Youth event challenge to the community

At the annual Rising Stars Banquet sponsored by Lawrence & Memorial Hospital, Kenté Cultural Center honored the youth who were selected as "Students of the Month" by New London Public Schools during the 2011/2012 school year. I had the pleasure of sitting with Adoni Johnson and his mentor, Ms. Reona Dyess. Ms. Dyess encouraged Adoni in his aspiration to be a national cheerleader and his wish that the Olympics committee would recognize cheerleading as a sport so that he could compete there as well.

The other honorees and mentors were: Shaneva Edwards/Mr. Richard Baez and Ms. Patricia Edwards; Zachary Skrabacz/Ms. Tolulope Fayanjuola and Ms. Diane Arnold; and Anais Mercado/Det. Frank Jarvis. Principals in attendance were Tommy Thompson and Laurelle Texidor.

Family, friends, mentors, and principals supported the students with their attendance, NLCC donated backpacks, and Maureen Thompson loaned her personal NLHS megaphone. This community event is just one event showcasing New London youth who are achieving and doing well.

I challenge more agencies, businesses, and community members to embrace and honor more of our youth.

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