Students from Evanston/Skokie school districts 65 and 202 were honored at the African-American Youth Achievement Awards program on February 21. Photo by Genie Lemieux, Evanston Photographic Studios

Evanston Township High School hosted the 23rd annual African-American Youth Achievement (AAYA) Awards to honor 37 African-American students from Evanston/Skokie public schools. These students were recognized on February 21, 2020, for their daily actions that pay homage to the visions and legacy of African-American pioneers.  

The AAYA program is part of a Black History Month initiative and was sponsored by the Ivy Pearl Foundation, Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Inc., Delta Chi Omega Chapter, Byline Bank, Chessmen, Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Inc., Evanston North Shore Alumnae Chapter, Evanston Community Bank & Trust, Family Focus Evanston, The Joe “Butch” Martin Fund, McGaw YMCA, NAACP, Northwestern University, Omega Pi Zeta of Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc., Hecky Powell, Shorefront, Gerri Sizemore, Soul Creations, Mary Wilkerson and in conjunction with Evanston/Skokie School District 65 and Evanston Township High School District 202.

2020 High School AAYA Recipients

Evanston Township High School: Darrion Coleman, Nemili Cooper, Trinity Jenkins, Soumia Kaltimi, Olu Logan, Grey Miller, Ba’niah Robinson and Celister Wright

2020 Middle School AAYA Recipients

Chute: Gabrielle Burnett and James Edward Green

Haven: Heaven Adams and Joseph Erner

Nichols: Makani Brocks and Damarion Timberlake

2020 Elementary and Magnet School AAYA Recipients

Bessie Rhodes: Josiah Hardy and Kara Taylor

Dawes: Ingrid Sylvestre

Dewey: Aneeya McCoy and Nicholas Williams

King Arts: Leela Gaede and Jacques Philippe

Kingsley: Zora Copeland and Kamden White

Lincoln: Makeda Hausman and Welcome Kaplan-Block

Lincolnwood: Nelson Mbangamoh and Ebony Turner

Oakton: Demarco Powell and Lyric Rogers

Orrington: Nathanael Beaubrun and Trinity Printis

Walker: Dillon Pompey and Vivian Solomon

Washington: Alexis Simon and Julian Travis

Willard: Sophia Asante and Darren Whitehead

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 2020 recipient of the Living Legend-Trailblazer Award is Rose Johnson.