School: Edison Academy
Parents/Guardians: Sara Meneses (Mom), Tracey Ring (Grandma)
Why was student nominated? "Gage perseveres in the face of challenges,," said Edison Academy staff. "He is a conscientious student in his classes. Gage has an inquisitive mind and is always willing to learn something new. Gage shows kindness and compassion for others. He is a role model for other students."
What are you most proud of? "I am most proud of my change. I went through a lot in my home life over the years but even though I’ve had my struggles I’ve still managed to turn my life around for the better. I’m proud that I have taken control of my life and not cared what anyone had to say about it."
What makes you happy? "Video games, political debates, and food. I like animals, loud music, and writing stories; but in all honesty the thing that makes me most happy are the friends and family and my girlfriend who all pushed me to be the best me I could become. The amount of support I have had from them has made me the happiest I could ever be."
What teacher has inspired you and why? "Each teacher here at Edison teaches me a different thing about myself which inspires me. It’s not what they teach in the classroom that touches me; it’s the personal talks and the way they put themselves out there that inspires me. Teresa Heden, my math teacher, is the sweetest and most zen-filled teacher, her outlook on life helps to bring me my inner peace, and God knows I need that. She teaches me to not be so aggressive and she inspires me to, actually, want to help my community rather than forsake it. My social studies teacher, Christy Haynes, is the funniest and most open-minded teacher. She has inspired me to be OK with being me and to have an open mind to anyone even if I don’t always agree, while speaking my opinion respectfully. Shawn Rice, the most forgetful but happy teacher teaches me English. She has inspired me to not always be so pessimistic. She’s inspired me to express my creativity the way I love to do, through writing. Lastly, my science teacher, Kitty Clingingsmith, has inspired me to always think harder about things, and that even if people put you down and are rude to you to keep going. She reminds me to ignore them and to keep going with my goal no matter who tries to put me down.
In all honesty the entire staff here at Edison has inspired me to be a better person and I’m extremely thankful for the opportunity to be here. I have been inspired to change my life, to be taught, and have a close relationship to each of the staff here. The staff opens so many opportunities for my future. I could honestly fill an entire page of who and what inspires me here at Edison but I will leave it at the entire staff simply because they’re amazing and wonderful people. I don’t honestly know where I’d be without this great program.
What is your reaction to honor? "Shocked, I’m extremely honored that I got this. I honestly think a lot of kids deserve this. I don’t do what I do for recognition and never even thought anyone would notice, but to be chosen for this amazing honor is heart touching and all I can think now is that I’ll make sure not to disappoint those who nominated me."