East Multnomah County students celebrated before community and council Tuesday evening
The city of Gresham honored a group of outstanding high schoolers during the annual Great Young Citizen Award ceremony Tuesday evening, March 6, in the Council Chambers.
The students, representing many schools within the community, were honored for their academic success, hours spent volunteering and commitment to supporting peers.
"Thank you for what you are doing in the community and schools," said Gresham Mayor Shane Bemis. "These are great, great kids."
The ceremony, which was attended by family and friends, allowed each student to thank those who helped them achieve success. They shook hands with the mayor and councilors, and went home with gift bags provided by local business partners. Dutch Bros gave $15 gift cards, while Office Depot put together backpacks with school supplies and $25 gift cards.
Recipients of the 2018/19 Great Young Citizen Awards are: n
Tiffany Jones, senior at Gresham High School. Jones was described as being a dedicated student-athlete and inspiration to her peers. She is the president of Key Club, volunteers throughout the community, competes with the tennis team and serves as the head drum major for the band.
"I want to thank everyone in this room," Jones said. "My goal is to inspire others as well." n
Ainsley Pate, senior at Barlow High School. Pate is the Associated Student Body president and talented tennis player. She volunteers at Adorned in Grace Bridal Shop and the Northwest Children's Outreach Food Box Program. She is a top academic performer at the school and has had a big impact on her peers. She is a member of Key Club and has competed in athletics throughout her time at the school.
"I want to thank my friends, family, and the staff at Barlow," Pate said. n
Sarah Ali, senior at Centennial High School. Ali is the city of Gresham Youth Advisory Council's chair, the Future Business Leaders of America Business Achievement award recipient, event manager for Human Trafficking Awareness, recipient of the Coca-Cola Foundation Scholarship and is one of the 2019 Coca-Cola Scholars. Ali is a first-generation American after her parents immigrated from Iraq.
"It's an honor to be standing next to such influential members of our community," Ali said. n
Jackson Arnold, senior at Reynolds High School. Arnold has dedicated himself to giving back to others. He is involved with the Sparrow Foundation to raise money for medically fragile children, volunteers with Special Olympics, and organized Reynolds High School's Living History Day to honor veterans. He also helmed a Polar Plunge group and served as an Outdoor School counselor.
"Thanks to my parents for always pushing me to do more in school," Arnold said. n
Jenna Tate, senior at Springwater Trail High School. Tate volunteers with Blanchet House and Saint Andre Bessette, feeding those-in-need programs. She organized the annual blood drive at the school and is heavily involved with student leadership. Tate participates in the school music program, served as editor in chief of the yearbook her junior year, and competed on the volleyball and soccer teams. She plans to attend Portland State University as a biology major.
"I'm very honored to receive this award," she said. "Thanks to friends and family for pushing me to be the best version of myself." n
Alandra Cabrera, senior at Rosemary Anderson High School. The staff at the school said Cabrera was an easy choice for their submission. She was described as kind, generous, patient and hardworking. Cabrera has volunteered with church groups since she was 12 years old, spending more than 1,000 hours as an educational assistant to third and fourth graders.
"It is a huge honor to receive this," she said. "I want to thank my mom because without her, I wouldn't be receiving this award." n
Alice Munoz, senior at Reynolds Learning Academy. Munoz is a member of the school's honor roll and described as hardworking, dedicated and willing to overcome any challenges. She volunteers at St. Aidan's Episcopal Church, and dreams of becoming an elementary school teacher so she can help influence students' lives in a positive way. She also was celebrated for her skill playing the violin and viola.
"It isn't just about going to school, but about what you do there," Munoz said. n
Natasha Winters, senior at Centennial Park School. Winters is a great student, being named to the honor roll every quarter since she was in middle school. She is popular among students and staff, bringing a smile to everyone. This past year she has also worked a paying job at the school, making sure to show up early and be diligent in her duties.
"Thank you for giving me this award," Winters said. "I've never had one before."
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