Scholarships, Internships & Employment

2018 Outstanding Student Achievement Awards

Nomination Letters and Recipients

Sidney Mitchell

This nomination is for our daughter, Sydney Mitchell. She attended Northfield Mount Hermon Prep school, and just graduated on May 27, 2018. She is 18 years old and was accepted into Syracuse University where she will study Environmental Engineering this Fall of 2018.

Sydney started her high school education at Massena Central High School in September 2014. While at Massena Central, she maintained either an honor roll or high honor roll status while taking advanced math and science courses. She also made the Varsity Lacrosse Team during her freshman year. Sydney's teachers always commented on how prepared she was for class. As a parent, I have never had to ask Sydney if her homework was done. She has always had an inner drive to do well in everything she does.

In the Fall of 2014, Sydney toured Northfield Mount Hermon. We, as a family, knew it was the right path for her. Sydney started Northfield Mount Hermon on August 28, 2015 which was also Troy's (Sydney's father) birthday. That was the hardest day for our family. Sydney was excited and nervous, as were we. Living away from family, and taking challenging honor and AP classes has been a struggle at times for Sydney, but she always pushed forward and accepted the challenge. Sydney has showed such strength and determination with her academics and sports while being at Northfield Mount Hermon. This was not surprising at all to us, her parents. What did surprise us was how Sydney stepped up as a leader and role model while being at her school. During her time at Northfield Mount Hermon, Sydney has been a part of various clubs such as "Girl Affect" and "Circle of Sisters". "Circle of Sisters" promotes the intellectual, social, professional, spiritual, and physical growth of women of African American, Hispanic, Caribbean, and Native American descent. Sydney also volunteered at a veteran old age home, elementary school, and in her last year helped teach students at a local elementary school how to speak Spanish. After being at Northfield Mount Hermon for 3 months, she served as a Student Ambassador during her Sophmore year and gave tours to prospective students and their family around the campus. Sydney was also a Summer Orientation and Academic Retreat Program (SOAR) counselor last summer for incoming minority students attending Northfield Mount Hermon. During Sydney's 11th and 12th grade year, she was a Big Sister for the "Big Brothers, Big Sisters" program every

Friday night. For Sydney's senior year, she also served as a Resident Leader in her dorm. Somehow Sydney also managed to play two Varsity sports, Field Hockey and Lacrosse, while maintaining great grades. She continues to amaze us with her leadership, determination, and strength. We are so proud of her accomplishments and can't wait to see the path she makes for herself over the next four years at Syracuse University.

Thank you for recognizing the amazing student's in our community.

Sincerely,

Robin and Troy Mitchell


Sophia Mitchell

I am writing this letter to you today to nominate my daughter, Sophia Mitchell, for an Outstanding Student Achievement Award. Sophia is a 9th grader at Massena High School. She is 14 years old and is a member of the St. Regis Mohawk Tribe. She has been on the High Honor Roll for all 3 quarters this year and has had her average as high as 99 at some points.

I feel that Sophia deserves to be recognized for all of her hard work. She is very dedicated to everything she does. She is a member of the Robotics, Varsity Volleyball and Varsity Lacrosse teams. She has also held down a part time job walking a dog for a relative (5 days a week.) This past week she posted the fastest timed mile for females in the entire high school!

The thing that really makes Sophia stand out is her warmth and smile. She is kind to everyone. Thank You for taking the time to read this letter.

Sincerely,

Troy Mitchell


Wentanoron Ariana Roundpoint

My name is Karonhienhawi Round point and I would like to nominate Edward and myself daughter,

Wentanoron Ariana Roundpoint for the Outstanding Student Achievement Award. Wentanoron is 18 yrs old, is in high school at Cornwall Collegiate Vocational School and will be graduating grade 12 this year. My contact info is 315-296-7460 email tina.roundpoint􀀍gmail.com

We are nominating her based on the following accomplishments during her high school years:

  • -Co-authoring and publishing a children's book, titled Sila and the Land, discussing the topic of global warming. She was part of a team that worked together to bring the story of what is happening to the lands and our fellow Onkwehonwe peoples up north due to the global warming and the effects it is having on their people today. It is available on Amazon.com and at Chapters bookstore and website.
  • -She was nominated and elected by her fellow students to be their Native Representative for her school in Student Senate. in which she was bringing forth student issues to the UCDSB Superintendent and faculty and fellow Representatives from schools just east of Toronto area to Quebec border.
  • -Being the Akwesasne Youth Leader Liason for Taking It Global Organization, which focuses on helping Onkwehonwe youth in expressing themselves and getting them active their forms of art, music, and writing.
  • -Curated an art exhibit in Montreal Mile End gallary for the Canada 150 celebration, her and 90 other students from CCVS exhibited their artwork on what they wished to see in the next 150 years. Within TIG, there is another program Connected North that invited Ariana to be a guest speaker with Onkwehonwe students in northern communities, via Skype.
  • -She had competed in University of Ottawa science fair where she placed First in Environmental Science category, her project looked at the chemical toxicity in the water surrounding our Reservation in Akwesasne.
  • -Invited as a guest speaker to McGill University to speak on social media and youth and the impacts it is having on our youth. It is not always positive, as we would want them to be. She discussed what she sees with her young nephew, how it is stealing away their innocence in youth with the social media and the technology of today.

These are some of her accomplishments I would like to submit. Niawenkowa and thank you for your time.

Skennen,

Karonhienhawi Roundpoint


AnnaBelle Mitchell

I am deeply honored to nominate my niece AnnaBelle Mitchell for the Outstanding Achievement Awards. She is, without a doubt, one of the strongest, caring, hardworking and most dedicated students I know.

One of the things I love about her is all her hard work and dedication towards her future. Since her Freshman year of High School, she has always been interested in the Medical Field. I always support her goals and we talk about ideas on how her future will be here in Akwesasne or somewhere in the world. She has such a great mind in anything she does and will work hard until she succeeds at what she wants. She is also a member of the NC Step program throughout her high school years. She always keeps her grade average at a high level and is Secretary on her Student Council and helps with various events at school.

AnnaBelle has a strong passion for Lacrosse. She has been dedicated to this sport over her high school years. She enjoys the game each year it comes around. I believe it is good medicine for her and her team. She will be attending a Lacrosse training camp this summer in Maryland to help her gain more skills for her final year in High School and University.

AnnaBelle is a caring young woman. She is always there for her friends and family when they are having a bad day or just to hang out with. She is a great listener and when she is around her friends or family, she is always laughing and having fun, enjoying life, as any teenager should.

AnnaBelle has such a caring heart for her Community. In 2014-2015, she was in the Akwesasne Youth Entrepreneur Program that was hosted by MCA Economic Development and ACFS. She learned communication skills, organization skills, customer service abilities, and positive work ethic, which is a great asset for a young teenager.

I believe that her strength, outstanding contributions and dedication to furthering the aims and goals of her life, Anna Belle is most deserving of this award.

Nia:wen Thank You

Cathy Mitchell

Why they deserve to be recognized: AnnaBelle deserves to be recognized for this Outstanding Student

Achievement Award because she is active in school sports and is a great team player and friend she has great academic grades she is looking into medical schools after she graduates next June. She does volunteer work

also, she sometimes does bingo night at lakhihsohtha, she does latch key at school and helps read or do

homework with the kids to help them make book goal for the month, she has done many other volunteer things within the community. AnnaBellehas attended many med camps within the last 2 years to help her try and

decide what type of medical she wants to go into. I believe she deserves this award she is a great student and an overall great kid.

Meranda Mitchell


Talynn Wylie

I would like to nominate Talynn Wylie who attends Salmon River name to the list. She is a ninth grader with an avg of 101. She is in chrorus, band, plays the flute I think. Talynn plays center for the girls varsity hockey and also starting pitcher for girls varsity softball. She is Turtle clan. Also a member of the Honor Society. Her mom Kateri contact number is 518 651-1360. Niawen

Agnes Jacobs


Talon Jacobs

I am nominating my son Talon Jacobs Tekaronhiokewe.

He is is always up to volunteer to help anyone and everyone. I just want to show him that even though he doesn't help out for recognition that he deserves to be seen. He's shy and hides from thank yous.

Before his great-grandma passed away last year he would go to her house and clean her yard and mow it for her. She never wanted him to because she said his job was school. But he would have us sneak him over there sometimes at dusk or even night so that she wouldn't even know it was being done or that it was him. She would just wake up the next day and tell everyone how nice her yard looked, and thank god she wouldn't have to pay so and so now. It was the sweetest act.

When his grandfather was going through health problems Talon was always right there to lend a helping hand. Sitting up in the hospital. Cleaning, setting up his room and helping him in an out of vehicles. He has been volunteering at the Snye recreation center since he was 5 years old. He's used his birthday money a few years now to buy items and toys for a tree at Christmas enchantment. He helps at Easter to stuff the eggs. He volunteers at Halloween to decorate and clean up at the end of the activities. This spring he spent his spring break helping unwell family members clean up their yards, basements and houses at no charge. He was asked and just went.

We have noticed that he is at an age where he wants to help his friends and he has been. If they need a ride or help he will organize the help. He volunteers with the Akwesasne Boys and Girls club teen program and most recently served dinner and cleaned at the Seniors center for our Mohawk elders.

I feel talon deserves to be recognized because even though he has gone through an extremely hard year personally with deaths, family illnesses, hardship at school, anxiety he has made it a Priority to help family, friends and at community events because he has a big heart.

Chrissy Jacobs


Mckenzee Lazore

I would like to take this opportunity to first of all Thank You for allowing us as a Community to

acknowledge students for all that they do in and out of the classroom. Mckenzee is currently a Senior at Massena Central. She has been on the High Honor Roll throughout her High School Career and will receive a plaque in recognition of 4 years of excellent in a few weeks at the M.C.S. Academic Banquet. She has always put her studies first in spite of being very active in sports and in the community.

She has been a member of the MCHS Varsity Volleyball team for 3 seasons and this year as a Captain, was awarded Player of the Year for Section X, along with First Team All Northern, MVP of Eastern Section 10, All Academic Award and was a finalist in the Patty Baldwin Award given by the officials. She also was a member of the Cornwall Vikings Volleyball Club where they earned a bronze medal at the 2017 Provincials. Her determination in her sport has truly developed her as an excellent player and person.

As I stated, her sports never took the lead over her academics, or her desire to participate in other extracurricular activities. As a Red Raider she has been part of the Link Crew (a student mentorship program), a member of the prom committee, a student representative on the Massena Facilities Study Board, a member of Student Council and a statistician for the MCHS Varsity Lacrosse Team. She has given her time to volunteer for many groups and activities including the Raider Pantry which gives free food and clothing to those in the community who have a need.

In keeping with her volunteer spirit, Mckenzee has been a Volunteer Dance Teacher for the St Regis Recreation Dance Club for 4 seasons. She has guided many children to see the joy of dance and the value of self-expression all while having a great time. Her volunteerism spreads throughout the Recreation in serving for Halloween Activities, Easter Egg Hunts, Christmas fund raisers and any job that needs to be done.

I know as her family we are over the top proud of her for who she is and not only what she has accomplished so far. We are so proud of her and wish her only the best as she continues her academic career at Niagara University in the Business Program where she will study Hospitality and Event Planning and Minor in Spanish.

Charity Lazore


Trysten Burns

I'm my eyes, not just being a proud mother of this young lady, she is a great role model for the youth in our community. Her time is spread very thin between her family time, time spent with friends, her school work, she volunteers when approached and is needed, and she makes a good effort to spend time with her grandparents. She puts a lot into her own family in setting a good example for her own siblings. She sure raised the bar in her own family and achieved a spot on NHS at Salmon River chapter. She will be graduating with NHS honors in June. All of these tasks while juggling varsity sports since grade 8. Trysten is an avid sports athlete excelling in Soccer, field Lacrosse for her school and playing for her club team, box lacrosse for the Akwesasne Storm girls, and just in the past hockey season she chose to sit out for her school team but has been on skates since she could walk.

Please consider Trysten as being recognized for all her hard work she has put into her own life story.

Thank You,

Carrie Smoke


Skylar Mason

I wish to nominate Skylar Mason for the Outstanding Student Achievement Award.

Skylar goes to CCVS and maintains a B+ average in all of his grades, he plans on continuing his education in Toronto in hopes of becoming a teacher. He then would like to come back to Akwesasne and teach our youth.

Skylar is a natural athlete, he plays lacrosse currently for Cornwall Celtics Jrs., broomball house league in Cornwall, Volleyball for his school and Leagues here in Akwesasne, but his biggest passion is soccer. Skylar has been playing soccer for nearly 8 years. He has played for North franklin, Little Larries, Kingsmen Soccer Club, Blazers Soccer Club and Cornwall Bensen Center house league. While playing in many of these teams, skylar was always an age or two younger then everyone else.

This upcoming August 2018, Skylar will be the only male from Akwesasne to be traveling to Hawaii for 12 days to play the sport he loves, soccer. He will be playing in the NIF A 2018 Tournament, and joining team Saskatchewan. Hoping and motivated to bring home some gold.

While maintaining his grades and keeping up with his sports, Skylar is also a role model to not only his nephew and niece but many of the youth in our community when he goes to Generations park, all tl1e kids know him and want to go play soccer with him on the field.

Sincerely,

Shyla Oakes


Amanda Rourke

During the last four years of attendance at Massena Central High School, Amanda has been an outstanding asset throughout her time as a student. Amanda has an impressive ability to communicate both verbally and non-verbally. Amanda has demonstrated this numerous ways such as obtaining an active leadership role as President of the MCHS Mohawk Club, Secretary of Band, Student Council Vice President, Spanish National Honor Society, National Honor Society, and Link Crew Leader, which assists underclassmen transition from Middle School to High School.

Amanda does not put barriers upon herself and actively participates in multiple ways of expressing herself with her artistic abilities. Amanda has been a member of the pep band, the percussion ensemble, she has participated in the all-county and NYSSMA music festivals as well as cast and crew of the MCHS musical productions. Amanda's true passion I would have to say is dance. Amanda has been a competitive dancer with the Tap to Toe Studio of Dance Company for the past 14 years dancing in multiple types of dance such as tap, lyrical, jazz, ballet and hip hop.

Amanda is a proud young Mohawk woman, and as Mohawk Club President this past year, she has made it her priority to dispel some of the negative stereotypes surrounding Native Americans. She along with the other club officers worked hard to fight discrimination by sharing their history, culture, and food with their peers through Native American Awareness Day at the school. This daylong event was very well received and the club's efforts did not go unnoticed. North Country Public Radio did a segment on the Mohawk Club on their activities, goals, and aspirations. This news story was later broadcast on National Public Radio. Amanda also enjoys learning about other cultures and really enjoys her Spanish class. She had the opportunity to travel to Peru this past year with the Spanish club and was recently given the Special Service Award during the annual Spanish National Honor Society Induction Ceremony.

All of these activities would make a grown adult exhausted. Amanda strives for perfection and due to this strong sense of self she has been able to master the art of juggling multiple tasks while maintaining her academics. Amanda began taking the International Baccalaureate courses her junior year of high school in order to obtain a higher level of learning and to receive college credit. As a result of this, Amanda will attend Nazareth College in the fall of 2018 with a major in Biochemistry and a minor in Spanish with intentions of obtaining a career in Forensic Science.

When a teacher, fellow student or community member needs help, they know Amanda is the girl to ask. She is well-known as the "go-to" student for being able to capture and convey what it means to be a reliable and balanced student leader. Amanda's family has instilled in her the importance of an education and giving back to the community. Amanda has a strong belief in giving back to help her community in any way she can. Amanda has exhibited these qualities while volunteering to help decorate for the Tota's in the home, she also assists with Akwesasne Holiday Helpers during the food basket distribution and her numerous contributions to her church and parish, just to name a few.

In Amanda's free time, she works part time as a waitress at Twin Leaf during her school breaks to earn extra money. This job has allowed her to interact with her fellow community members and she has developed a stronger connection to the people in her community. With all of Amanda's accomplishments her family is extremely proud of her and believes she deserves to be recognized for all her achievements.

Sandy Rourke


Peter Iotenara’taten:ion Thais

Peter deserves to be recognized for his academic and athletic accomplishments during the 2017-2018 school year.

• Peter was a member of the 2017 Team EDN Swim Team at the NAIG in Toronto. He won three individual medals and one relay medal

o Silver -14U 200m individual medley

o Bronze -14U 100m backstroke

o Bronze -14U 50m backstroke

o Bronze - 19U 4x50m freestyle relay

• Peter earned a spot in the STEM Scholar program at Saint Dominic High School by scoring well on the qualifying exams.

• During the 2017-2018 school year Peter has been on the Principal's list (overall average of 95 or higher) for all three marking quarters.

• Peter was a member of the Model UN at Hofstra University 2018.

• Peter was a member of the Varsity Soccer team.

• Peter was a member of the Varsity Swim team.

o He led the team as a freshman in points earned during regular season swim meets.

o He qualified for the NYCHSAA (New York Catholic High School Athletics Association) City Championships in two individual events.

• 100y backstroke

• 500y freestyle (alternate for finals)

• Peter is a member of the Long Island Aquatic Club {LIAC) a year-round competitive swim team.

• Peter volunteers 2.5 hours per week as a classroom assistant at the LIALC Chinese School.

Joyce Cook


Keely Thompson-Cook

It is my great pleasure to nominate Keely Thompson-Cook for the Outstanding Student Award.

I have worked with Keely for the past two years, and in that time I have gotten to know a truly outstanding young woman. Academically, Keely has done extraordinarily well. Her GPA is 93.65 and she is ranked 18th in her class. Keely is taking some of our most challenging courses, and doing very well in them.

Keely has done a great deal to enrich the climate of Massena Central High School. She is an active member of the Mohawk Club, who put a great deal of time and planning into the Native American Day celebration this year. She was interviewed by North Country Public Radio for a segment they did on discrimination in schools. Keely was articulate and her powerful words gave voice to the struggles faced by Native American students, and how she was helping to erase stereotypes and build relationships in school. She is a member of the National Honor Society and the Spanish National Honor Society. Keely is a member of the music department and the prom committee. She is also on the varsity swim team.

Outside of school, Keely is just as involved and active. She volunteers at the Senior Citizens and is a tutor at the Boys and Girls Club. She swims year round for the Cornwall Sea Lions, a team that competes in Eastern Ontario.

All of Keely's successes and accomplishments show what a hardworking and driven young woman she is. With as many activities as she participates in, she does so with full commitment and energy. Keely is the type of person you want to be around, her smile is infectious and she brings positivity wherever she goes.

I hope you will consider Keely Thompson-Cook for this award. I cannot think of a more deserving person to receive recognition for all of her hard work and the joy she brings to her school and home communities.

Sincerely,

Julie White

Guidance Counselor


Lauren Martin

Lauren has played 10 Varsity sports throughout her career at Salmon River, they are; Swimming ( 7th grade received V letter), Soccer, Basketball, and Softball. She has been the captain of all three sports in her Senior year. She has maintained high honors throughout since Middle school including National Junior Honor Society ( 8th gr) and National Honor Society since then. She was the Class President in 9th grade and Vice president 10th ,11th ,and 12th grade. She was Second team all NAC for Soccer in her Junior year, Sportsmanship award Basketball in her Senior year, and more importantly she was Academic All - Northern for each sport season since 10th grade. She participates in NYSMMA, which is a music festival that is scored by an independent judge on her performance musically and vocally. She was a part of 2017 NAIG for Team New York in Basketball and plays AAU basketball for the NC Panthers since 9th grade.

She most recently received first place for her art work in a local art show in Malone. Volunteers for Sources of Strength, Homework Club, Clean - up Days, youth sports clinics, and music events at Seniors Center.

Shawn Martin


Wahsontiio Conners

She has been working on her grades very hard, while being a three sport athlete (soccer, basketball and lacrosse). Her poem blue was published in the Accolades book of poems. W ahsontiio has completed the four years of oherokon (rites of passage). There was so much learning and growth for her spiritually and personally. Wahsontiio is very kind and has many friends she has been nominated for prom court her junior and senior year. She is now in the process of choosing a college to further develop into a productive adult. She is quite helpful always willing to help when we have a volunteer opportunity.

Megan Conners


Kahnekahawi Conners

Kahnekahawi has always been an exceptional student maintaining her spot on the principals list throughout high school, most of it being 104% and over. All of her classes are AP and honors courses. She has been in the pep band and played graduation every year of high school. She has also completed her 4 years of oherokon and learned so much about being onkwehonwe and grown as a person. She plays soccer, basketball and softball in her high school years. She is also an exceptional artist winning 2nd place in a foreign art contest, was selected to be in the art show in Malone and finishing the Ahkwesahsne Heat lacrosse logo. She also is always willing to help when we have a volunteer opportunity.

Megan Conners


Blayke Gibson

I am writing this letter to nominate Blayke Gibson, for an Outstanding Student Achievement Award. Blayke has been a student of mine for the past two years and in that time I have had the honor of getting to know her better.

As a student, Blayke is an extremely hard worker, she is taking some of our most difficult courses, including some of our International Baccalaureate classes, which she currently has a 100 average. Overall, Blayke has a 96 average for this school year and she will graduate in June in the top 25% of her class. Blayke plans to attend Syracuse University in the fall of 2018.

When teachers speak about Blayke, they mention how polite, hardworking and dedicated she is. I often hear the phrase, "I wish I had ten more like her." While in school, she has taken the opportunity to help organize events and works in the nurse's office. She has participated on the winter track and lacrosse teams; she is very much a part of our school community.

Outside of school, Blayke is on the Tribal Youth Council and just this past fall she helped to organize a "Ladies Night Out," where she had to put a tremendous amount of effort into planning and facilitating an event with different vendors and community members. Blayke is also on the Kateri Circle team, helping work the church bingo on Sundays.

I have truly enjoyed working with Blayke, she is at her core, a very good person, a person who wants to help her community and change the world. I hope you will strongly consider, Blayke B. Gibson, for this award. To me, she is the epitome of an outstanding student.

Sincerely,

Julie White


Nakaia Conners

Nakaia is a rising Senior at Gaithersburg High School in Gaithersburg, Maryland and an enrolled member of the Saint Regis Mohawk Tribe. She has been recognized by Montgomery County Public Schools for her academic accomplishments by being inducted into the National Honor Society, MCPS Chapter. As part of her academic accomplishments she has been selected to attend the National Youth Leadership Forum in Medicine at George Mason University in Fairfax, VA as well as the Congress of Future Science and Technology Leaders in Boston, MA. Nakaia was also selected to attend a cultural exchange program in Spain this June. In July, 2017 she attended the American University Discovery Program in Sports Broadcasting and Journalism where she shadowed industry leaders at ESPN Radio, Comcast Sportsnet and filmed a broadcast segment at the MLB Washington Nationals baseball game.

She exemplifies her leadership qualities as a member of the Gaithersburg Chapter of Students Against Destructive Decisions (SADD) where she enjoys working closely with her peers to create various events to empower other young people to successfully confront the risks and pressures that challenge them throughout their daily lives by making healthy decisions. She enjoys volunteering in various capacities and currently has over 265 Student Service Learning community service hours of the required 75 needed for graduation. Nakaia is active in the MCPS American Indian Education Program and American Indian Society, Washington DC Chapter. She has enjoyed managing the Boys Varsity Lacrosse team at her high school for the past 3 years, which gives her the ability to stay connected to the game of lacrosse which she enjoys.

Nakaia is a 3 year team member of the Varsity POMs team at Gaithersburg High School. In addition to performing at all football and basketball games her team went undefeated this season, receiving first place in all competitions. They accomplished their ultimate goal by placing l51 in the Montgomery County Public Schools County Wide Championship.

Nakaia plans to work this summer with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Indian Health Service as an intern with the National Office of Native Youth where she will have a role in the Generation Indigenous Initiative which is designed to build resiliency and promote positive development through programs for native youth living in their communities on reservations as well as Urban Indian communities. She will continue her college search this summer where she will make a decision on where she will ultimate pursue her education after graduating from High School.

Nakaia is the Daughter of Tina Conners-James and Damion James of Gaithersburg, MD and the Granddaughter of Brian Conners of Oneida, NY and Ruth Conners of Akwesasne, NY. She is also the God-Daughter of Akwesasne's own, Divalissa.

Tina Conners-James


Colin Benedict

It is my honor and privilege to submit this nomination for Colin Benedict, son of Owen and Alison Benedict. Colin is a rising sophomore having finished his first year at Cornell University studying Industrial and Labor Relations. A graduate of Salmon River Central School, Colin is on a pre-law track with the intention of going to law school. Colin's drive to reach his academic goals are coupled with his unwavering desire to create and support an Indigenous community on campus.

Colin was elected by his peers to lead the student organization Native American Students at Cornell as Co­Chair for the spring. Balancing his academic commitments, Colin helped to coordinate the inclusion of Indigenous culture as part of Cornell University's first Culture Fest. Bringing Onondaga singers and dancers to host a social during the festival, Colin and the other Indigenous undergraduate students proudly shared information regarding their respective communities.

Colin manages his academic workload, student organization commitments, and still manages to pursue his athletic interests of playing hockey and running. He supports other students to commit to their own physical fitness goals, encouraging them to participate in endeavors like the Greek Peak Winter Sprint Spartan Race and hockey tournaments.

The culmination of his Freshman year saw Colin awarded the Native American Students at Cornell Leadership Award. (Pie. 3) For all of these reasons I am nominating Colin Benedict to be recognized by the Saint Regis Mohawk Tribe's Education Department.

Kyrie Ranson


James Pierce Jr

I would like to nominate James Pierce for athletic achievement. I am nominating James because of his successful first year with the University of Montana's Men's Lacrosse team. He finished with 51 goals and 10 assist, averaging 6 points a game. He helped his team go undefeated in their division which is in the Pacific Northwest Collegiate Lacrosse League on the west coast and lost only three games on the season, making their way to the regional championship, which they lost in sudden death overtime.

James deserves recognition here at home for his achievement on the lacrosse field, as he has been recognized out west for best offensive player and all-conference attack. James plays with passion for a game he loves and as his coach described him as "someone who can change the momentum, who can step up and is someone who never really gets frustrated".

Patricia Pierce


Timmy John Rourke

We proudly nominate our brother, Timmy John Rourke, for the Tribe's Outstanding Student Achievement Awards. Timmy John is 17-years-old and is in his senior year at Salmon River Central School. This year he has come into his own, and for the first time wanted to play a team sport. Last Fall, he began playing for the Boys Varsity Basketball Team. Playing a varsity sport may seem like normal high school student extracurricular activity. However, Timmy John is anything but, he is spectacular and an inspiration to us all.

As teenagers, from our point of view at the time, we thought he cried a lot As a young child, he preferred certain socks, did not like certain fabrics. He took longer than we thought was usual to walk. He had his own "language" as a baby and toddler. He was taught sign language, when it was thought he may be hearing-impaired. He taught us all to sign certain words and we loved learning new things with him. After a long period of diagnostic testing, Timmy John was diagnosed with AD HD/Autism at the age of seven years old. As a family, this was a shock and we began learning what his diagnosis meant. Autism, or autism spectrum disorder, refers to a range of conditions characterized by challenges with social skills, repetitive behaviors, speech and nonverbal communication, as well as by unique strengths and differences. We now know that there is not one autism but many types, caused by different combinations of genetic and environmental influences.

Timmy John had a long road ahead of him. He struggled with his speech, even just enunciating our names took time, but he never gave up! He would say, "Bo," for Jori and "Keke," for Jacey. When he was five years old, he called us while we were attending University at Buffalo and he said our names, clear as day! We rejoiced for his victory. Timmy John has had many victories throughout the years, we believe all of his victories, whether big or small are monumental. Today, he is still academically delayed. But he has a memory of an elephant. He has learned to write his name and identify most numbers.

Timmy John loves hockey, like no other. He has been a SRC Boys Hockey superfan since he was walking and talking. He showed much dedication attending almost every game ever, in his support of the hockey team. In 2015, his dedication was recognized as he was the youngest ever fan to be selected as the recipient of the Wayne Castor Fan Appreciation in 2015. Timmy John remains an avid Boston Bruins fan. GO B's! In addition to following hockey, he also enjoys baseball, football and lacrosse.

We are grateful to the SRC Boys Basketball coaching staff for believing in Timmy John and giving him an opportunity to be part of a team. We watched him play this past season, trying to score numerous times during his games. On January 19th, he had a chance to score on a shooting foul. He missed the first, but was victorious the second shot with 43 seconds remaining on the board. The "house" was "lit," fans went crazy. Such a tremendous goal was achieved by him! Seconds later, with the clock running out he was victorious again shooting the last point of the game at 0.01 seconds. Salmon won 61-24. Getting four wisdom teeth pulled did not stop him from attending one of his games. Being part of the team has helped him feel a part of something and contributed to his sense of belonging.

On May 3rd, New York State APHERD awarded students in the areas of health, physical education, recreation, and dance in a ceremony held at Madrid-Waddington School. The Physical Education award selection criterion is as follows: competency in a variety of movement forms and sports skills; knowledge of movement concepts, rules and procedures; value learning; exhibit a healthy lifestyle; demonstrate leadership and is a positive influence on peers; and demonstrate sportsmanship and citizenship. Timmy John was awarded the Physical Education Student Leadership Award for the Northern Zone!

On the senior's night for boys' basketball, his childhood friend asked him to prom. Leading up to the big question, we were nervous about his reaction, especially in a public setting. Our father, Timmy and his mom Michelle prepared him for it, as best they could without giving away the surprise. When asked, he answered with a quiet, "sure." There were laughs, because this is normal Timmy John. There were big smiles and absolutely no dry eyes in the gymnasium. So next weekend, Timmy John will be attending his Senior Prom.

Recently, Timmy John made another great stride. He began playing with the SRCS Boys' Softball team. Right along with him, we are excitedly awaiting nicer weather to cheer him on again.

We are beyond proud of the progress he's made with his communication and social skills. This year he has shown tremendous personal growth and success. Timmy John will always reach for the stars and will not let his limitations hold him back from anything. He is a true inspiration. Again, we proudly nominate Timmy John for the Outstanding Achievement Award. We appreciate your time and consideration.

Nia:wen'ko:wa I Thank you,

Jacey and Jori Rourke


Colonie Gray

We the parents of Colonie M. Gray, Patrick and Brandy Gray nominate Colonie M. Gray for her outstanding achievements. Colonie is a 12th grade senior at Salmon River Central School. She is currently 18 years of age.

Colonie is currently the valedictorian of her class. She is always there to help anyone in need especially her classmates who need extra help. Colonie has been in many groups and clubs during her high school years. One of her latest and greatest accomplishments was being in her senior play which she played the role of SCAR in disney's the lion king which was a major hit. Last year she earned many awards and scholarships at salmon rivers award night. Colonie even earned a full scholarship to her next school being Hamilton College which is the greatest accomplishment for her.

We feel that Colonie has put in a lot of hard work and effort during the past few years and even her teachers agree. She is just a great all around student and daughter who deserves the world.


London Lazore

I would like to nominate my niece London Lazore. She is 9 years old and in the 4th grade at Tsi

Snaihne School. She's got the top grades in her class and on top of that her dedication to extracurricular activities and sports. She loves practicing and playing lacrosse and hockey. For the past 4 years, she has donated over 30 hats and gloves every year to the Tsi Snaihne School for kids who forgot theirs at home. She has dedicated much time to the Saint Regis Recreation dance club since they've begun. She enjoys performing singing and dancing and she now plays for an elite field team called Akwesasne Ride and plays novice 1 with Akwesasne Storm and she is going to be playing with the Typhoons level B Hockey in the Fall. I feel like all of London's amazing accomplishments and she will thrive to continue to do good for others in our community makes her an Outstanding Student.

Kevin Lazore


Recognition ceremonies for Outstanding Student Achievements are held twice a year. The Tribe is encouraging parents, relatives, siblings and community members to nominate a student deserving of recognition. If you know of someone who deserves to be recognized for volunteerism, academic or athletic achievement, or personal success in any capacity – then we want to hear from you! Please include the following with your nomination: student's name, age, grade, school they attend, contact information, and why they deserve to be recognized. Please email your nomination, with the subject line 'Student Nomination' to education@srmt-nsn.gov.

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