Kenneth Wayne “Bo” D’Avis has overcome a speech problem and a motor skill problem, but it hasn’t stopped him from helping his sister raise two small children, and volunteering to help children at his school and visiting other students with disabilities.
Ryan Harter is battling cancer for the second time. Limb Salvage Surgery allowed him to keep his leg with doctors inserting a metal rod from his hip all the way down his leg. Despite missing time for cancer treatments, Ryan is an outstanding student and an inspiration to everyone around him. He volunteers with a number of groups including the Volunteers of America, Providence House and Habitat for Humanity.
Six months after helping Parkview Baptist win a state football title, Calob Leindecker was seriously injured when he was helping a friends and his leg was smashed between two trucks. His leg was amputated and he was fitted with a prosthetic and he immediately set a goal of getting back on the football field never complaining about his plight. His comeback was achieved in the fall of 2009 when he held for an extra point in Parkview’s first game of the season. He also shared his story with other young amputees urging them not to give up. He was honored in February with the 2009 High School Rudy Award for being the Most Inspirational High School Football Player.
Sean Nathan was named one of America’s Top Ten Youth Volunteers in 2009. receiving a Prudential Spirit of Community Award. Sean and his brother started throwing birthday parties for the homeless children at the Providence House in Shreveport when he was 11 years old. An outstanding violinist, they raise money for the parties and presents by performing at events in the Shreveport area. A straight A student, he has also received numerous honors for his academic and musical activities.
Hien Nguyen has had many obstacles in her life including cancer and Hurricane Katrina destroying her home. When she was six, she and her mother were homeless until her mother remarried and they found a home in Buras that was later destroyed by Katrina. Hien is in the top five of her class of 230 and is a member of the Beta Club and a Peer Support Leader who helps other students. She also has a part-time job to help support her family.
Antonio Rivera’s mother died when he was two of AIDs and his father died when he was three after a drug deal went bad. Although he was very young, he was the primary caregiver for his ailing grandmother who died when he was 11. Shortly after he starting living with his sister, they ended up homeless and living in the New York Subway. Through Metro Ministries, Antonio was sent back to Louisiana to live with the Harrelson Family who now have full custody. He has blossomed into an outstanding student with a 4.8 GPA at Evangel where he is a member of the National Honor Society. He is also active in his church, helps provide Christmas gifts from the underprivileged, sends care packages to soldiers overseas, visits nursing home and works with the Special Olympics.
Katie Tuminello was seriously injured in a three-wheeler accident near her house in Brusly. Beating the odds, she survived but suffered severe brain damage and has had to learn how to walk, talk and eat. She went to Washington last June to help lobby Congress for the Our Lady of the Lake Children’s Hospital. Her recovery story has inspired many people and her advocacy for ATV safety has helped raised awareness of the danger.
Trevor Vampron has battled leukemia for the last few years, spending 18 months at the St. Jude’s Children Hospital in Memphis. While at the hospital, he did his best to cheer up the other young patients and spoke on behalf of the hospital at various fundraisers. Since getting out of the hospital, he has continued his fundraising activities for St. Jude and Dreams Come True. His courage and great attitude have impressed and inspired everyone he meets.