City and local government representatives are honoring 13 Santa Clarita Valley teens at the SCV Teen Hero Recognition Ceremony on Thursday, city officials announced.
The teens have been selected by school administrators for making positive life changes and overcoming serious obstacles in their lives, acting as leaders for their peers, according to a city of Santa Clarita news release.
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“Several of the kids have shared that it was an honor to be selected or nominated as a hero,” said Cynthia Llerenas, human services supervisor for the city of Santa Clarita. “They felt like people who read their story would be inspired by it, and that would keep them motivated to continue on doing well in life.”
Serious obstacles the teens have worked to overcome include the death of a parent, having divorced parents, being raised by a single parent, having challenging health conditions or addictions, or other family or academic difficulties, she said.
Hosted by the Neighborhood Empowerment Safety Team, formerly known as the Anti-Gang Task Force, the ceremony will honor the teens as they receive commendations from city of Santa Clarita officials, Los Angeles County Supervisor Michael Antonovich, Assemblyman Scott Wilk, state Senator Steve Knight, U.S. Rep. Howard Buck McKeon and Santa Clarita business leaders.
The honorees are junior and senior high school students, listed below.
- Samer Ameeri
- Randy Cardenas
- Edward Castillo
- Jose Daniel Espinoza
- Jeremy Guizar
- Carlos Hernandez
- Brianna Jimenez
- Nicole Kovach
- Michael Levin
- Wendy Silva
- Jade Tellers
- Sage Walsh
- Jordyn Weber
“They continue to show leadership abilities, including academic achievement, in school,” Llerenas said. “They feel inspired now (and) people are looking up to them because they were nominated as a hero.”
The Neighborhood Empowerment Safety Team has hosted the ceremony in Santa Clarita every year since 1991.
The team is comprised of city staff, law enforcement volunteers and local agencies who work toward the common goal of steering youth away from gangs and negative behavior through a variety of programs that build life skills and self-esteem, city officials said.
This year’s ceremony is scheduled to begin at 6 p.m. on Thursday at the Santa Clarita Activities Center, located at 20880 Centre Pointe Parkway.
Residents interested in more information on the SCV Teen Hero Recognition program can call 661-286-4006 or click here.
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