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16 students nominated for humanitarian award

A student who exemplifies one of Tucson’s most honored humanitarians will receive the Ray Davies Student Service Award on Wednesday.

Sixteen students from local high schools have been nominated for the award, named after Davies, a former teacher, who is known nationally for his advocacy of humanitarian causes.

The winner will receive a laptop computer.

Nominees are:

• Ashley Gee, Cholla High Magnet School, worked at an orphanage in Anahuac, Chihuahua, Mexico.

• Rita Oldham, Mountain High School, is a youth mentor for YES, Youth Empowered for Success, which has teen institutes to train high schoolers to do community service.

• Mary Bryant, Sahuarita High School, worked hundreds of hours as a volunteer at Reid Park Zoo’s learning center.

• Brittany Brooke Moreno, Marana High School, is president of Erasing Racism And Sexism Everywhere (E.R.A.S.E.) at her school. She also started the Marana Youth Leadership Program, which had a Stop the Hate workshop at school and a Taste of Marana event for the town of Marana to bring people from different cultures together.

• Hema Ruiz-Jimenez, Pueblo High Magnet School, is involved in the YES Club and is a school peer counselor and a volunteer at Tucson Children’s Museum, where she plays, reads, does fingerpainting and teaches children.

• Nicole Marie Smith, Presidio School, is involved in the Pima County Public Library Teen Advocate Program, where she speaks with peers to advocate library use; and in the Pima County Summer Youth Program, where she worked with children with disabilities.

• Imelda G. Cortez, Pueblo Magnet High School, is involved in TYLO (Tierra y Libertad Organization), a grass-roots collective based in Tucson that promotes equality, justice and self-determination. She was part of the TYLO Barrio Sustainability Project, organizing the South Side of Tucson around an urban green model. She also was part of the Pima Internship Program Freedom Summer, where she earned a health promoter certificate that allows her to talk to peers about sex awareness, hygiene and healthful eating.

• Samuel Barba, Pueblo Magnet High School, also with TYLO’s Barrio Sustainability Project. He also worked for migrant rights.

• Brittany Leigh Craber, EDGE High School, volunteered and worked for the Teaching Our Toddlers Skills (TOTS) Program, where she worked with young children. She also is a recreation aide in a program for children ages 5 to 17, and a mentor at her school.

• Natalia Hoyos, University High School, raised money to go to Ghana to work at an orphanage and school. She is trying to start a nonprofit organization (the Web site is www.buildingbrightfuture.com) to raise money for schools in Ghana. She also works with New Global Citizens, a school group that partners with youths in another country each year to make a difference. This year it is raising money for the operation of shelter for abused women in Sierra Leon.

• Christine Fallon, Tanque Verde High School, is president of the Tanque Verde Service Club, which raised money last year by doing a cookbook, and this year by putting on a concert and fair for children with disabilities.

• Josue Saldivar, Desert View High School, chairman for volunteering in the school’s National Honor Society and an executive mentor of IGNITE, where he trains others to become mentors.

• Kathy Tran, Ironwood Ridge High School, raised $1,500 last year for the American Cancer Society and also is involved with Interact, a Rotary Club project through which she organized toy and book drives and festivals at Rio Vista Elementary.

• Sienna Jeffers, Sahuaro High School, founded the Humanitarian Club at her school to fight hatred and civil rights abuses around the world. For the first event, Darfur Week, students raised money and worked to raise awareness. She also created Poetry Jam, where students could voice their opinions.

• Kea Tabisola, Salpointe Catholic High School, is a longtime summer camp counselor for Girl Scouts. She is involved in student council, which does the annual Random Acts of Kindness Week. She also is a Rotary junior counselor.

• Julie Crusa, St. Augustine Catholic High School, went on a five-day trip to San Carlos Indian Reservation, working with children in the classroom.


If you go

What: Third annual Ray Davies Student Service Award

When: 7 p.m. Wednesday

Where: Catalina United Methodist Church, 2700 E. Speedway Blvd.

Details: For reservations, call 791-3221.

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