Justin Wynn honorees, 2017.Photo courtesy of Genie Lemieux/Evanston Photographic Studios

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The Justin Wynn Fund 30th Annual Awards Brunch was held on May 7 at the Hilton/Orrington Evanston.  Each spring, the Fund honors two fourth grade students from each of the twelve District 65 schools. The 24 “Wynners” are selected by their teachers and administrators for demonstrating outstanding leadership, citizenship, and sportsmanship.  More than 295 people attended the brunch, including Mayor Elizabeth Tisdahl, Dr. Eric Witherspoon, and Ms. Joyce Bartz.

The 2017 Wynners are  Kendall Shelby and Ellis Thomas – Bessie Rhodes; Isabella Martinez and Nnamdi Ubawike – Dawes; Emilia De la Torre and Lamiya Hunt-Baiocchi – Dewey; Adanna Chira and Josephine Teoudoussia – King Arts; Naomi Alemayehu and Talia Polish – Kingsley; Steve Duroseau and Varsha Reddy – Lincoln; Austina Gallimore and Tristan Schultz – Lincolnwood; Jude Arellano and Sabine Batza – Oakton; Micah Cherkasky and Kylie O’Connor – Orrington; Emmanuel Ishimwe and Alba Vickers-Machado  – Walker; Kayjah Etyem and Nelson Chinedu Heck – Washington; and Owen McElhatton and Anna McQuade – Willard.

The Justin Wynn Fund was established in 1987 in loving memory of Justin Michael Wynn, who died in a swimming accident when he was nine-years-old.  From this tragedy, the Wynn family and friends founded The Justin Wynn Fund and later the Justin Wynn Leadership Academy with the mission to celebrate and nurture youth leaders by helping them develop a deep sense of self and responsibility for improving the Evanston community.