On Friday, several outstanding inland area students were honored during the Jamil Dada Character Excellence Youth Awards Ceremony at the Moreno Valley Conference and Recreation Center.
The special, annual event honors young people in Riverside County who have shown exemplary character while overcoming significant life challenges such as poverty, child abuse, drug abuse, abandonment, homelessness and more.
Despite their challenging and sometimes tragic situations, these young honorees have also been identified as leaders in their communities. Through personal determination they have not only earned a high school diploma, they are now in pursuit of a post-secondary education.
Award recipients are nominated based on their consistent demonstration of the Josephson Institute of Ethics’ Six Pillars of Character which include trustworthiness, respect, responsibility, fairness, caring and citizenship in their everyday life.
Included among this year’s recipients were Isela Marquez and Donat Omoragbon from the Rubidoux Youth Opportunity Center, Jackalyn Helter and Roshell Davison from the Hemet Empower Youth Opportunity Center, Floella Co and Jennifer Dora from the Lake Elsinore Planet Youth Opportunity Center, Janico Bracken from the Indio WIN Youth Opportunity Center, Carlos Daniel Bolanos-Esquivel and Javier Jarquin Soriano from the Moreno Valley Youth Opportunity Center and Isaac DeLira from the City of Indio Teen Center.
The honorees were awarded trophies and certificates of recognition from national, state and local officials. In addition, each student received $2,500 in scholarship funds to help them with tuition, books, transportation, and living expenses.
Dr. Judy White, Superintendent of Schools, Riverside County Board of Education was this year’s keynote speaker.