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Resolution Honoring the 2021 Student Heroes

Resolution Honoring the 2021 Student Heroes


WHEREAS the State Board of Education’s Student Heroes Award, created in 2015, recognizes Texas public school students who engage in unselfish acts of kindness and service that benefit their fellow students or communities; and

WHEREAS State Board of Education members selected outstanding students across the state as recipients of the 2021 Student Heroes Award; and

WHEREAS Arianna Suniga, a senior at Medina Valley High School in Medina Valley Independent School District (ISD), demonstrated leadership skills by organizing a canned food drive and collecting over 600 non-perishable food items for local families; and  

WHEREAS Julia Gilliam, a junior at Flour Bluff High School in Flour Bluff ISD, has a passion for helping others by organizing the Nueces County Junior Livestock Show for Kids with Special Needs and firmly decided to make this project her high school legacy that will continue beyond graduation; and

WHEREAS Michael Frere, a junior at the International School of the Americas in North East ISD, has been an inspiring leader in the Students of Service organization leading his own Make it Happen project, that created arts and crafts opportunities for students in the San Antonio Metropolitan Ministries homeless shelter; and

WHEREAS Paridhi Latawa, a junior at the Liberal Arts and Science Academy in Austin ISD, has stellar leadership qualities that led her to organize SparkED, that hosts Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) Literacy camps, webinars, and mentoring opportunities that are meant to be an inclusive and equitable opportunity; and

WHEREAS Byron Randon II, a senior at Sweeney High School in Sweeney ISD, is a published author of a children’s book called, Be Something Great, which shares his story of perseverance through football while challenging kids to be great, encouraging them to not just play sports for fun, but also to apply their learning to develop discipline, teamwork, bravery, and hard work; and  

WHEREAS Connelly Cowan, a junior at Mount Pleasant High School in Mount Pleasant ISD, started Connelly’s Classroom at age seven and annually collects school supplies through a donation box at her local church in lieu of her birthday presents. After a lot of preparation, she delivers the boxes to Refuge International, a non-profit organization in Longview, Texas that makes regular mission trips to Guatemala; and

WHEREAS Aubrey Hollingsworth, a sophomore at Hutto High School in Hutto ISD, is a leader at her school’s Leo Club. With a heart for service, she led a food drive and serving 508 families, including 1,278 children who also received toys, but more than anything, led the district’s Leo to raise $1,217 benefiting the organization called, Austin Sunshine Kids; and

WHEREAS Brock Burgan, a junior at Lawrence Dale Bell High School in Hurst-Euless-Bedford ISD, is a volunteer mentor who focused on improving the reading skills of elementary children and as a servant at local organizations, he founded, “Brox Sox” which collects and donates socks, and on his 16th birthday he sponsored a campaign supporting the Tarrant Area Food Bank that raised $1500 and provided over 6000 meals to area families; and

WHEREAS Pranavi Reddi, a junior at Centennial High School in Frisco ISD, is passionate about the power of kindness. She founded the non-profit organization called, Kindness4All and raised funds that benefited over 50,000 people in monetary and in-kind donations from three different kindness projects; and

WHEREAS Zahria Griggs, a senior at Harmony School of Excellence in Dallas, has a genuine heart for helping others through mentorship. She has the passion for volunteering her time and talent whether at school or at her local church where she is a true Runner for success; and  

WHEREAS Romella Spitzer, a fourth-grade student at Williams/Ledger Elementary School in Copperas Cove ISD, was a true hero when she raised money to buy artwork materials for students in special education, that allowed the students to showcase their artwork during a Valentine Show with All You Can Eat Chocolates. The event raised almost $1900 which helped purchase sensory classroom equipment for her district; and

WHEREAS Ivy Pham, a senior at Hirschi High School in Wichita Falls ISD, is a student with a servant’s heart who pursues challenging coursework while volunteering at local hospitals as a translator for Vietnamese patients, leading the Student Council and Key Club, and serving as a teaching assistant during Sunday school at her local church; and

WHEREAS these amazing students have modeled caring and compassion in their communities; now, therefore be it

RESOLVED, that the State Board of Education extends its heartfelt thanks to each of these kindhearted students and commends them for their unselfish volunteerism, good character, and integrity; and be it further

RESOLVED, that this resolution be presented to each of them and that a copy be included in the permanent records of the State Board of Education.

WITNESS our signatures this twenty-fifth day of June, two thousand and twenty-one, in Austin, Texas.

Keven Ellis, Chair

Georgina Pérez, Secretary