(From left to right) Emefa Abotsi, Danielle Simms, Andrea Hartlage, 11Alive General Manager Bob Walker, Junior Leage of Atlanta President Mary Mundy, Briana Stewart and Devin Thornton
Emefa Abotsi, Stephenson High School, was nominated by Interdenominational Church. A highly motivated individual, Emefa organizes blood drives and CPR classes for the Dekalb County Chapter of the American Red Cross, and also helps collect food for needy families. Every month Efema brings a little sunshine to the residents of Rosemont Nursing Home when she visits them on Saturdays. This future physician already educates others about communicable diseases and raises funds for the AIDS and Sickle Cell Foundations. Through the National Council of Negro Women Youth Chapter, she helps organize after school activities for elementary school children. A gifted student, Emefa has earned all A's and has remained on the Principal's List since kindergarten.
Danielle Simms, Greater Atlanta Christian School, was nominated by Special Populations Tennis Program, Inc. For the past several years she has helped train and prepare athletes to participate in the Special Olympics. As a unified partner, she and her special teammate won a gold medal for tennis in the State Games in 2003 and 2004. Danielle, who considers herself blessed to volunteer with a variety of organizations, also devotes her time to the Gwinnett Children's Shelter, and the Quinn House Homeless shelter where she sews personal care bags for residents. This budding journalist is a
contributing writer for Atlanta Christian Family Magazine and is on the Honor Roll for Academic Excellence.
Andrea Hartlage, Grayson High School, was nominated by Gwinnett Amateur Emergency Radio Service. Andrea devotes much of her time to inspiring youth through the Georgia Teen Institute's Summer Leadership Program. As a volunteer staff member, she educates others about the dangers of tobacco, alcohol, and drugs. Her dedication earned her the 2005 Outstanding Youth Staff Award. Andrea is also an avid Ham radio operator who plays a significant role in emergency preparedness. During the Hurricane Katrina disaster, she was instrumental in helping a man locate his family in Gulf Port, Mississippi. Andrea also volunteers her time and talent to assist in Canoe and Kayak races at Lake Lanier. Ranked number sixteen in her class, Andrea Editor-in-Chief of her school newspaper and maintains a GPA of 3.9.
Briana Stewart, Etowah High School, was nominated by the Alzheimer's Association Georgia Chapter. For the past few years Briana has participated in the organization'ssignature event, The Memory Walk. When she and her family were told her grandfather was affected by the disease, she became determined to help find a cure. She and her family created a memory walk team called "Papa's Angels" in honor of her grandfather. Last year Briana organized and hosted a Funfest to raise money for the Alzheimer's Association. As chairperson she rallied volunteers and acquired sponsorship donations. Though the event a challenge Briana's passion to help those who suffer from the debilitating disease grew even more. In the Fall she will begin her freshman year at the University of Georgia, but has no plans of abandoning what has become her labor of love.
Devin Thornton, Booker T. Washington High School, has always made community a priority. He has volunteered with the Hands On Atlanta Youth Advisory Board, The United Way, Georgia Partnership for Youth Investment, Communities In Schools, among many others. One of his most significant roles has been with the Fulton County Youth Commission. As a Youth Commissioner, Devin serves as an advocate and Lobbyist for issues that impact youth in the community. This awesome experience has inspired him to seek a career in politics. Devin has always excelled in school and is enrolled in the STAR Academy at Booker T. Washington High School.