Suffolk Youth Achievement Award winners show off their awards in a photo with City Council members. From left are Vice Mayor Charles Brown, Madison Hansen, Alicia Jiggetts, Chelsea Whitney, Brittany Harrison, and Councilmen Roger Fawcett and Charles Parr.
Suffolk Youth Achievement Award winners show off their awards in a photo with City Council members. From left are Vice Mayor Charles Brown, Madison Hansen, Alicia Jiggetts, Chelsea Whitney, Brittany Harrison, and Councilmen Roger Fawcett and Charles Parr.

Youth honored at banquet

Published 10:30pm Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Four young people were honored at the fifth annual Youth Achievement Awards on Tuesday.

Sponsored by the Suffolk Department of Parks and Recreation Advisory Commission and the Suffolk Office on Youth, the banquet was held at The First Lady on West Washington Street.

In his remarks, Vice Mayor Charles Brown admonished the young people present to continue getting good grades, keeping their record clean and serving the community.

“If you do these three things, then if you want to be a council person, you can be a council person. If you want to be mayor, you can be mayor.” He went on to include governor and president among the potential future careers of the young honorees.

He also recognized the parents of the honorees.

“You’re right there with them during the good times, and in the bad times, you’re right there with them, too,” he said. “That’s important.”

Madison Hansen, a junior at King’s Fork High School, received the Outstanding Performing Arts Award. She participates in the International Baccalaureate program and has been in the All-City Orchestra the past three years. She also is the first-chair violinist for the Suffolk Starlight Orchestra.

Brittany Harrison, a junior at King’s Fork High School, also is a member of the International Baccalaureate program and was awarded the Outstanding Community Service Award. She has volunteered in various capacities including at soup kitchens, at Relay For Life and at the Tidewater Regional Governors School.

Alicia Jiggetts, a junior at King’s Fork High School and also a member of the International Baccalaureate program, received the Outstanding Group Citizenship Award. She serves as a team leader for her peers and has developed projects including “Let’s Drive Out Hunger” and a neighborhood clean-up. She aspires to be a prosecutor and, eventually, a judge.

Chelsea Whitney, a senior at Nansemond River High School, received the Outstanding Youth Leadership Award. She is the president of Crime Stoppers at her school and has led various campaigns including Violence Free Campaign, Red Ribbon Week, No Texting While Driving and the mock DUI presentation. She plans to attend Radford University in the fall and hopes to one day own her own line of retail stores.

Also honored at the event was Carol Kennedy-Dickens, a teacher in the International Baccalaureate program who nominated the three King’s Fork winners. In a surprise presentation, she received the Outstanding Youth Supporter Award.

“I’m overwhelmed,” she said as she accepted the award. “I’m very proud of the students and look forward to promoting them every year.”

The seven graduating seniors from the Suffolk Youth Advisory Council also were recognized, including King’s Fork’s Kayla Vincent, who developed the idea for the Youth Achievement Awards five years ago, Parks and Recreation Director Lakita Frazier said.

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