Students honored at JFK

Published 8:51 pm Saturday, August 25, 2012

The academic achievements of Suffolk public school students living in public housing were celebrated during an awards evening at John F. Kennedy Middle School Friday.

Scores of students, as well as some graduates, were called to the stage to receive medals, certificates and trophies during the 16th Annual Youth and Adult Scholars’ Awards Program.

Virginia Outstanding Pre-Teen Samariah Cordew entertains the crowd at John F. Kennedy Middle School with a one-girl musical performance, during the 16th Annual Youth and Adult Scholars Awards.

The awards program is presented each year by the Suffolk Redevelopment and Housing Authority, whose executive director is Clarissa McAdoo.

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“It recognizes all of the students who happen to live within assisted housing, whether public housing or assisted [Section 8] housing,” McAdoo said.

The idea is to showcase students’ individual achievements, she said.

“We do it late (in the summer) to give them a buzz for back to school,” she added. “The whole purpose is to help them know that we support their academic performance, and to always make education important.”

During her formal address later in the evening, McAdoo said she expects the students to “do the same thing in the year coming up. You might not recognize it now … but it’s the pathway to let you do anything in the world you want to do, and I mean anything.”

Mistress of ceremonies at the awards was occupancy specialist Toni Mills, who helped maintain a high level of excitement and anticipation throughout the evening.

Mamie Wise, a Section 8 eligibility specialist, delivered the welcome and statement of purpose, explaining that the evening’s honorees are “the leaders of tomorrow.”

“We are delightful that you have joined us … as we celebrate these individuals who have worked hard to earn and achieve their honors,” Wise said. “We want each of you to know how proud we are.”

Virginia Outstanding Pre-Teen and Chesapeake resident Samariah Cordew entertained the gathering with a one-girl musical performance, and door prizes of backpacks stocked with school supplies were handed out to lucky participants.

A reception in the school cafeteria followed the awards ceremony.