The 11th Annual Battle Creek Carson Scholars Awards Banquet
Battle Creek Central High School, once again hosted the 11th Annual Carson Scholars Fund Awards Reception on Friday, April 26, 2013.
The program began with W.K. Kellogg Foundation representative and Battle Creek native, Megan Russell Johnson, delivering a warm welcome and introducing the master of ceremonies. For the 3rd straight year, Aaron Baskerville, weekend reporter for WWMT Channel 3 in Kalamazoo, Michigan enthusiastically emceed the Awards Ceremony. His shared how his experiences helped him appreciate education and its importance in becoming a success. He then congratulated all involved in this undertaking, especially the students and their families, and introduced Mr. John Bryant, the President and CEO of the Battle Creek-based Kellogg Company.
Mr. Bryant spoke of the wonderful opportunity the Carson Scholars Fund provides and how important support can be in obtaining successful goals. His focus was that education is a critical element in achievement. Although Mr. Bryant’s son would be in a special event the next morning in Columbus, Ohio, he came to the event in support of the scholars, demonstrating his commitment to the community.
Less than one year old, the Gentlemen’s Club of Battle Creek Public Schools performed “Shine the Light on Us.” Founded by Ann K. Kellogg elementary educator, Ronnie Sims, the group consists of young minority men in grades 2 through 7. The club was established to teach students discipline and respect, and to help them achieve academically. They meet several times after school each week, and at least two of its members are 2013 Carson Scholars, one of whom sang a solo!
Battle Creek Schools Superintendent, Dr. Linda Hicks, spoke of how inspiring it was to be at the event in celebration of the high academic achievement of so many! …25 first time scholars and 16 repeat scholars! Dr. Hicks shared her experience in becoming successful and thanked the very dedicated workers who brought this all about, especially event chair Annette Rowan. Special thanks went to Sterling Speirn, president and CEO of the Kellogg Foundation, whose support of Battle Creek Schools has been phenomenal. She concluded her remarks expressing her appreciation to donors, administrators, teachers, staff, friends, collaborators, students, and parents.
In keeping with Battle Creek tradition, there were 3 student keynote speakers:
- Liset Diaz-Cortes, a 4th grade student from Coburn Elementary, presented a report on the life lesson of facing her fears, and had us spellbound. The 280-foot high roller coaster was the object of her fears, but through the encouragement of friends, and thinking the process all the way through, she overcame her fears!
- Austin Dees-Hollis, a 6th grade student from Northwestern Middle School, spoke on conquering a challenge in his life. His goal was to serve as a fullback on his school’s football team. However, the maximum weight for a student playing that position on the team is 120 pounds. At the beginning of the season, he weighed in at 125 pounds. With his determination, the dietary help of his mother, and the help of his coach (having him do laps prior to practices), in less than 3 weeks, he was down to 118 pounds and ready to take on that fullback position!
- Cing Kim, a 7th grade student from Springfield Middle School, shared her report on an important historical figure who affected her entire country. Dr. Joseph Herbert Cope was a missionary to Burma from 1908 to 1938, and introduced God to her family and the entire country. Thousands celebrated his ministry in the year 2010, for he not only brought the gospel, but civilization to the country.
Five Battle Creek Central High School students then performed “Power of Love” on the guitar and sang in Burmese. This Burmese Guitar Group was composed of male students in teacher Rolin Sunkins guitar class. The precision and synchronization of the strokes as they strummed their instruments was mesmerizing.
Award presentations then ensued, with Mr. Baskerville announcing each scholar along with a few of their interests as they approached the central platform. Superintendent Hicks presented the certificates, Dr. Carson placed the medals over the student’s heads, Mrs. Carson hugged the students, and Jodi Gibson, Vice President of Corporate Responsibility for Kellogg shook hands in congratulatory fashion before scholars exited the stage.
To view more photos from the event, visit the album on our Facebook page.
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