Youth awards honor 17 from Henrico

These students were among 17 from Henrico honored recently by the ICGR.

Honorees from 45 area public and private schools joined with parents, educators, and community leaders Feb. 12 for the 48th Annual Brotherhood Sisterhood Youth Awards program, sponsored by the Interfaith Council of Greater Richmond (ICGR) and held at River Road Baptist Church.

Keynote speaker Jonathan C. Zur, CEO and President of the Virginia Center for Inclusive Communities, led the gathering of educators, parents, and community leaders in congratulating award winners. Among students recognized for their excellence of character, efforts on behalf of social and cultural justice, and desire to help others overcome prejudice and discrimination were 17 Henrico County seniors.

At The Collegiate School, Adriana Soria-Hawkinson developed a project with Oak Grove-Bellmeade Elementary School’s Hispanic population, pairing Collegiate Spanish- speaking students with Hispanic children for purposes of tutoring, mentoring, and providing enriching excursions in the Richmond area. In addition, Adriana spent last summer working in an orphanage in China caring for terminally ill children with disabilities, and has served as a mentor to a child with autism for more than four years.

Morgan Howard of Henrico H.S. was instrumental in the reincarnation of Henrico’s LGBQT student organization, “Safe Zone," which is designed to unify students from all backgrounds and ethnicity, regardless of sexual orientation. She also is active in the Ecology Club, serves as president of the Drama Club, and created a program entitled “Gender Stereotypes” for the Virginia Center for Inclusive Communities.

As a school counseling aide, Lindsay Crytzer often gives tours to new students who transfer to Glen Allen H.S., going out of her way to welcome them and take a genuine interest in them. Since entering GAHS, she has been active with “Circle of Friends,” a lunch inclusion group with exceptional education students; she also helps the students during their physical education classes, playing games with them and getting them involved in the class.

Chelsea Ofori of Hermitage High School is a member of several national honor societies and has volunteered for the Christmas Mother and Habitat for Humanity as well as at the Richmond Folk Festival, Glen Allen Library, the Monument Avenue 10k, and Henrico Doctor's Hospital. An aspiring pediatrician, she also plays on the soccer and field hockey teams and serves as SCA secretary.

Caroline P. Forrest of Douglas S. Freeman High School "lives every day embodying The Golden Rule," say her nominators. "She treats all students at school with the same kind courtesy she extends to her teachers [and] reaches out to reserved students to make sure the student feels included." She spends mornings and study periods tutoring students struggling to learn a foreign language, and as a freshman was nominated by her peers to receive the “Rachel’s Challenge Award."

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A member of the school's Mentoring Club and "Do Something Club," Qiana Williams of Highland Springs Technical Center is known for her rapport with others of diverse backgrounds and for her ability to "speak peace" during confrontational conversations in class. As a student worker in the Springer Preschool Academy, she displays sensitivity, patience and compassion, especially with preschoolers who need extra attention because of limited abilities.

Hannah Emery, a veterinary student at Hermitage Technical Center, volunteers with exceptional education students and at the veterinary Summer Fun program for middle schoolers; she is also proficient in sign language and works with deaf students. In addition to serving
as president of the Animal Care Club and as chaplain for the Health Occupations Students of America (HOSA) chapter, she is a member of the National Technical Ethics Society and the International Thespian Society.

At Highland Springs H.S., Jamilah Wesley is known for her personable nature, dedication to studies, and her activism in both sports and community service. A member of Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA) and the student council, she volunteers her time outside of school at health and rehabilitation centers, and was selected to represent HSHS at Henrico County's Student Congress.

As the "inspirational" leader of the theatre group at Deep Run H.S., Jordan Levine is always first to engage with new members, including those with special needs. She motivates her fellow cast and crew members by sharing quotes or poems and encouraging others to do the same, and is known for her calm and mature attitude in resolving conflicts as well as for the example she sets in truly caring about her peers.

Bethannie Workman of Godwin H.S., say her nominators, sees the good in everyone and always displays a positive attitude. She gives up her study hall period twice weekly to work with intellectually challenged students in their math class and is also a peer helper. A singer in Musical Illusions, a select chorus ensemble, she is said to have a perpetual smile on her face and to show "nothing but support and kindness to all of her classmates."

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Calling her "a poster child for both Varina H.S. and any college admissions board," Cheyanne Woodard's nominators cite her moral compass, work ethic, volunteer efforts and "maturity beyond her years" among her many positive traits. A member of Teachers for Tomorrow and the Naval Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps, Cheyanne is known for her passion for leading by example and advocating for the less fortunate, which includes mission work in Honduras and volunteer projects with church and Girl Scouts.

At Northstar Academy, Chris Burruss works every day as an aide in the lower school, assisting with math tutoring. He is a social coach at lunch and often works one-on-one with young students having difficulty with friends; he excels at calming students who are upset or angry and at including students who might feel isolated. Chris is also a peer mentor and social coach for a classmate with special needs who lives in his community.

Malik VanBrussel of Tucker High School is praised for leading by example both on the football field and on campus. Recognized by his teammates with the Leadership/Sacrifice award and selected as an offensive MVP, he mentors younger players and is equally passionate about cheering on his team as about getting back into the game. Malik also is considered one of the most approachable mentors in his volunteer work with special needs students through the Circle of Friends.

A four-year leader of Trinity Episcopal School's Unite Club, Matthew Whiting enjoys being a peacemaker and celebrating and embracing differences among multiple cultures, religions, races, sexes and sexual orientations. In addition to co-hosting the school’s Diversity Dialogue Day and inviting students from other schools, he sings with the Tri-Tones, Trinity’s a cappella group, and serves as his school’s historian.

Henrietta X. Clarke is co-head of the Gay Straight Alliance at St. Catherine’s School and known for being open-minded, non-judgmental, patient and compassionate. She also belongs to the Feminism Club and the robotics team, volunteers at the Essex County Animal Shelter, and earned a Bronze Medal in the National Spanish Exam.

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For the past four years, Carolyn Marie DeCredico of The Steward School has tutored and mentored refugee children from Burundi and guided them through their transition to a new country, while helping her parents raise funds to support the families. Despite struggling with a learning difference, she has excelled academically and has founded her school's Glee Club and a Capella Club. She exhibits a passion for service and an empathy for children with special needs and learning challenges.

As a member of the Islamic faith, Zaid Salim Al-Moghrabi enjoys sharing his culture and background with peers and teachers at St. Christopher’s School, as well as learning about Christian traditions. Having first come to the U.S. from Jordan as an exchange student at New Kent H.S., he uses his background to help other students realize that differences between Islam and Christianity are significantly less than is popularly believed. He also tutors high school and middle school students in English, coaches youth soccer, serves as head editor of the yearbook, and has received a certificate from the U.S. State Department for completing more than 200 hours of community service.

Al-Moghrabi, DeCredico and Levine also were among Henrico winners of the third-annual Essay Challenge, which awarded scholarships to honorees. DeCredico's essay earned a third place award, and Al-Moghrabi and Levine received honorable mentions.
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Henrico Master Gardener training program accepting applications through Oct. 27


The Henrico County Office of Virginia Cooperative Extension is accepting applications for its next volunteer Master Gardener training program, which provides instruction in all aspects of horticulture.

Applications for the 2018 training program will be accepted through Friday, Oct. 27. Classes will be held from 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays from Jan. 16 through March 22. > Read more.

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The event, to be held from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Fairfield branch library, is designed to attract potential full-time and substitute registered nurses, instructional assistants, bus drivers and school nutrition workers. > Read more.

Henrico Police to participate in ‘Tip a Cop’ Oct. 21


Henrico County Police Division and the Virginia Division of Capitol Police are participating in “Tip-A-Cop” to Support the Special Olympics Saturday, Oct. 21.

From 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. and 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. that day at Red Robin, 11784 West Broad Street, members of the two agencies will be working for tips as a donation to the Special Olympics. > Read more.

Participants sought for ‘Walk to End Alzheimer’s’


The Richmond Walk to End Alzheimer’s will be held Saturday, Nov. 4, at Markel Plaza in Innsbrook, and the Alzheimer's Association of Greater Richmond is seeking participants.

The event, one of three walks the association will hold in its service area this year (the Middle Peninsula-Northern Neck walk was held Oct. 7 and the Fredericksburg walk Oct. 14) raises money to help the association fight the disease, which affects more than 26,000 people in the metro Richmond region. > Read more.

Fairfield meeting Oct. 25 to focus on cybersecurity


Henrico County Board of Supervisors Vice Chairman and Fairfield District Supervisor Frank J. Thornton will hold a constituent meeting Wednesday, Oct. 25 to discuss cybersecurity.

Thornton also has invited candidates who will be seeking election to local offices on Tuesday, Nov. 7 to introduce themselves. > Read more.

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Lifepoint Church Richmond will host a free Trunk or Treat event for the community immediately following the 11:30 a.m. service at Glen Allen High School, 10700 Staples Mill Rd. Children are invited to wear their costumes and take part in the inflatables, food and games. For details, call 540-786-5111 or email .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Full text

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