Tristan Bagala is an outstanding student at St. Mary’s Nativity School in Raceland. After Hurricane Katrina struck South Louisiana, he spearheaded a raffle to raise money to pay the tuition for the displaced students who now attend his school and launched a letter-writing campaign soliciting donations. Even though he is only ten, he has a long history of fund-raising activities at his school and in his community.
Charles Boss II is a senior with a 4.0 grade point average in the Medical Magnet curriculum at Peabody Magnet School in Alexandria. This winner of the USAA National Mathematics Award and numerous other awards had two brain tumors removed as a child. He is a tutor at Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity.and has volunteered his time to help raise money for the Red Cross, Food Bank, Sickle Cell Anemia and the Manna House.
Shakeisha Chanel Coleman suffered a brain aneurism while volunteering at an evacuee shelter in Shreveport after Hurricane Katrina. After successful surgery and a lengthy recovery, she is back at school and volunteering her time for school and church activities. She has been nominated to attend the National Youth Leadership Forum on Medicine this summer.
Ann Marie Haynie lost her arm in a water skiing accident just before entering C.E. Byrd Magnet High School in Shreveport this fall. She has a 4.16 grade point average and is involved with numerous service clubs at school. She also joined with other members of Grace Community Church to paint a house provided for Hurricane Katrina victims. Despite her handicap, she is on the varsity lacrosse team and performs floor exercises in gymnastics.
Michele Hullum has cystic fibrosis but it hasn’t slowed her down. She plays drums in the school band and helped the Dutchtown High Gymnastics team win state championships in 2003-04 and 2004-05. In addition to her volunteer activities at school, she also helps take care of her older sister who has Down’s Syndrome, teaches gymnastics to children at Athletics in Motion and tutors a student in French.
Malarie Jenkins was born with Spina Bifida but it has not stopped her from being an outstanding student and a leader at her school. She is president of the Franklinton High Senior Class and serves as an officer of most of the clubs at the school. When her mother became ill when she was a sophomore, Malarie took over many household duties include caring for her 10-year-old brother and took on after school and weekend jobs to help the family’s finances while still maintaining a high average in school.
Adam McFarland of Keithville is an outstanding student who serves on the Civic Young Advisory Board, the Northwest Louisiana Food Bank Youth Board and numerous works for numerous other charities. This National Achievement Program participant is also a motivational speaker who tries to inspire students to be honest, adopt a positive attitude and work through whatever problems they have.
David Tarnow of Baton Rouge has been battling Cystic Fibrosis for most of his life but he does it with a smile and a determination to succeed. An outstanding student at Catholic High, he started Cycle for a Cure, a fund raising effort to raise research money to fight CF that netted $12,000 its first year. The goal was even higher for this year’s trip from St. Francisville to Destin, Florida, which netted $15,000 in pledges.