The 18th annual edition of the Clintonville Area Chamber of Commerce Student Citizen Breakfast is set for Friday, April 17.
The event, which this year honors 46 students from the nine middle schools that serve Clintonville, will get underway at 7:15 a.m. in the Fawcett Center, 2400 Olentangy River Road, on the campus of Ohio State University.
The tradition of having teachers and administrators select middle school students to be honored for their academic achievements and volunteer activities in the community was started by the North Area Real Estate Association, said Joe Jackson, longtime co-chairman with Sue Lusk- Gleich of the Student Citizen Breakfast.
The event was taken over at some point many years ago by the chamber, said President Jenny Smith.
"It was a good fit and the Realtors are still involved," she said. "Many of the Realtors of the area are sponsors for it."
Each of the 46 students is paired with someone from the business community, an elected official, member of the clergy or other local leader for the breakfast gathering.
"We feel it's important to honor our bright young students who are great volunteers in the community, to have them there with businesspeople, local politicians, to help them develop into good citizens," Jackson said. "It's a very exceptional community event because we cover the public, parochial, private, the Christian schools as well as the schools for the deaf and blind."
"They're selected by their teachers and administrators for their academic achievement and their volunteerism," Smith said. "They are an amazing group of kids. Every year they just are incredible. They're forward-thinking. They have dreams and aspirations. They work in their community, they study hard, they have great parents who care about them and support them. It's just actually heartwarming.
"They're our future leaders."
The participating schools are Calumet Christian School, Clintonville Academy, Columbus North International School, Dominion Middle School, Immaculate Conception School, Indianola Informal K-8, Ohio School for the Deaf, Ohio State School for the Blind and Our Lady of Peace School.
Administrators at each school may select two students each from grades 6-8. The students will receive a medal and a certificate of recognition from the chamber and the event committee, as well as commendations from Gov. John Kasich and other state and local government officials.
"Many of the young students I have talked with and sponsored in the past are now in their mid-20s and are now productive citizens, whether here in Clintonville or they have moved on," Jackson said. "They're just outstanding citizens."
Clintonville's top student citizens
Students who will be honored during the Clintonville Area Chamber of Commerce Student Citizen Breakfast, scheduled Friday, April 17, are:
* Calumet Christian School -- Olivia Baker, Nigel Rich, Aaron Wickham, Sally Brackbill, Zoe Gertler and Brandon Lee.
* Clintonville Academy -- Savannah Hutchings, Makenzie Hall, Anne Baker, Rachel Fall, Mia DeSimone and Cole Petrilla.
* Columbus North International School -- Ilya LaBozetta, Ta'Hanni Brown, Kadeem Grace and Isabella Gonzalez.
* Dominion Middle School -- Victor Waitkus, Omolkar Ali, Connor Gott, Dahlia Kleen, Avery Hughes and Cole Abbott.
* Immaculate Conception School -- James Rodgers, Mary Kate Rinderle, Megan Eberts, Gabriel Thomas, Jamie McGuire and Trey Kowalke.
* Indianola Informal K-8 -- Colin Ramsby, Tia Hill, Jake Scheckelhoff, Lucy Bednar-Warren, Micha Stromsoe-DeLorenzo and Griffin Hughes.
* Ohio School for the Deaf -- Chloe Kuhns and Mierra Robinson.
* Ohio State School for the Blind -- Yaqi Schumacher, Autum Radcliff, Maggie Perkins-Tolle and Sara Palur.
* Our Lady of Peace -- Maddison McCleary, Vivian Divierte, Faith Watson, Liliana Mendiola, Tessa Whittaker and Adam Benedum.