On April 21s our guest speakers were Jaime Sturgeon, IBCoordinator from Sebastian River High School with the 2020 Youth of the Year and ACE Award recipients.
The Youth of the Year Recipient has achieved high levels of scholastic achievement, community involvement and leadership. This year’s recipients were Sarah Cosner and Joseph Twomey. The Youth of the Year students read the essays they had written on stepping outside their comfort zones.
These essays will be submitted to the District and National competition level. Sarah Cosner is an IB Diploma graduate with a weighted GPA of 4.639 and Class Rank of 4th. She is an AP Scholar, current Excel Club President, and past Excel Club Treasurer (2019-2020). She won the Exchange Club Presidential Award of Honor in May 2020.
Sarah is a Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA) member serving as Florida District 17 President 2020-2021 and President of the SRHS Club.She is a member of the National Honor Society and the SRHS Band serving as Drum Major 2019-2020 and 2020-2021. She has received 7 Superior ratings on saxophone for both solos and ensembles. Sarah’s essay described how she founded “Forte to Feed” and hosted virtual musical concerts to raise money for local food banks during the Covid-19 pandemic. Sarah will be attending the University of Alabama Honors Program with a full scholarship from National World and Small Town Scholarship program and she has also received full tuition and housing for her first year. She plans to study Public Policy and become a Public Policy Analyst in Washington D.C.
Joseph Twomey is an IB Diploma graduate with weighted GPA of 4.667 and ranked 1st in his class. He is a member of the National Honor Society and an AP Scholar with Honor and qualified for FBLA Nationals. He Coached for Float Hope of Indian River County (non-profit) and Gifford Oral History Project where he interviewed African Americans from Gifford for the Laura Riding Jackson Foundation’s Oral History project—Teens Listen. Joseph was Captain of the Varsity Swim Team, A Finals Qualifier at the FHSAA Swimming State Championship and Area 6 Representative for Florida. Joseph’s essay described how he lobbied Florida Swimmers in Tallahassee for all state swim teams to continue events following CDC guidelines during the Covid-19 Pandemic. He plans to attend Bentley University in Boston and as Class Valedictorian has received several merit scholarships.
The ACE Recipient has made dramatic changes in his or her performance during high school. This year’s recipient was Peyton Johnson. She read the essay she wrote about events I her life of which she is most proud. Peyton Johnson described herself as a very typical online student who procrastinated to the risk of failing during her freshman year. Because they recognized her potential teachers gave her an extension on assignments which made her understand the benefits of time management and gain insight on her true work potential. Her plans for the future are to study in the microbiology field and investigate or analyze microcosms in the Indian River Lagoon which are toxic and cause respiratory issues. Using her education she wants to make her community a happier healthier place.