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Toledo Early College High School to Represent Toledo Region High Schools at the 46th National Jefferson Awards Ceremony in Washington, D.C.

Special to The Truth

Leadership Toledo (LT) Executive Director Anna Toney announced last week at the Jefferson Awards Breakfast that TOLEDO EARLY COLLEGE HIGH SCHOOL’S Youth Jefferson Awards/Students In Action (SIA) initiative was selected by an esteemed panel of judges to represent the Toledo Region at the Jefferson Awards Foundation’s 46th annual national ceremonies this June in Washington, D.C.

Toney explained that because of its well-respected youth programming, LT was selected in late 2008 by the national Jefferson Awards Foundation to facilitate the Toledo Region’s initiative. SIA is designed to pass the tradition of service and volunteerism to the next generation of young Americans, and now has a presence at all of the Toledo Region’s 4o area high schools and offers all high school students access to this prestigious national youth recognition and rewards program.

At most of the schools, SIA is neither a club nor organization – rather, it is a comprehensive, student-led movement resulting in a renewed enthusiasm for charity, community service, and teamwork. Toney remarked, “SIA has grown beyond the initial opportunity to receive an award. We believe that this demonstrates that our young servant leaders of TODAY are already helping change the alarming trend of passive reliance of youth on someone else to create solutions for the problems that challenge our communities!”

Each year, the Toledo Region’s participating schools are invited to showcase how their year-long efforts have redefined the culture of their campus to one of service and further document how each has met the Jefferson Awards Foundation’s national SIA criteria Competition is intense and includes both the completion of a detailed online questionnaire and creation of a video.

There are two levels for schools to participate at – Ambassador and Banner. Ambassador is limited only to schools who have earned the designation – there are just seven in the nation that meet the demands – Springfield High School is one of the seven!

To determine the 2018 Banner recipients, LT assembled a local judging panel which included 13abc Anchor Tony Geftos; Toledo Blade General Manager, President Editor Kurt Franck; Marc Jaromin of Buckeye Broadband; Toledo City Councilman Nick Komives; Marcus Sneed from The University of Toledo and A.J. Decker, president of Leadership Toledo’s Board of Trustees.

The judges were challenged to evaluate the competition packages of five finalist schools – Bedford, Emmanuel Christian, Jones Leadership Academy, Lake, and Toledo Early College. In what was a “was extremely difficult yet unanimous decision,” cited Toney, the judges for the first time awarded three Gold Banners.

2018 GOLD BANNERS were presented to 2017 regional and national GOLD BANNER recipient Lake, Bedford High School and to Toledo Early College (TEC), a past Silver Banner recipient. It was then announced that TEC would represent the Toledo Region in the national Banner Competition.

“The deciding factor for Toledo Early College to represent the Toledo Region in the national competition was the students’ ability to balance the demands of rigorous academics with their passion to serve others,” said Toney. She concluded: “Toledo Early College is the first Toledo Public School to be awarded a GOLD Banner. They have raised the bar for themselves each year and serve as a model for all TPS schools. What began as a core team of students has exploded into the school-wide movement that showed the judges just how much they are capable of doing - NOW! We congratulate the SIA leaders at every competing school – Springfield, Lake, Bedford and BRONZE BANNER/School of Promise recipients Emmanuel Christian and Jones Leadership Academy – for empowering ordinary students to become extraordinary through their service to others. We are proud to support them as they act today to address needs in their neighborhoods, schools, and the region.”

For additional information, please contact Kristina White, director of community impact, at 419.290.5027.  

Copyright © 2018 by [The Sojourner's Truth]. All rights reserved.
Revised: 08/16/18 14:12:11 -0700.

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