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The 19th annual African American Youth Achievement Awards (AAYA) ceremony was held on Feb. 26 at Evanston Township High School. Two African American students from each District 65 school and two from each grade level at Evanston Township High School were recognized for their daily actions that pay homage to the visions and legacy of African American pioneers. The 38 students who were honored excelled in one of the following categories: character, leadership, civility, scholarship, community service and sportsmanship.
The honorees from District 65 are Nya Hopson and Juwan Perry (Bessie Rhodes); Desiree Bond and William Campbell (Dawes); Alissa Washington and Michael Washington (Dewey); Lauryn Gray and Zachary Henderson (King Arts); Savannah Hill and DaRon Wilson (Kingsley); Aiyana Johnson and Payton Wisely (Lincoln); Branden Quire and Aniah Roddy (Lincolnwood); Izayah Carr and Skylar York (Oakton); Carly Johnson and Joshua Thomas (Orrington); Kayla Barnett and Caron Walker (Walker); Malachi Barrett and Sadaya Deeble (Washington); Asia Daniel and Isaiah Thompson (Willard); Shyanne Williams and Stephon Frost (Chute); Shanice Greene and Ethan Thuo (Haven); and Izequiel Freitas and Kayla Henning (Nichols).
The honorees from ETHS are Aliyah Bryant and Cahlil Jackson-Chapple (Grade 9); Anthony Coore, Jr. and Tianna Henry (Grade 10); Marcus Lane and Tamera Young (Grade 11); and Jaalen Banner and Ktyah Point-du-jour (Grade 12).
As part of the AAYA program, the Living Legend-Trailblazer Award honors African American Evanstonians for their leadership and community contributions that encourage and inspire African American youth. The 2016 recipient of the Living Legend-Trailblazer Award is Robert “Bob” Reece.
The AAYA program is part of a Black History Month initiative and was sponsored by the City of Evanston; Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Inc.; Evanston North Shore Alumnae Chapter; Family Focus Evanston; First Bank and Trust; Joe “Butch” Martin Fund, McGaw YMCA, Northwestern University; NAACP; and Shorefront, in conjunction with Evanston/Skokie School District 65 and ETHS School District 202.