BATON ROUGE, La. (BRProud) – It seems like forever since students were inside a school building due to the coronavirus.
The place where students are studying has changed, but learning has not stopped for students in the state.
Some of those students are considered exceptional by Louisiana Public Broadcasting.
The Young Heroes Program is in its 25th year and this time around, six high school students are receiving recognition for their work inside and outside of school.
The six students include two from Baton Rouge and they are listed below:
Anthony Chiasson – 10th grade – Catholic High School in Baton Rouge
Anthony Chiasson’s life was saved through the miracle of donation when he received a liver transplant as a baby from his father’s organ donation. While Anthony continues to face medical challenges, he puts in 100% effort every day, and works to raise awareness through the Louisiana Organ Procurement Agency about the gift that is organ, tissue and eye donation.
Lillian DeJean – 12th grade – Homeschooled in Lafayette
Lillian DeJean has an unspecified autoimmune disease and a mitochondrial disorder. Because of this, Lillian lives her life intentionally, and has found her life’s purpose and her voice in disability advocacy. Lillian has received the Lafayette Parish Disability Awareness Committees Outstanding Youth Leadership Award and the Governor’s Outstanding Leadership in Disabilities Youth of the Year Award.
Claire Holder – 12th grade – St. Joseph’s Academy in Baton Rouge
Claire Holder has received the SJA Community Service Award and has over 400 documented volunteer hours with community organizations that include the American Heart Association, Baton Rouge Minority Firefighters, Greater Baton Rouge Food Bank, Society of St. Vincent DePaul, Southside Assisted Living Facility and Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure. Claire has been recognized for her leadership through numerous youth, academic and sports organizations.
Caleb Lewis – 12th grade – Northlake Christian School in Covington
Caleb Lewis has not only begun to change the world through humanitarian aid work but also by his determination to persevere after a traumatic brain injury. Caleb is one of the country’s youngest college soccer referees and has inspired many students with hardships. An Honor Roll student who has earned his private plane pilots license, Caleb is defined by his positive attitude and determination.
Riley Marze – 10th grade – Leesville High School in Leesville
Riley Marze was born with Turner’s Syndrome, a chromosomal disorder that can cause developmental problems. Though small in stature, she is large in personality and vibrancy. Riley is involved in many school organizations, and enjoys serving at the Senior Citizens’ Luncheon, visiting nursing homes, has served on the Mayor’s Youth Council and looks out for her fellow students.
Garrett Sanders – 12th grade – Hammond High Magnet School in Hammond
Garrett Sanders has maintained a 4.0 GPA while coordinating food drives, raising money to buy children Christmas gifts, volunteering at his local hospital, organizing school supply drives and volunteering with the Parish, Regional, State and National 4-H. Garrett’s greatest impact was building the 2 Blessing Boxes in Hammond to provide items to anyone who may need them. The premise is to “Take what you need and leave what you can.”
LPB states that “a Young Hero is defined as an exceptional high school student who has excelled in academics, given significantly of themselves through public service, overcome adversity, exhibited extraordinary heroism, or inspired others through their deeds and strength of character.”
On Louisiana Young Heroes Day, these six exceptional high school students will be honored for their accomplishments.