Turn Around Awards Honor Inspiring Farmington Schools Students

Papa John's owner Adrian Owens encourages students to 'never, ever give up' on themselves.

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 , 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  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 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." 

The annual event is sponsored by , the Farmington Observer, and  departments. 

Turn Around honorees are:

Angelina Avanesova,

Bianca Azer, North Farmington High

Kylar Berzins,

Martez David,

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,

Lexie Sittsamer, North

Carla Toma, East

De’Abram Turner, Harrison

Erika Wilhite, North Farmington

Brandon Wilk, Farmington


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