Noblesville Youth Assistance Program recognizes 10 Shining Stars

Ten Noblesville Schools students were honored April 30 by the Noblesville Youth Assistance Program. (Photo by Michelle Williams)

Ten Noblesville Schools students were honored April 30 by the Noblesville Youth Assistance Program. (Photo by Michelle Williams)

By Michelle Williams

In an inaugural event, the Noblesville Youth Assistance Program (NYAP) honored 10 “Shining Stars”, all Noblesville Schools students, on April 30 at Noblesville West Middle School.

The ten students were nominated by staff members at their schools for their demonstration of the ability to excel, despite the presence of significant personal struggles.

NYAP board member Blake Holler explained that challenges vary from absentee parents to learning disabilities. “These are obstacles that could set kids back substantially,” he said.

Their nominations by their teachers and staff were a complete surprise up until the event, where they received awards presented by the likes Noblesville Schools Superintendent Beth Niedermeyer, Noblesville Police Chief Kevin Jowitt and Noblesville Mayor John Ditslear.

Judge Steven Nation of the Hamilton Co. Superior Court opened the event, describing NYAP’s aggressive approach to supporting children and keeping them in school.

“We don’t look at the situation, we look at the children and their potential,” he said. “We know they are masterpieces.”

Nation went on to explain that a youth’s perseverance in school is the greatest indicator of long-term success. He also said that referrals to the Hamilton County juvenile detention center broke a long time growth trend and decreased following the start of the NYAP.

Each recipient was presented with an award plaque and a gift bag, along with a video of the nominating educator describing the outstanding accomplishments and the personality strengths of the student. Each nominating educator attended the event, and shared a table with the nominee and his or her family.

“We need to applaud these teachers. They are looking out for our children,” Nation said.

Who are they?

Josh Anderson
6th grade, Noblesville West Middle School

Daniel Cowling
1st grade, Promise Road Elementary

Zackery Cutting
5th grade, Hazel Dell Elementary

Brayan Gomez Sanchez
5th grade, Noble Crossing Elementary

Jacob Hartman
3rd grade, White River Elementary

Coraline Keel-Brown
4th grade, Stony Creek Elementary

Travis Miller
Senior, Noblesville High School

Michael Ousley
Senior, Noblesville High School

Josh Russell
3rd grade, White River Elementary

Elias Spelman
5th grade, North Elementary