ICGR awards honor 18 Henrico students

Photo courtesy of Stephanie Garr Adams


Eighteen Henrico County students were among the 49 high school students honored earlier this month at the Interfaith Council of Greater Richmond’s 44th Annual Brotherhood Sisterhood Youth Award ceremony for their demonstration of strong volunteer efforts and other leadership and character qualities. The ceremony was held at the River Road Baptist Church in Henrico.

The Henrico students honored were:

• Sean M. Mullen of Benedictine High School, who was praised for relating well to others and interacting with a variety of different groups. Mullen, a nominator said, makes friends without regard to race, gender or religion. “His calm demeanor helps him in defusing potential confrontations and in making all students feel as an integral part of the Corps. Participating in Walk for Wheels, Matt assists mentally challenged students in riding bicycles and volunteers with The Salvation Army. 

• Jasmine Turner of the Collegiate School, who was recognized for her positive attitude and respect of other’s opinions. Turner belongs to the executive board of the Mosaic Diversity Club and the Collegiate Community Service Council and participates in the Youth Leadership Council at Riverview Baptist Church. She is the 2010 -2011 National Convener for the American Baptist Girl’s Leadership Team.

• Deep Run High School’s Kayla Pfab, who serves as president of the school’s Peer Helpers and Best Buddies organizations. The latter is a group that assists students with disabilities at the school. Pfab is a peer mediator and known for her efforts to facilitate compromise in challenging situations. She has won the “Above and Beyond” Award at Henrico Doctors’ Hospital for volunteer work in Nuclear Medicine and the ER.

• Charles W. Avery of Douglas Freeman High School, who has worked as a swim coach for Special Olympics for the past three years and has also organized a fundraiser for Special Olympics that raised $2,900. As a Youth Activation Committee member, he acted to help eliminate negative language and labels as people interact with others with mental and physical disabilities.

• Tyra Z. Beaman of Henrico High School, who has been actively involved with Student Congress and served as president of her freshman, sophomore and junior classes. Beaman serves in several leadership positions and mentors freshmen and middle-school students. She is working to set up a program at the school to help students who have had conflicts with the law make an easier transition to their school community.

• Hermitage High School’s Moffett K. Beaumont, who has been described as the “calm voice of reason,” especially when using humor and good sense to explain difficult concepts to special-needs students. She was cited for her upbeat and helpful attitude toward others and her ability to make friends from all walks of life. She volunteers at CARITAS at her church, as a camp counselor for Cub Scouts and Acolyte at her church.

• Hermitage Technical Center’s Jomin Mujar, who was recognized for his pleasant, cheerful disposition and for his key role in the auto technology class, during which he helps other students understand that difficult situations can be handled in an appropriate manner. He also leads the worship band and mentors his peers at church to help them overcome pressures they face.

• Highland Springs High School’s Ashley Fay Smith, who was cited for her empathy towards people with special needs, especially children. She volunteers at the Peter Paul Development Center and in city schools and serves as a role model and mentor for others.

• Raschell Parker of Highland Springs Technical Center, who is described as a compassionate, helpful mentor who assists students with special needs and students adjusting to American schools. She is active in her church’s youth and adult choirs, is vice president of DECA at the Tech Center and is a member of several school organizations. She has an “A” average academically.

• John Randolph Tucker High School’s Shailaja “Shelly” Parekh, who is described as a mature person who can see both sides of a situation. A nominator wrote that she has a giving heart and has devoted countless hours to her community through volunteer efforts with the school and community. 

• Marjan Aghaebrahim of Mills Godwin High School, who is described as a friend to all and a warm, kind, gentle and giving person who goes beyond the call of duty to help others. She volunteers with the elderly who do not have any family.

• Northstar Academy’s Kelly Scott Robinson, who regularly defuses confrontations and helps others to do the same, a nominator wrote. She is described as a compassionate person who respects the physical and educational limitations of others. She has assisted students in the Effective Ministries program, volunteered at Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden and has participated in the feeding program at St. Peter’s Baptist Church.

• Saint Gertrude High School’s Alexandra Wyatt, who is described as approachable and caring, a respected member of the peer counseling and mediation club “Spreading Positive Attitudes Among Peers.” She earned 263 hours of community service and received the Bon Secours Hospital Community Service award. 

• Elizabeth Dalton Baril of St. Catherine’s School, who, as an advisor to freshmen and new students, often reaches out to the “kid on the outside,” her nominator wrote. She has formed an interfaith “Coffee Talk” club at school and tutors at Oak Grove Elementary School.  She is active in the S.G.Komen Race for the cure of breast cancer and in her church youth group. She also participates in mission trips and attended the People to People Conference in Europe.

• St. Christopher’s School’s Patrick Hawley English, who is described as kind and compassionate with a commitment to serving others. He mentors a middle school student and has the respect and support of his classmates, his nominator wrote. On a mission trip to Tanzania, Matt was a co-leader to the MADE mentoring program, working on the school building, connecting with the children and teaching them games.

• The Academy at Virginia Randolph’s Lamont Wiggins, who is known by faculty, staff and peers for his sense of responsibility, loyalty and dedication. He takes an active initiative in school service as well as community service projects through his family church. He surrounds himself with positive people and does not compromise his high standards of character and behavior, focusing instead on his academic and post-graduate career.

• The Steward School’s James “Jake” Rowe, who serves as co-president of the school’s Diversity Club and has been chosen to speak as an advocate for different people on controversial subjects. Also a year-round swimmer, he has performed community service in art with underprivileged children and with seniors who have Alzheimer’s.  He is an active voice on diversity issues in independent schools, as well as a spokesperson for the art department at his school.

• Varina High School’s Madison Anderson, who is described as a true leader at her school. She is described as having a “can-do” attitude and is involved with forensics, key club, history club, peer helpers, drama, honor societies, SGA, Student Congress and the book club, in addition to serving as the volleyball team manager.
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As part of the 2016-17 Bryan Innovation Lab Visiting Innovators Program, The Steward School is hosting Leah Buechley, an inventor and educator in the Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) movement. The program is “Beautiful Technology: Blending high tech with traditional craft to bring programming off of our screens and into our hands.” While on campus, Ms. Buechley will participate in activities that are free and open to the Richmond community, including an afternoon Maker Fair and an evening lecture and discussion. Participants will learn about cutting-edge tools and future trends of interactive wearable technology. Buechley will share her insights as a female entrepreneur developing products that are accessible to anyone interested in designing and building their own inventions. The Maker Fair, a family-friendly event with hands-on activities and guest exhibitors, will start at 3:15 p.m. The lecture and discussion will start at 5:30 p.m. Registration is recommended for all events at https://stewardschool.org/beautiful-technology. Full text

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