother proud of him. In nine months Dominic raised his GPA a full grade level by working extra with his teachers, and he graduated this year from South Side High School.

Imani Robinson
Imani graduated this year with an International Baccalaureate Degree from South Side High School, the only school in Northeast Indiana to offer the IB program. She maintained a good Grade Point Average in her honors-level high school courses, and she completed a dual enrollment course in Government at Trine University. Imani has been accepted at the University of St. Francis where she plans to continue studying in her chosen field which is Art. She has worked in Anime, starting her own business “RVision” while still in high school. She has already had her first individual art show in a gallery at South Side, and she’s had her work displayed at Artlink in Fort Wayne.

Josephine Serrani
Josephine graduated this year from Bishop Luers High School and has been admitted to Marian University in Indianapolis to pursue a degree in Psychology. The Social Studies Department head at Luers wrote in his letter of recommendation that Josephine not only did well in her studies but was also energized in her extra-curricular activities including Show Choir. He said that “What stands out to me are all the ways she finds to work for others.”

In her excellent personal essay Josephine wrote about the ways that, in helping others in an assisted living setting, she was able to step into their shoes and see what it was like to be them—both before and after they started needing help. She should do well in Psychology, and we encourage her to keep writing.

Kaylah Stevenson
Kaylah graduated last month with honors from Concordia Lutheran High School. Along with maintaining her own high grade point average, she tutored other students and was a leader with Concordia’s Koinonia service club. Through her volunteer work, she learned that she had a natural ability to teach and to help people with learning and other disabilities. This fall she will be attending Ball State University, majoring in Education with a focus on Special Education.

I am so proud to be able to recognize all of these scholars, and I want to thank all of the parent figures in their lives who helped guide them along on their paths to success.

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Richard A. Stevenson - Wayne Township Trustee

Wayne Township Trustee Rick Stevenson was elected Trustee in November of 2006 and took office in January of 2007. He is very passionate about helping those in need and considers it a privilege to be in a position to be able to help. > Read Full Biography > More Articles Written By This Writer