Vidalia High School 11th grader Deondrais Boxley is among eight state students chosen as a recipient of the 2019 Louisiana Young Heroes Awards, according to Louisiana Public Broadcasting (LPB) and the Rotary Club of Baton Rouge.
Now in its 24th year, the program celebrates the achievements of students who have inspired those around them, and have devoted their time, talents, and energy to making their schools, churches, or communities better places.
The winners and their families will be honored on Monday, April 15 with a luncheon at the Old Governor’s Mansion, a banquet at the Hilton Baton Rouge Capitol Center, and more.
According to the award presenters, Boxley “was diagnosed with epileptic seizures at birth. Raised by his grandmother after having been in foster care, he uses his past pain as incentive for his success in life.
“He is determined to stay focused on his schoolwork and be a positive role model for his younger siblings. That determination is paying off. Deondrais is President of Family, Career and Community Leaders of America, Class President, Vice President of the National Beta Club, and Vice President of Leadership in Distributive Educational Clubs of America for the State of Louisiana.
“He is a member of the Superintendent Advisory Council, Anti-bullying Committee, and Student Council and has spoken at the Vidalia Lions Club, Concordia Parish School Board meetings, and at Forest Aid Baptist Church in Natchez, using his life story as a source of inspiration to the youth of that community. Recently, Deondrais participated in a school beautification community service activity along with fellow classmates. He is passionate about his family, his school and his community.”
In addition to Boxley, this year’s Louisiana Young Heroes are:
Cade Canepa of Watson – 12th grader at Live Oak High School.
William Gaspard of Moreauville – 12th grader at Louisiana School of Agriculture Sciences.
Arianna Hannum of Metairie – 12th grader at Academy of Sacred Heart.
Sydney Lewis of Pineville – 12th grader at Rapides High School.
Ryan Smith of Baton Rouge – 9th grader at Cristo Rey Baton Rouge Franciscan School.
Nalon Soileau of Zachary – 10th grader at University High.
Jamone Williams of Baton Rouge – 11th grader at Cristo Rey Baton Rouge Franciscan School.