Congrats to youth winners

Published 10:28 pm Monday, July 11, 2016


Congratulations are due — overdue, in fact — to four Suffolk teens honored recently by the Suffolk Office on Youth during its annual Youth Achievement Awards program, held June 7 at the Suffolk Planters Club.

The nomination period for the awards is held in March each year, and we believe the event is one of the most important things the Office on Youth does. There’s nothing like success for breeding success, and when younger teens in Suffolk see their older peers honored for doing well — and for doing good — they can be encouraged to do the same.

The winners this year included the following, each of whom deserves the congratulations of neighbors and friends who might not already have heard the news:

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JacQuazja Council, an honor graduate from King’s Fork High School, won the award for Outstanding Athletic Achievement. As a member of the varsity basketball team, she received several awards including the 2015-16 Defensive Player of the Year. She also participated on the track and field team and advanced to the state finals in the long jump.

Tala Hughes, an honor graduate from Nansemond River High School, won the award for Outstanding Youth Leadership. She was a member of the BETA and DECA clubs. She assisted in several projects in school and in the community, including Mock DUI, Toys for Tots, Crime Stoppers, Future Business Leaders of America and her church, Believer’s Church.

Savannah Miller, a rising senior at Nansemond River High School, won the award for Outstanding Performing Arts. While maintaining a 4.4 grade point average, she has been a driving force behind the after-school performing arts program at her school. She was recently named the best actor in the state for the second consecutive year at the Virginia Theater Association High School Theater Festival. She is also a vocalist, as well as a pianist.

And Cheyenne Schmack, a rising senior at Lakeland High School, won the award for Outstanding Community Service. Spends considerable hours at the Great Dismal Swamp National Wildlife Refuge as a volunteer. Her duties range from planting seeds and trees to answering the phones. She also volunteers at the Suffolk Education Foundation in a variety of capacities.

Congratulations to all four. Suffolk is proud of you.