Last week, Arapahoe County hosted a virtual awards ceremony to celebrate 14 area high school seniors for winning the 2021 Mayors and Commissioners Youth Awards scholarships. These annual awards are given to students who have overcome different types of adversity to achieve academic excellence. The scholarships must be used to defray costs during the subsequent academic year at vocational or two- or four-year colleges.
Arapahoe County Board Chair Nancy Jackson noted that this year’s group had a unique array of challenges from the pandemic; this year’s ceremony was held virtually rather than in person because of ongoing COVID restrictions. “This group of young people is especially deserving of our extra support, because the mission of the Arapahoe County Mayors and Commissioners Youth Award Program is to identify and recognize teenagers who have overcome significant personal obstacles to rise to the challenges that life has presented to them,” Jackson said. “The past year has probably been the most challenging of all.”
Board Chair pro tem Carrie Warren-Gully became familiar with the Youth Awards program during her time as a member of the Littleton Public School board, and she also recognized the unusual demands that the 2020-21 school year placed on everyone. “We all were very impressed with the applications and nominations we received, and you’ll see the results of [the judges’] deliberations tonight,” she said. “On behalf of the review committee, I’m delighted to be able to help congratulate these exceptional students on their achievements, and perhaps the most exciting part about this is that we can’t wait to see what they do next.”
The winning students have a wide range of future goals and plans, including pursuing medical or law degrees, starting their own business, and supporting their family. The students had to be nominated for these awards, typically by a teacher or school counselor, and they then submitted their own application and essay to be considered by the review panel, which is comprised of public officials from around the County.
Meet the 14 scholarship winners and learn more about the Youth Awards program.