Recently, we attended the annual Northeast High School (NEHS) National Honor Society (NHS) induction ceremony on behalf of our Foundation, the Alisha C. Levin Memorial Fund. This year's ceremony was obviously very different from years past. As we usually sit in a big auditorium filled with rising sophomores and juniors celebrating the accomplishments of NHS seniors, this year we had to pivot and rethink our presentation. Thank goodness for Zoom!
Each September, we host our annual Alisha C. Levin Run to Remember. It brings family and friends together all for a good cause - to raise money for scholarships and programs at NEHS. It is an event that we have dedicated to preserving Alisha's memory and give back to the school that we love so dearly. From those donations, we award 5 scholarships to outstanding members of the senior NHS class at their year-end ceremony. Each of those students show exemplary leadership, academics and dedication to the community, all in Alisha's name. It makes us feel hopeful for the future. While we have a chance to meet the award winners and offer our congratulations, this year’s ceremony took on a whole new meaning.
Our family, NEHS principal, Omar Crowder, NHS co-sponsors, Chris Frank and Kristina Walters-Gower and the 5 outstanding young men and women award winners, Mariana Crus-Sanchez, Muhammedamin Chariwala, Jason Van, Deborah Duong, and Cristina Jiang had a thoughtful, hour long, intimate ceremony. We heard from their own voices about their accomplishments and hopes and dreams for the future. It was incredible to have time to get to know each one and understand their personalities. What was most heartfelt to us was how these students told us of their struggles and financial difficulties in paying for college. COVID and its subsequent impact put a major stress on their lives and some didn't know how they could financially afford to attend college. There was a real gap in funding and our Foundation was able to bridge that. It brought tears to our eyes knowing that they were able to attend the colleges of their choice because we were there for them in this time of need. This has strengthened our dedication to giving back to our community, just as these students have done.