This young man has displayed outstanding characteristics, and abilities within the Pueblo, Colorado as well as Pueblo West, Colorado communities. After graduating from high school with an additional 15 college credits, he began the journey of becoming the founder, co-owner, and active CEO of Pueblo’s very first full service mobile IV hydration bar. After participating in the SOCO Entrepreneurship Competition earlier this year, he had begun to build what is to be a healthful, immune and performance boosting program in the Pueblo-Canon City Colorado areas.
Youth & Young Adult Nominations
I am lucky to have known Betelhem since her freshman year of high school and have continually watched her blossom into a thoughtful, compassionate individual. As a student, she is truly exemplary. From the moment I met her, Bethy has always risen to the occasion regardless of whatever task or assignment is put in front of her. She strives to challenge herself academically, enrolling in honors and AP classes throughout her high school career. From my perspective as her English teacher, her writing is poignant and thought provoking, well beyond any text we have read together. Her in-depth thinking sets a high standard for her peers and constantly raises the bar of status-quo expectations. Within the classroom, she is a natural leader, frequently approaching her peers and teachers with a paramount level of maturity.
In addition to her academic prowess, Betelhem’s willingness to put others before herself, from a lens of equity, might be her greatest attribute. As a first-generation student from Ethiopia, she has a unique point of view in regard to overcoming adversity from both a racialized, academic, and socioeconomic perspective. She has taken on extracurricular and leadership roles that allow her to be a mentor and a sounding guide for young Black females with similar backgrounds. Most notably, Betelhem founded Black Sisters Forum, inspiring women to become empowered through finding their voice and identity. She also currently serves in leadership roles in both Key Club and National Honors Society here at Smoky Hill High School. Betelhem always strives to be a powerful representation of her community, helping underrepresented people in society find their passion in life, as she emulates through her unwavering dedication.
Matthias is a young man who is overcome much adversity in his young age to become one of the most humble hard-working young men I know. He overcame being extremely ill his entire Junior high year so much so that when he completed eighth grade he was told that he was going to have to do 8th grade again and would not succeed as a freshman but through advocacy and fighting on his behalf his father and I were able to get him into manual high School where not only did he Excel his freshman year but he is a straight A student his South one year he is a ranking officer in JROTC he is the freshman class president his freshman year and he is the VP of his sophomore class this year he is on the student board at manual high School and so many other things I cannot even begin to list them all. Not only that spiritually Matthias is so connected with his purpose give it to him by God he has been ministering the word of God since he was 2 years old and he has not stopped he preaches the word of God throughout the city of Colorado and lives by what he preaches. He is a very gifted and talented young man full of life Joy comedy laughter and peace.
He has a 3.89 GPA, part of Pead Education, Elevated (mentors children to get to college) Panorama Park Youth Advisory Council, plays competitive basketball, gives back to his community by volunteering. Including volunteering at Care and Share, Balloon Classic, painting the lines on the basketball courts at his local parks, trail clean ups and does the yard work for his grandpa after a recent stroke. He is a leader at his school, captain of the basketball team and qb of the district football team. He is active in restorative justice and keeping his fellow classmates positive and helping them make the right choices. His work ethic shines in and out of the classroom. He also participated in the Black Lives Matter protest this past summer. He is focused on getting into college and wants to continue to give back to his Southeast Colorado Springs neighborhood as he goes through life.
A recent graduate from Metropolitan State University of Denver’s Journalism department, N’dea Carter is a young professional starting her journey as a writer and a public relations specialist. Ms. Carter has written on topics such as the homelessness crisis in Colorado, the dangers of fast fashion on the environment and the impact of local activists. During her time as an intern with U.S. Bank she helped kick-start the first newsletter for the Investment Services Marketing department, co-authoring several articles highlighting senior level executives role in the company and in the community. Ms. Carter is passionate about her community and hopes to showcase the good work of great people through her writing.