Our Towns

Treasure Valley mayors to recognize students Wednesday

The mayors of Boise, Meridian, Eagle, Garden City, Kuna and Star will award plaques recognizing the character, community service, kindness and consideration for others that 79 Ada County students have demonstrated.

The 19th annual Mayors’ Awards to Youth event will begin at 7 p.m. in the Simplot Ballroom on the second floor of Boise State University’s Student Union Building. Barbara Morgan will provide opening remarks for this year’s ceremony. This marks the second year Boise State University will participate as a partner in the event.

Since 1994, principals from Ada County junior, middle and high public schools have been invited to nominate two students to be recognized at the event. Private school leaders are invited to nominate one student.

 Here is an introduction to a few of the students as provided by Boise Mayor David Bieter’s office:

Among the students nominated is 8th grader Sarah Bofukya Bope from South Junior High. Sarah is a remarkable young person. Her family relocated to the United States from the Congo four years ago to escape war. She lives with her parents and five siblings. Her parents’ desire was for her to have a better future, better education and more opportunities. Sarah did not know any English when she arrived at the age of ten. She thought learning English would be difficult but says it was not. Almost four years later, Sarah is attending accelerated classes and doing well. She is also enrolled in AVID (Advancement Via individual Determination) at South Junior High and has a 4.0 GPA. She is hard working, never gives up and takes advantage of all the opportunities that come her way. She recently participated in a speech contest and took 2ndplace. Sarah loves being active and was a member on our volleyball and basketball teams at South. She is currently running track as a freshman.

When Emily Marin entered 9th grade at Rocky Mountain High School, she was unfocused and unmotivated. During her junior year of high school, she transferred to a different school. She was a shy and struggling student and did not attend all her classes. Some days she sat in her car all day, waiting for school to end until she could go home. Emily always felt she was letting her family down and she began getting teased by her friends, who called her, “dumb and lazy.” During the summer of 2012, Emily did some deep soul searching and decided to improve. She re-enrolled at Rocky Mountain High School and began re-taking her junior level courses. That fall, Emily earned a straight As.

Teachers began to notice her efforts and she became even more determined. Emily has worked as a peer tutor with special needs students and says these students are her inspiration. She feels she has been so blessed with her health and a great supportive family. Emily hopes to attend college and become a teacher or a dental hygienist.

Patrick Ngalamulume came to America is 2008 as a refugee. He began speaking English when he arrived in America and was fluent within 2 months. He now is able to speak four languages. Patrick, a student at Borah High School, has been able to utilize his life experiences to help him become the ambitious person he is today. Patrick is in the AVID program and challenged himself by taking several AP and concurrent classes. He has received the Senator’s Choice Award at Borah and was part of the Borah State Championship Basketball team this year, receiving Borah Defensive Player of the Year, an SIC Conference Honorable Mention, and he was selected for the District3 5A Senior All- Star Game. Patrick’s senior AVID teacher states “Patrick is a talented, diligent and intelligent young man. Patrick is most impressive for his ability to assess the landscape before him and adjust quickly to its demands. You don’t grow up in Zambia, navigate American schools, and help interpret the new culture for your parents without a certain fortitude.” Patrick’s inspiration comes from his mom. She is his mentor and motivates him to succeed in all he does, and he very much wants to make her proud.

Owen Olsen Smith of Anser Charter School is a leader not in the traditional sense of leading from the front, but a quiet, gentle leader who inspires others by his actions. Over the past two years he has learned to advocate for himself and others and to persevere through challenges that have previously kept him from accessing and showing his many talents. In Owen’s two years on the cross country team he grew both as an athlete and a team leader, always there at the finish line for his teammates and always giving each race his best. Owen should be celebrated for his ability to think critically and deeply in any content area, to write beautifully and powerfully, and for his unwavering integrity. This is a young man who clearly understands what it takes to live his convictions. He has an internal compass that guides his every action. Owen is a valued member of our community who has taught us all what it means to be truly courageous.

Posted in Our Towns