Mayor Fischer to honor Outstanding High School Seniors
Mayor Greg Fischer tonight will honor 46 public, private and Catholic school students who have excelled in and out of the classroom during the annual Kentucky Lottery Outstanding High School Seniors Award at Iroquois Amphitheater.
“These 46 young men and women we’re celebrating have outstanding achievements to their names, thanks to their character and dedication to their community,” the Mayor said. “Each one has the potential to make a real, positive impact on this community and beyond.”
This year’s recipients include immigrants from Sudan, Venezuela, Tanzania, Thailand and other countries, along with students who have overcome illness, personal struggles, disabilities and behavioral issues to achieve success.
The students include National Honor Society members, Governor’s Scholars, Black Student Union members, BETA Club members and others who have excelled in the arts and on the sports field. Nearly all the students have plans for a post-secondary education.
All have contributed to their community through service work, including several involved in the Mayor’s Give A Day Celebration of Service and other local non-profit organizations.
The city is honored to have Kentucky Lottery as its partner for this great award. Mary Harville, President and CEO of Kentucky Lottery Corp. stated, “These students are the primary reason I really enjoy my job. Proceeds from lottery sales in Kentucky have funded more than $4 billion in scholarships and grants.”
Dr. Marty Pollio, Superintendent of Jefferson County Public Schools and Mary Beth Bowling, Superintendent of the Archdiocese of Louisville, will attend and address the students.
Principals and guidance counselors at public, private and Catholic schools throughout Louisville nominated the students for the award, which will be presented in a ceremony beginning at 6 p.m. this evening at Iroquois Amphitheater.
Jeffery "Shane" Mack
Ahrens Work Transition Program
This young man is a positive individual who makes everyone around him feel good. Shane has overcome challenges related to being on the autism spectrum. He has increased his ability to communicate and advocate for his needs in work and community settings. He is a valuable team member at the Zappos Fulfillment Center, is involved in the Special Olympics of Kentucky and volunteers for many organizations such as the Cathedral Assumption Lunch Program, Norton and UofL hospitals and the Louisville Zoo.
Alfred Binet School
Jasmin, a star student at Binet, has autism which makes it difficult for her to communicate in the same manner as many of her peers. She has overcome this difficulty to show all those around her that she is a smart, capable woman who will have a great impact on her community. Jasmin volunteers with the Girl Scouts of America and is a part of her school’s Black Student Union. She would like to work in a nail salon or on a bus.
Assumption High School
Sydney is one of the top students at Assumption High School. She is an involved and passionate student academically and is also accomplished in her activities and service – she is even a published author. Her book, “A Kid's Guide to Understanding Epilepsy,” was published by the Norton Children's Hospital Foundation. Driven by her sister's experience of living with epilepsy, Sydney wants to study biology with a goal of becoming a neurologist.
Atherton High School
Despite having faced the hardships of a car accident resulting in a broken shoulder, Brian is an incredible student and highly involved in his school. He is a Kentucky Governor's Scholar, outstanding band member, lacrosse captain and an activist ambassador with Educational Justice. Brian hopes to pursue a degree in architecture.
Ballard High School
Maker is a student from the Sudan and came to the United States his sophomore year. Maker spent his freshman year in an orphanage in Ghana after his parents were killed in a war. He is a leader at Ballard High School and the student body admires him for his character. He is constantly working with teachers after school and over the summer to improve his English abilities. Maker will attend the University of Missouri Kansas City, where he will be on a basketball scholarship and major in engineering.
Bethlehem High School
Gabrielle has taken the most rigorous curriculum and been able to maintain a 4.0 cumulative GPA while being a dynamite starting volleyball player and senior retreat leader and participating in over 100 community service hours. She has volunteered with many organizations including Feeding America, Love the Hungry and Louisville’s St. Joseph Fish Fry. She will be attending Christendom College in Virginia where she will continue to play volleyball.
Breckinridge Metropolitan High School
This young woman started at Breckinridge one semester before the COVID-19 pandemic and has spent most of her high school career in NTI. Despite the challenges, Shamarei set her goals high with the return to in-person learning and she did not falter. She will be graduating a whole year early. Shamarei will attend Eastern Kentucky University and work toward a degree in fashion design.
Butler Traditional High School
Amelia is not only an outstanding student, but also a fantastic cheerleader who has accomplished many great things. She is vice president of the National Honor Society, in the Beta Club, Kentucky Youth Assembly and Kentucky United Nations Assembly. She is on the Honor Roll and varsity cheerleading team and has been awarded the Best Attitude Award and the 110% Award in cheerleading. She plans to attend Eastern Kentucky University and major in math with a minor in the arts.
Da J Cameron
Central High School
Da J works hard to maintain high grades and a good job while helping to care for her siblings. She is the president of the Central High School National Honor Society, has been consistently on the Honor Roll, and participates in an apprenticeship at Mortenson Family Dental. She is a member of positive groups such as Ladies of Leadership and has received many recognitions including the Spectrum1 News High School Scholar Award. She plans to attend Western Kentucky University to major in biology before coming back to Louisville to attend dental school at UofL.
Christian Academy of Louisville
This young man gives his time and effort not only to excelling in his studies, but also in serving others. Payton is valedictorian of his class, a Governor’s Scholar Program participant, and AP scholar. He represents his class on student council and volunteers his time to work with the Louisville Parks & Recreation Department as well as tutor ESL students. After high school, Payton plans to attend the United States Air Force Academy.
Churchill Park School
Ryan is extremely social and loves to interact with peers and adults during the school day. He has grown tremendously in his time at Churchill Park School and has improved his ability to work on tasks for extended periods of time. He participates in the Special Olympics as well as a Young Empowered Self-Advocacy Group. Ryan’s goal is to attend an adult day program learning communication skills and self-advocacy in the workplace to be able to obtain volunteer work opportunities.
DeSales High School
This young man does not let the obstacles he has faced in his life hold him back – he finds the good in all. He is a member of the honors program at DeSales, has been taking AP courses since freshman year, and plans to attend Bellarmine University. Bobby has volunteered with several groups, including Dare to Care, Louisville Kling Center, Gates of Hope Farms, and he is a DeSales High School Ambassador.
Doss High School
This young woman is a first-generation college student with plans to attend an in-state college and pursue a degree in business. She is involved in multiple school clubs, is a peer mentor, and participates in the co-op program while maintaining a 4.0 GPA. Diamondique has perfect attendance and is in organizations such as the Black Student Union, orchestra and Ladies of Leadership.
duPont Manual High School
Emma is an excellent student who goes out of her way to be accepting and inclusive of all. She is a student who will see others sitting alone at lunch and go out of her way to join them. In December of 2020, Emma organized a Secret Santa gift drop-off to lift the spirits of other students. She is an active member of the school’s yearbook and is an AP scholar. She is valedictorian of her class and plans to attend college to major in political science and attend law school.
Ruby Cross Smith
Eastern High School
This is a young woman who is a natural born leader in her class. As senior class vice president, a founding member of the Girls Who Code club, and part of the yearbook committee, Ruby knows how to lead and be a team player! Ruby helped organize Eastern High School’s holiday caravan and was a recipient of the Yarmuth Book Award. She plans to attend the University of Louisville and major in history, with the hope one day to work in a museum.
Fairdale High School
As Student Ambassador, Mindfulness Ambassador, as well as a member of student government, Mazie is well-respected by all her peers. She is hard-working inside and outside the classroom. She has volunteered with groups like Dare to Care and raised $13,000 for Shirley’s Way. She is captain of her volleyball, softball and basketball teams. Mazie will be attending Bellarmine University to pursue a degree in nursing and eventually achieve a PhD in nursing.
Fern Creek High School
Isaac came alone to the United States from war-torn Africa and experienced many hardships. He worked hard to learn a new language and to be successful. Isaac has faced many difficulties in his life including his father recently going blind and the death of his sister, and yet all who meet him appreciate his kindness and work ethic. He is determined to go to college to pursue a business degree, play basketball and have a successful life.
Georgia Chaffee TAPP
Alexia has maintained an exceptional focus on academic coursework while facing many challenges. She is a responsible student who is living on her own and providing for her child. She is on the All “A” Honor Roll and received her Business Administrative Support Certification. She plans to attend Bellarmine University or Jefferson Community & Technical College and become a radiation therapist.
Holy Cross High School
Marco immigrated from Venezuela with his family prior to his freshman year. He is an AP Scholar and has received several academic awards including the Yarmuth Book Award and Corporate Internship Award. Marco plans to attend Bellarmine University where he will pursue a biochemistry degree for pharmacy.
Iroquois High School
Basir has risen to and exceeded success with the learning of English. He supports his younger siblings by mentoring them with their academics, ensuring that they take advantage of the opportunities as he has through high school. He is a member of the Engineering & STEM Student Club and on the All “A” Honor Roll 2021. He plans to attend the University of Louisville and pursue mechanical engineering.
J. Graham Brown School
Kamryn is a leader, scholar, athlete, and an activist. She is an AP student on the Honor Roll, a senior seminar member and the photo editor for the school’s yearbook. She works just as hard outside of school as she does in it. Kamryn is involved with Teen Council, Black Student Union and Black Achievers. She plans on becoming a traveling nurse, combining her passion for education on reproductive rights with ensuring racial equity for Black women in the health-care field.
Jeffersontown High School
She has overcome much adversity in her home life and is an exceptional student on Honor Roll and in the Marine Corps JROTC. As a senior cadet, Rushna is a leader in the Marine Corps ROTC program. She plans to attend college and pursue nursing.
Kentucky Country Day
This young woman is a wonderful student, being in the top 5% of her class. She is involved in an array of extracurriculars including orchestra, archery club, Speech Team, and is even working on earning her pilot’s license. Despite a family member’s serious illness which caused Graesyn tremendous stress, she has persevered and remained an extraordinary student and member of her community.
Liberty High School
Nikayla has had to deal with the extreme hardships of homelessness and struggled with virtual learning during the pandemic. With the reopening of schools, Nikayla came back with almost perfect attendance and terrific grades. She was also a contributor to the 2022 KMAC Couture Show. Nikayla has proven that all students can overcome obstacles and can garner self-achievement. She plans to begin a career working immediately after high school and continuing her hobby in singing.
Louisville Collegiate School
Ehku came to the United States at age 4 as a refugee from Thailand. During his senior year, he was in a very serious car accident that resulted in him being in a coma for three weeks. Despite this, he has an unwavering positivity and understands deeply the power of education. He is looking forward to attending Berea College and studying economics.
Louisville Male High School
Lisa has faced pressure from discrimination and stereotyping throughout her life as a young Indian American person. This pressure led to a decline in her mental health, which Lisa learned to overcome through her faith, journaling, and art therapy. Lisa plans to attend the University of Louisville and major in bioengineering.
Marion C. Moore High School
This young woman is the Ladies Lead Moore president, on the Honor Roll, and was awarded Art Student of the Year. Keyona has been in foster care from a very young age. She is an extremely resilient individual and doesn't shy away from the next challenge. She plans to attend the University of Louisville and major in interior design. She also plans to pursue her real estate license to sell properties.
Though this young woman considers herself to be introverted, she challenges herself consistently by participating in community service through her church youth group. She also pushes herself by taking on the role of senior house system leader and archery team captain. Nora excels academically by taking AP courses, being a part of both the Spanish and English National Honor Societies and maintaining a 4.0 GPA. Nora will be attending the University of Wyoming to study criminal justice and psychology and hopes to one day work for the FBI.
She arrived in the United States in April 2020 from Tanzania. Not only did she lack proficiency in English, but she also had no experience with computers. She rapidly distinguished herself as a leader in her community and in the classroom. She recently spoke to a panel of potential funders at Justice Fest and demonstrated great composure. Esperance has a fierce desire to learn English as quickly as she can and wants to move on to higher education, with the hope of becoming a health care professional.
Pleasure Ridge Park High School
This young man is a positive leader in his community. He is a leader in varsity soccer and volunteers as a camp counselor. He is on the Honor Roll and plans to attend college to study public relations or marketing. Kamari wishes to use his college degree to work for a non-profit or in hospitality management.
Portland Christian School
Mary serves at Westport Road Baptist Church across many ages and stages of her congregation and traveled to Thailand as the youngest member of the mission team. She models upright Christian character while being warm, gentle, kind and encouraging. Mary has lost three grandparents to cancer, and her journey through grief and her personal self-expression through poetry has shaped her to confront those losses and turn them into something inspiring and beautiful.
Alexandra Garcia Lopez
Alexandra is a first-generation student in her family, and being bilingual, she acts as a translator for her relatives. She strives to excel academically and constantly volunteers her time to help others. She volunteers for many organizations like La Casita Center, soup kitchens, and the Mayfield Tornado Relief Collections.
Sacred Heart Academy
Sarah has a subtle way of making her presence known, which makes her an extremely effective leader within the classroom. She has excelled in athletics as a member of track and cross country, a gymnastics coach volunteer, and receiving recognition in Academic All-State archery, cross-country, cheerleading, and field hockey. Sarah has been accepted into the Navy ROTC program at Vanderbilt University.
St. Francis School
Not only is she the top student in her class, Ayda is also a varsity athlete in basketball, field hockey and tennis. She is an outspoken advocate for women and the marginalized, and a leader in the Multicultural Student Association, passionate about diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging work. She is also a very talented writer. She is waiting to hear from the Ivy League colleges she has applied for and already has been accepted at the University of Michigan. Ayda plans to major in engineering.
Saint Xavier High School
This young man has thrived as a leader both inside and outside the classroom. Dre struggled academically with a learning difference but persevered coming in early and staying late, never meeting a challenge he couldn’t handle. He received the Football Leadership Award and is a youth football mentor for the Louisville Jaguars. Dre will attend the University of the Cumberlands and play football. His long-term goals are to become an entrepreneur to impact lower-income communities.
Seneca High School
After being home-schooled her entire childhood, Hayley joined the freshman class at Seneca High School. While she first was very nervous and worried that she would not be able to handle the advanced program at Seneca, Hayley now ranks No. 2 in her entire class with a GPA of 4.2. She plans to attend Bellarmine University to major in psychology and become an art therapist.
Southern High School
Adreonna is not only an exceptional student, but a positive role model for her school. Knowing the challenges of the past two years, she developed a mental-health check-up text that grew to include over 200 people. She has participated in a variety of organizations such as the Black Student Union, Key Club, Student Council and Justice Now. She has been president of both the Black Student Union and Student Council. Adreonna plans to go to the University of Kentucky and major in biology with plans to work in genetic counseling.
The Academy of Shawnee
Luke is a focused and driven student who has received many academic achievements and recognitions, including Honor Roll, 2020 Rising Scholar Recognition, National Society of High School Scholars and the Superintendent’s Student Advisory Council. He is a leader in the school’s NJROTC Unit, and assists in teaching younger cadets about drill, physical training, and all aspects of NJROTC. Luke plans to attend Eastern Kentucky University where he will major in aeronautics/aviation/aerospace science and technology so that he can go into commercial aviation.
The Phoenix School of Discovery
Sydney is a student with an exceptional work ethic and contributes to her school in many positive ways. She helped with the Aspen Challenge in creating a school plan to help students stop vaping. She contributes her artwork to the school community on the morning announcements and in school art and door decoration competitions. She has also won awards for technology in the Student Technology Leadership Program story-telling competition.
Trinity High School
Favio is a fantastic student who has received the Trinity Shamrock Award, is on the Honor Roll and the Principal’s List, and volunteers with youth groups as well as Hand in Hand Ministries. In 2021, his family suffered a catastrophic house fire; fortunately, no one was hurt, but they lost everything. Despite this, Favio has worked to maintain his high GPA and stay involved in his school and community.
Valley High School
Nation is ranked No. 1 in her senior class, is an Honor Roll student and a positive leader within her church. Despite being hospitalized the first semester of her freshman year, Nation worked hard to make up all the work she missed during her second semester and stayed on the Honor Roll. She plans to attend the University of Kentucky and pursue a degree in elementary education.
Abdulrahman Al Ezzi
Waggener High School
Abdul maintains a GPA of 3.98 and has earned Honor Roll recognition every year of high school. He recently received the Innovation Award from Waggener's IT/Law Academy and earned NCEER certification through electrical technician courses during his sophomore year. He volunteers in his community through a local mosque, where he has been a member for many years. Abdul works with a landscaping team to clean up and beautify outdoor spaces around the mosque and in the surrounding community.
Mitchell is a deep thinker who is a creative and compassionate leader. He is a very talented artist whose paintings have been honored both regionally and nationally. He has a strong desire to work for change and uses his art to make an impact on the world. Along with his artistic achievements, Mitchell is in the National Honor Society, an AP scholar, Environmental Club president and a member of varsity tennis and soccer.
Western High School
Imani is a student who has grown tremendously over her high school career. She is in the top of her class, is always around to help others, and volunteers within her community. Though she has struggled with the hardships of poverty, she has risen to the challenge by excelling in her schoolwork and working diligently to earn several college scholarships. Imani plans to attend Northern Kentucky University and study history and secondary education.
Chloe is ranked No. 1 in her class and has over 100 community service hours. She is a true leader who has a passion for both her city and her education. She is a Governor’s Scholar and class president. She has volunteered with groups like Operation Christmas Child, NHS Blood Drive, the Veteran’s Day program, and Vacation Bible School.
Youth Performing Arts School
Isabel is a positive asset to the school’s dance team and maintains good grades in her college-level courses. She is the vice president of the Dance National Honor Society. During her senior year, Isabel fractured her back, but she kept her grades high and did alternative assignments in dance classes. Through all of this she maintained her positive attitude. She plans to pursue her interest in environmental science in college.