Ariana Calzada of Whiting High School and Kayla Griffin of Lowell Senior High School were the most recent recipients of the George Amaya It’s Cool to Stay in School Scholarship Award. Each student received $1,000.00 toward her post high school education expenses.
“Only seven high schools participated this year; there were twenty that didn’t”, scoffed Lake Superior Court Judge Calvin D. Hawkins, founder of the It’s Cool to Stay in School program.
“We have some outstanding students in our County. Under our program we send letters to high school principals and/or guidance counselors to nominate a graduating senior for the Amaya award. The student has to submit an essay on why staying in school is important. A committee of It’s Cool to Stay in School partners makes the selection of two deserving students”
“There were no Gary students nominated; no Hammond students nominated; no Crown Point, Munster, Hobart and New Chicago students nominated. This is the fault of lazy administrators. All of our County students should be in the mix. Something is terribly wrong with this picture with a high school not nominating one of its students”.
“Our partners willfully donate their time and money to encourage the area’s young people. These paid educators do little to assist in this process”.
Participating schools this year were East Chicago Central, Lowell, Calumet New Tech, Whiting, Lake Central, Bishop Noll and Griffith High School.
New partners introduced at this year’s offering were Commissioners Jerry Tippy, Mike Repay, CourtCall Inc. and J. C. Welch. Without the partners there would be no scholarships.
Program chair Sandra Moreno Garcia said, “The scholarship was named after George Amaya, the first It’s Cool to Stay in School scholar, who was tragically killed in a auto collision almost seven years ago; he was a freshman at Manchester University”.