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19 under 19- Up and Coming

Ava Mei McMahon, Norcross High School, 11th Grade

“Ava Mei is a wonderful student and human being. She is a hard worker and is always willing to help her classmates. Additionally, she participates in service projects like roadside cleanup, making gift baskets for fire-fighters and librarians, volunteers for the Special Olympics and helps the Random Acts of Kindness club with making shoeboxes for the homeless.”

– Maria Pena, Ava Mei’s teacher

Brooklyn Jennings, Pinckneyville Middle School, 6th Grade

“Brooklyn is an outstanding athlete. I have had the opportunity to get to know her through softball. She plays both Middle School and travel softball. She has received numerous awards from playing softball She is also an author who wrote a book, “Girls Can Play Sports, Too.” She is one of the sweetest, most polite and smart girls I have had the opportunity to meet.”

-Melissa Crosby, Brooklyn’s friend through softball

Dylan (Lumi) Christensen, Norcross High School, 12th Grade

“Lumi is very interested in mathematics. He works with our math team, was instrumental in restarting our Mu Alpha Theta Club and tutored students after school on the math portion of the SAT.”

– Elizabeth Frisbee, Lumi’s math teacher

Dylan Lenze, Paul Duke STEM High School, 12th Grade

“Dylan is an awesome well-rounded student, and Dylan is a player partner for the U.S. Special Olympics Unified team. It’s an inclusion team that is comprised of players and partners from all over the country. Dylan made the U.S. men’s team and is the only partner that will be representing Georgia on that team in Detroit at the World Unified Games, along with three other players.”

-Jonathon Wetherington, Principal of Paul Duke STEM HS

Frank Hammock, Paul Duke STEM High School, 12th Grade

“Frank is an all-around great student. He is polite, kind, mature, respectful and bright. It is uncommon for someone of his age to already have that combination of attitudes. He has a number of sports hobbies, and has generously donated his time to school. I am unsure of his future plans, but as his teacher I am excited to see where he lands. I am sure Frank will be asset to any school or organization to which he becomes affiliated.”

-Dr. Teresita Edwards, Frank’s teacher

Gabriella Chimbanda, Norcross High School, 11th Grade

“Besides being a hard worker, Gabriella is kind, responsible and conscientious. She volunteers at her church to support families who cannot afford Christmas presents for their children, as well as volunteers for a BBQ for the ministry Yielded Men. She is an athlete and is going to accomplish wonderful things in life.

-Maria Pena, Gabriella’s teacher

Hannah Fears, Wesleyan School, 12th Grade

“Hannah is an excellent student and very involved in her community. She was awarded the Academic Excellence for Sophomore Girls award in 10th grade. She plays on Wesleyan’s Varsity Soccer team and Varsity Cross Country team. She serves as a member of Students Advocating for Life Without Substance Abuse (SALSA) and serves on the prom committee. Hannah is also a member of National Charity League, where she was elected parliamentarian.”

-Jennifer Copeland, Administrator at Wesleyan School

Mia Ortiz, Norcross High School, 11th Grade

“Mia is a wonderful, hard-working, caring student who is always willing to help. She was selected and represents Norcross High school in the Gwinnett Student leadership team. She is one of the executive officers for the National English Honor Society. She was the 1st Sergeant in Junior Leadership Corps. Her goal is to make her passion come true with her independent success!”

-Maria Pena, Mia’s teacher

Nyla Reaze, Norcross High School, 10th Grade

“Nyla excels in art, specifically drawing and digital art. Her ELA teacher nominated her for the ambassador program for 7th grade but was unable to attend due to COVID. She is a member of the DECA club and enrolled in the 3DE program at Norcross. Nyla is enrolled in Honors classes as well.”

  • Hannah Sprenger, Nyla’s teacher

Rachel Todebush, Greater Atlanta Christian School, 12th Grade

“Rachel Todebush is an outstanding scholar, excels at swimming and has worked hard to improve the community and the experience for future swimmers in Georgia and around the country.”

-Patricia Todebush, Rachel’s mom

Rachel is a also very active member of the community, a competitive swimmer and a Girl Scout who has earned both the Silver and the Gold award. Learn more about Rachel in our Faces of 2022 profile.

Rafael Garcia Ramos, Norcross High School, 11th Grade

“Besides being an amazing student and all-around human being, Rafael also helps elementary students with their reading and comprehension skills. He has volunteered with Light Up the Corners. He is in marching band and is an officer for the National English Honor Society. Rafael’s goal is to be in the medical field, specifically a Nurse Practitioner.”

-Maria Pena, Rafael’s teacher

Tiana Reid, Peachtree Ridge High School, 10th Grade

“Tiana started as a member of our Teen Advisory Council (TAC). She was very eager to join the group and worked hard on all assigned projects. She then started volunteering with our Math and Reading Clubs. She has been an invaluable help with our Kindergarten through 2nd grade students. She is very patient and works diligently to help each student. She is always punctual and takes working with the children very seriously. She is very hard-working and is focused on completing any task she is given.” Volunteer Supervisor for the Gwinnett Public Library — Duluth Branch

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