Turn Around Awards Honor Inspiring Farmington Schools Students
Papa John's owner Adrian Owens encourages students to 'never, ever give up' on themselves.
North Farmington High junior Erika Wilhite said she turned things around at school by focusing better, and with help from teacher Wendy Warren.
Angelique Hicks, an 8th grader at East Middle School, believes a better family situation has helped her improve her grades.
On Thursday, the teens were among 20 students honored with Turn Around Achievement Awards at Glen Oaks Country Club in Farmington Hills. All were nominated based on their success in turning their lives around during this school year.
"Her attitude changed, her demeanor changed, her disposition changed," Wilhite's grandmother Bobbie Thames said. "She wants to do the right thing."
Thames credits Wilhite's family support, school support and personal will, and said, "Of course, God is over it all."
"I think it's attitude, and I think it's choosing to have a better outlook," Hicks' mother, Michele Austin, said. "And she truly wants to do good. I think that's a big plus for her."
Event speaker Adrian Owens, now the owner of four Papa John's restaurants and 22 real estate properties, talked about he overcame a learning disability on his path to success. He said he followed the lives of people he admired, listening to recordings of biographies and other inspiring books.
Owens told parents to "continue to encourage your child, whatever their learning challenge may be." And he urged students, "Never, ever give up on yourself."
Turn Around honorees are:
Angelina Avanesova, Dunckel Middle School
Bianca Azer, North Farmington High
Kylar Berzins, Harrison High
Martez David, Farmington High
Tyler Dunn, Harrison
Andrew Hammond, East Middle School
Angelique Hicks, East
Isaiah Jones, Farmington
Meredith Kay, Dunckel
Craig Kojamanian, Dunckel
Raquelle Lane, Farmington
Danari Lindsey, East
Linda Lucaj, Dunckel
Adam Mahu, North Farmington
Devin Shamou, Farmington Central High
Lexie Sittsamer, North
Carla Toma, East
De’Abram Turner, Harrison
Erika Wilhite, North Farmington
Brandon Wilk, Farmington