WASHINGTON—Academic awards are usually given to students that excel on a consistent basis. But Councilmember Kwame R. Brown recently recognized 22 District students who may not have started off as “A” students but have worked their way past obstacles to a higher academic standing.

They were students like Michelle Burris, of School Without Walls. Burris started with a grade point average of 2.5 but matriculated with a cumulative GPA of 3.29.

“Michelle is an excellent student who has displayed exceptional behavior throughout her high school career.  She is always reaching out for ways to improve herself.  She puts maximum effort to learn and succeed.  She is accepted and enrolled at St. Mary’s College of Maryland.  Her persistence has paid off,” read her nomination letter.

And George Blanks of McKinley Technology, who started with a 1.11 GPA and ended with a 2.0 GPA.

“George has demonstrated significant growth since coming to Tech…  He even joined our drama team and has headlined our new play,” read his nominating letter.

“When you hear these students’ stories, you think to yourself, they can do anything,” said Councilmember Kwame Brown. “There’s nothing that can hold them back when they put their minds to it.  The students, parents, and educators should be proud of the amazing achievements they’ve made.  I’m sure we’ll be hearing more about these bright young stars in the future.”

This year, for the fourth year, Councilmember Brown invited all District high schools to nominate a student for the award.  This year’s nominees were: 

Benjamin Banneker Raphael Woldeab Mamie D. Lee Mario Brooks
Caesar Chavez Elton Wright Maya Angelou PCS Raheem Hannah
Caesar Chavez Shavionne Smith McKinley Technology George Blanks
Calvin Coolidge Angel Jones Roosevelt Rico Kinney
Cardozo Isaiah Aladejobi School Without Walls Michelle Burris
Duke Ellington Lois Wilkerson SEED PCS Tyler Goodger
Eastern Tyree Boney Spingarn Denard Duncan
Edison Friendship Collegiate Academy Torrie Davis Thurgood Marshall Parris Robertson
IDEA Alana Shields Transition Academy Dontate Robey
Kamit Institute Adrian Hall Washington Math, Science and Technology Michael Whitfield Jr.
Luke C. Moore Cornell Harris Young America Works Phyllis Stoddard