Walker High senior Amanda Byers is an outstanding student who has overcome Guillain-Barre Syndrome, an extremely rare disease that attacks the nervous system and causes paralysis. After her amazing recovery, she was chosen as a Miracle Child by the Children's Miracle Network, She volunteers at Our Lady of the Lake Hospital and helps raise funds for The American Heart Association, St. Jude's Hospital, the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, and the United Way.
Matthew Johnston sustained a traumatic brain injury at birth that caused learning and vision difficulties and problems with his motor skills. He has worked hard to overcome his problems, studying martial arts, playing drums and swimming to improve his motor skills. He is also active in the Boy Scouts and the lifesaving skills he learned at Boy Scout camp allowed him to save his little brother when he got in trouble while swimming. He has also volunteered his time to keep a stretch of Leesville clean, has lobbied to preserve wildlife habitat, black bears and the giant sequoia trees.
Eighteen-year-old Morgan Chustz has not let a life threatening brain tumor and another brain fungal infection keep her from an outstanding high school career at The Dunham School in Baton Rouge. An honor roll student despite her time away from school because of her illnesses, she has donated her time to the Children's Miracle Network, Dreams Come True, raised money for St. Jude's, worked with children at Park Elementary, tutors her fellow students. She is also senior class president and a member of the All-District Choir.
Errolyn Michael Tuckerson, Jr. has a 3.9 average at Jesuit High taking mainly honors courses. Mike lives in a group home for abused and neglected children near his school. He has volunteered hundreds of hours for the literacy program Operation Upgrade and Mothers Against Drunk Driving and even hosted a town meeting on underage drinking at his school. He has been chosen as Jesuit's representative for the Hugh O'Brien Youth Leadership Conference and was chosen for the 2001 National Student Leadership Conference.
Shan Alyssa King lost both her legs after a near fatal car accident in 1993. After rehabilitation she now walks with prostheses, is an A student at Baker High and has won a number of awards for her contributions to the community and her school including launching her own fundraising campaign at Baker for the Children's Miracle Network.
Jennifer Pierre has had to act as the head of her household because of her mother's illnesses. Jennifer and her sister have lived alone during their mother's hospitalizations and the family's lack of financial resources has made it difficult. Jennifer works part-time, but still finds time to belong to eight clubs at Carencro High and maintain a 3.0 grade point average.
Ashten Gilliam was stricken with a rare kidney disease that devastated her kidneys and is now doing fine after receiving a kidney from her father. Despite the side effects of the medicine she takes, she is an A student at Carencro Catholic School and participates in volleyball, basketball and softball. She has campaigned for organ donation both in Louisiana and Washington and has helped raise funds for the Make-A-Wish Foundation.
Euphoria Warren lives in a inner city housing project in a dangerous section of New Orleans, but the perils and problems of her neighborhood haven't stopped her from maintaining a 4.0 grade point average a Clark High and working hard to improve her surroundings. She has served as a mentor and tutored students in his neighborhood and works hard in the Peers Educating Peers Program devising presentations about stopping violence, preventing teen pregnancy and conflict resolution. She has been honored by Orleans Parish School Board and the Louisiana Legislature for her academic achievements.