Guilford County – The High Point Schools Partnerships (HPSP) hosted the eighth annual Student Leadership Awards on Wednesday, May 8th. Due to the pandemic, this year’s event was hosted virtually. Principals, school officials and community leaders logged on to celebrate the students.

“More than ever, we felt it was important to honor student leadership in our schools,” said Matt Thiel, co-chair of the High Point Schools Partnerships, an initiative of Guilford Education Alliance. “Even with the format changes, the message remains the same – these students worked hard and we are very proud of them.”

Principals at each of the six GCS high schools located in High Point were asked to pick one student that excelled as a student leader. High Point Central principal Shelley Nixon-Green chose senior Eli Yu. “Eli’s desire to help others shines through in everything he does,” said Greene. When Eli accepted his award he spoke movingly about how much being a High Point Central Bison has meant to him. This year, when Westboro Baptist protested outside of the school, Eli noted that the school community joined together to counter the protest. “We chanted about unity, we did not shrink against their hate,” he said. “We joined together to meet them with love.” Eli plans to be combat medic and will continue his studies at UNC-Chapel Hill.

The 2020 Student Leadership Awards honorees are: Ruben Baba (Andrews High), Eli Yu (High Point Central), Rosirian Santiago (Kearns Academy), Heaven Williams (Middle College at GTCC), Amirah Irby-Shabazz (Penn-Griffin School for the Arts) and Destiny Blue (Southwest Guilford).

Students were presented with designer watches that were generously donated by Simon Jewelers and High Point Jewelers and Fine Gifts. During the program, Thiel shared that when he was in high school, he received a similar watch during his graduation and it has served a source of inspiration over the course of this life. “Every time these students look at their watch, I hope they are reminded that their community is always here to support them,” says Thiel. “These students are our future and we are so proud to say that they are from High Point.”

GEA is an ever-growing alliance of individuals, organizations and businesses who donate time, talent and resources to make sure the future is bright for Guilford County Schools students and for our community. High Point Schools Partnership is a volunteer-led initiative of the Guilford Education Alliance that brings together local business leaders, educators, nonprofits, parents and other entities in support of local

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