Their paths have sometimes been rocky, full of twists and turns. That was then, this is now. What is important is their life journeys are much smoother today and they are on the road to success.
The Bossier Optimist Club honored 14 high school students at its annual Rising Stars luncheon April 17 at Ralph & Kacoo’s. President Quincy Gardner lauded the students for “improving their lives” and thanked them for putting their past behind them and dedicating themselves to their studies and community.
One by one, the honorees stood before the audience as school administrators that nominated them for the Rising Stars award told how each student turned their lives, grades and attitudes around for the better.
Airline High School Assistant Principal Holly George gave an overview of Shiress Brown’s story.
“She had a hectic middle school (experience) and was going down the wrong path, but she turned that around in high school and has the best attitude I’ve ever seen.”
George added, “Shiress told me, ‘I did not like what I was doing. Now, I get it and this is what I want for me and my family.’”
Bossier High Assistant Principal spoke about the impact the ROTC program has had on Anita Pratt, pushing her to be a leader rather than a follower. And Parkway High counselor Tracy Hagar described how Dylan Conley “came back changed after attending the Youth Challenge Program. He learned patience and to set goals and he has excelled.”
Those being honored were: Shiress Brown and Drelen Young, Airline; Taylor Ford and Nick Marshall, Benton; Deveon Carley and Anita Pratt, Bossier; Andrew Barrera and Cordaisha Fuller, Butler Educational Complex; Aaron Davis and Seth Davis, Haughton; Dylan Conley and Lydia Wilcher, Parkway; and Ashton Jacques and Emma Modissette, Plain Dealing.
Gardner also gave praise to Bossier school administrators who have invested in children’s lives and stressed they “keep pushing them to greatness.”
Bossier Schools Superintendent Mitch Downey gave closing remarks, citing the Rising Stars program as his favorite ceremony of the year and applauded the Bossier Optimist Club for continually living up to its motto, “Friend of Youth.”