Nominations are now open for the Arapahoe County Mayors and Commissioners Youth Awards, which recognizes high school seniors in the county each year for overcoming obstacles and challenges in their lives.
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Students who live and attend school in Arapahoe County within traditional classroom settings, group homes, alternative schools and emancipated youth are all eligible for the award, according to the city’s website. Winners are selected by a committee comprised of county elected officials.
Each winner will receive a post-secondary education scholarship worth $500 to $2,000 to be used in 2023, according to county spokesperson Anders Nelson. The scholarship can be used at vocational, two- or four-year schools, according to the city’s website.
“Arapahoe County prides itself on investing in our future and opportunity for the next generation,” Nelson said. “That's where our support needs to be. Grooming the next generation of leaders and thinkers to be as educated as possible is very important to the county.”
Teachers, counselors and school administrators may submit applications to nominate students, as long as they are not related to the student. Students related to county employees are not eligible.
According to nomination instructions on the website, a nominator must explain how the student has helped their community and how they have overcome challenges. In addition, the student must write a three-paragraph essay describing what they have learned from overcoming challenges and their future plans and dreams.
Applications will be judged based on the student’s “desire to rise above adversity, determination to create positive change within their environment and the positive contributions and service to their communities and families,” the website says.
Nominators can submit applications through the county’s website until March 3 at 5 p.m.
In the spring, the county and the awards program sponsors will organize an in-person ceremony to present awards to the recipients, Nelson said. Last year, 16 students received the award and an additional seven students were recognized during the event ceremony, according to the website.
“It is such an honor to be able to further the education of our young citizens of Arapahoe County through scholarships,” District 1 Commissioner Carrie Warren-Gully wrote in an email statement. “These students have persevered through tough times. We are proud to be represented by students who demonstrate determination for positive change.”
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