Drew Naté |

On October 1, 2021, the Jamil Dada Character Excellence Youth Award Ceremony took place at the Moreno Valley Conference and Recreation Center.

During the event Riverside County youth who have shown exemplary character while overcoming some of life’s significant challenges, were honored for their achievements.

Some of the young people selected to receive the award have been victims of poverty, child abuse, child neglect, abandonment, homelessness, and crime, while others have witnessed suicide and/or murder of a family member. 

Despite their tragic situations, these young people have been identified as leaders in their communities, determined to earn a high school diploma, and are pursuing post-secondary education.

Nominees for the award must take part in a formal selection process and display the following attributes of strong character in their daily lives including trustworthiness, respect, responsibility, fairness, caring and citizenship.

The evening was hosted by Riverside County CEO, Jeff Van Wagenen, and included a dinner, words of inspiration from the keynote speaker, retired, four-star General Maryanne Miller, along with remarks from national, state, and local leaders. 

The ten honorees received trophies, certificates from national, state, and local leaders and scholarships to assist them with tuition, books, transportation, and living expenses. (source: rivco.gov)

 “I’m very privileged to be among you. Tonight, is a testament to who you are and that you are defined not by your past but by your commitment to excellence and your commitment to achievement,” said Senator Richard Roth who spoke at the event and gave words of encouragement to the honorees.

The list of honorees included: Akashia Love (Lake Elsinore), Danna Miramontes (Hemet), Elias Adams (Moreno Valley), Eryn Jaada Fore (Rubidoux), Esmeralda Hernandez (Perris), Gaven Garcia (Lake Elsinore), Joy Castillo (Indio), Lauren Speer White (Hemet), Sloane Gallagher (Rubidoux) and Taylor Avila (Indio).

The annual event is made possible by the Riverside County Board of Supervisors, the Workforce Development Board, ResCare, the California Family Life Center, the Workforce Development Centers and Economic Development Agency staff.
For more information about the Jamil Dada Character Excellence Awards, please contact Assistant Marketing Manager, Nathan Hultgren at (951) 955-3485 or nhultgren@rivco.org.

Drew Nate

Drew Nate, a resident of Corona, California, reports for Black Voice News and the IE Voice where he focuses on stories within the Inland Empire and throughout California. An advocate for equity and social...

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