GREATER GRAND CROSSING — Raymon Grove, 13, said he was so excited to receive his achievement award that he couldn’t sleep Sunday night.
On Monday afternoon, eight students from four different schools in the 6th Ward were awarded the Outstanding Achievement Award by the nonprofit Gathering Point Community Council.
Two students from each school were nominated at the ceremony, which was held at the New Life Covenant Church Annex, 7757 S. Greenwood Ave. The schools were Robeson High School, Park Manor Elementary School, Deneen Elementary and Wentworth Elementary School. Other awards included the community service award and the Life Time Achievement award, which went to former Sen. Roland Burris. He was unable to attend.
Students Grove and Bre’Anna Triplette both attend Wentworth Elementary School.
“When I learned that I was getting the award, I felt so excited that I couldn’t sleep,” Grove, an eighth grade honor student said.
Triplette, also an eighth grader, said she already has a place in mind for her plaque.
“I feel excited, I feel like it’s going to help push me to do even more things,” the Englewood resident said.
And that motivation was what the council had hoped would happen by acknowledging the students.
“We’re here to build up, not tear down our young people, who need to be uplifted,” said Richard Wooten, executive director of Gathering Point Community Council.
Guest speaker Dr. Donna S. Leak, superintendent of District 168 in Sauk Village, shared words of encouragement with the young listeners. Her journey wasn’t an easy one, she said, but she eventually found her “purpose” in life. Leak told the students to figure out what they enjoy doing and what they’re good at. That combination will bring them happiness.
“Let your dream bubble up, don’t let anyone box you up because you’re the only one who can live your dream,” Leak said, who received the Diamond Education Award.
The “Achieving the Dream” award ceremony took place for the second year on President’s Day during Black History Month.
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