The 23rd 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. Opening remarks for this year’s ceremony will be given by three-time Olympic gold medalist Kristin Armstrong.
The Mayors’ Awards to Youth ceremony highlights and honors young people who have demonstrated tremendous character by rising above hardships, serving their communities and consistently exhibiting kindness and consideration for others. 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.
Below are a few examples of the accomplishments of students who have been nominated for the award:
Alyssa Becker’s world flipped upside down when she was diagnosed with Acute Lymphocytic Leukemia in her freshman year. Alyssa’s family (affectionately known as “Team Becker”) and her friends rallied to support her as she fought for her life. She endured countless treatments and painful procedures and never complained. Despite days when she couldn’t even get out of bed, Alyssa maintained A’s in the most rigorous freshman courses. Alyssa graduates this year with a cumulative GPA of 3.8. This young lady, with the heart of a champion, has looked cancer in the eye, and has conquered it with grace and grit. Rocky Mountain High School is honored to nominate her for this award.
Zahraa Alomar has excelled since her family immigrated here in 2008 as refugees. Zahraa earned acclaim and won awards at four different elementary schools before coming to South Junior High and earning a 4.0 GPA throughout 7th, 8th and 9th grade. She won Language Arts "Student of the Year'' during 8th grade, perhaps the most important award at South. Zahraa's poem "Disaster of Love” which she wrote in English and translated into Arabic was published in the Literary Magazine Writing Without Walls in 2016. Zahraa has overcome the adversity of being uprooted from Iraq and Syria and moving around the United States. She has demonstrated the power of adaptation, exemplified hard work, and more importantly, Zahraa is a happy, funny, and delightfully kind person to be around. She improves any room she enters or any group she joins.
Porter Jeppson faced a life-threatening kidney disease his sophomore year which forced him to become a part-time, dual enrolled student. This arrangement allowed Porter to study when his health would allow and remain successful in several rigorous courses. Porter thrived in spite of his illness. While recovering from a relapse, Porter taught himself to write and play music, and he wrote a full-length musical. This spring, “Original, in Progress” debuted for four consecutive nights to a packed auditorium. Porter is healthy, on track to graduate, and he leaves behind a legacy of contribution and inspiration to Rocky Mountain High School’s drama department.