Ricky Bell is a hard-working, civic-minded young man who has overcome the loss of more than half of his hearing to be an excellent student and participate in athletics at Claiborne Christian School. He makes numerous contributions to his school, church and family.
Yolanda Collins is president of the National Honor Society and captain of the Dance Team at Capitol High in Baton Rouge. She is also a member of the Beta Club, Key Club, Tennis Team and President's Round Table. Yolanda is devoted to her family and serves as an interpreter for her deaf parents.
Damein Delrie is a courageous young man who struggles every day with a rare degenerative disease that attacks every joint in his body and make such everyday activities as eating and walking almost impossible. Despite these physical obstacles, Damein has been on the A honor roll every year since he started school and has won numerous medals in the regional Special Olympics.
Malinda Anne DeBusk battles a genetic disorder that necessitates numerous medical tests and treatments. She maintains a 5.0 GPA at Benton High, is an active member of the band and ROTC, and serves as a candy striper at a local hospital. She spends her summers accompanying her church on mission trips to build or repair low income housing.
Jerry Patrick Gunn-Ford is an honor student at Wossman High who participates on the Mock Trial Team, Student Council and Wossman Baseball Team. Jerry is very active in his church and community and is the first youth to be inducted in the North Delta Afro Hall of Fame. Last spring, Jerry put all of his activities on hold to form a baseball team at an elementary school. He helped raise funds, provided transportation and refreshments and tutored the boys in their academic subjects.
Thomas Nathan Veade has collected food and clothing for flood victims; planted flowers to beautify school grounds, worked in a homeless shelter; learned sign language to assist with children who are deaf and, as a scouting project, took on the difficult task of creating a national historic hiking trail along the Mississippi River levee.
Michael Lance Timpa's daily triumph against Spina Bifida is an inspiration to everyone he meets. Despite suffering through 18 surgeries, losing an eye and his ability to walk with crutches, Michael has never lost his determination and cheerful disposition. In addition to being an honor roll student at College Oaks Elementary, Michael is also a member of the Chess Club, works as a TV reporter on the school station, is a member of the Boy Scouts and is currently learning how to play the guitar. According to Michael, he's not disabled, "I'm just a little different."
Allyson Teresa Haar suffers from a severe physical disability but that hasn't stopped her from riding horses, playing the piano, being a leader at a summer camp for handicapped children, teaching Vacation Bible School, volunteering as a receptionist at her church and being on the leadership team of the Catholic Charismatic Youth Group at Rummel High School.
Stacy Hendricks hasn't let being confined to a wheelchair prevent her from maintaining a 4.0 average in advanced classes at Mire Elementary in Rayne. She has been named Student of the Month, won the Citizenship Award, is active in 4-H, acts in church plays and performs in the fifth grade band.
Travis Alexander Torrence is an outstanding student and leader at Bonnabel High School. Currently ranked second in his senior class, he is the president of the student body, District II Governor for Mu Alpha Theta, anchors the news for the campus TV station and serves as a group leader for the Bonnabel High Peer Mediation Team. He also was recognized with a letter of accommodation from the National Achievement Scholarship program for ranking in the top 5% of African American students in the country taking the PSAT test.