The Caring Heart Award is provided to each NAD-accredited senior academy that has selected an eligible candidate.

June 24, 2021

Academy students recognized for ‘Caring Heart’

Seven Lake Union students receive the Caring Heart Award

The Lake Union and North American Division Office of Education believes that teaching young people to be actively involved in witnessing and service activities is central to the educational goals of the school and the mission of the church.

For this reason, the secondary student Caring Heart Award for Christian service has been established to give recognition to those students who have demonstrated a personal commitment to active service and witnessing activities.

Through the Caring Heart Award, the importance of witnessing and service activities is emphasized and given appropriate recognition along with academic, athletic, music and other school awards and honors.An additional purpose of this award is to foster increased awareness and participation in witnessing and service activities by all students.

The Caring Heart Awardis provided to each NAD-accredited senior academy that has selected an eligible candidate.The award consists of a special scholarship award certificate with a value of $500, paid by the Union, and accompanied by a plaque and engraved Bible provided by the NAD Office of Education.

Below are the recipients for the 2020‒2021 school year. 



Andrews Academy

During his four years at Andrews Academy Jake VanDenburgh made a strong impression with the students and faculty. Jake’s love for the Lord, his humble, kind and dependable character was seen by the students from day one and was elected class pastor for his freshmen and then sophomore years. He shared Jesus through numerous class vespers, school devotional talks, Bible retreats and probably more importantly lived his faith that so many were impacted by. His junior year, he volunteered with an unofficial SA support group that not only helped the Student Association but others in need. For example, one time he and a group of students spent several hours cleaning and tidying a storage room next to the office of a teacher that had been injured. During his final year he led the school as SA Pastor. Jake found many ways to demonstrate his Christian character to fellow students, faculty, and community and continues to do so this summer as a summer camp staff.






Battle Creek Academy

Oriel Paulino-Peña has invested thought and hard work into the school as the Battle Creek Student Association president this year. He has worked to involve as many members of the student body as possible and has built a fine team of students from every class. He also led his class as treasurer and worked hard to make senior class fundraisers and events successful, often showing up earlier than anyone else to ensure that everything was ready and staying to ensure that everything was cleaned up. Oriel also donated his time as a tutor this year for a Spanish-speaking student who had trouble in math. He designed lessons to help him master new concepts and continually treated him with patience and kindness. Oriel also regularly reaches out to an elderly lady in our community; this year, when she had her 100th birthday, Oriel made sure our school celebrated her birthday with her. Oriel’s consistently good attitude, strong work ethic, and kind heart make this reward well deserved. 



Grand Rapids Adventist Academy

Aubury Lim is a junior at Grand Rapids Adventist Academy. Aubury's love for Jesus is evident as she demonstrates the characteristics of Christ through her kind, caring personality. She is loyal to her friends and to our school community. Aubury has an amazing work ethic and is diligent in all that she does academically and otherwise. She is caring, kind, joyful, and spiritually connected. She willingly steps in and helps whenever there is a need. Aubury is a leader in her class, student association, and Pathfinders. She is dependable, approachable, and consistent. Fellow students and staff know she is trustworthy and advocates for others. Aubury's contributions have made our school a better place.  








Great Lakes Adventist Academy

Jacob Pierce is a dedicated, diligent young man who has kept Jesus at the center of his life. He models his life after Jesus as he looks for opportunities to serve other people whenever an opportunity arises. The Lord has given Jacob mechanically gifted hands, and he has put them to use for the service of others! Whenever Jacob sees something that needs to be fixed, he jumps at the opportunity without prompt. Whenever he sees someone carrying a load, pushing a cart, or working on a project, Jacob jumps right in to help. The best part of all is that he always serves with a smile, and is often heard singing praises to Jesus as he works for others. Jacob has served his fellow classmates this year as Senior Class Pastor, as Residence Hall Assistant (RA), and as a Plant Services maintenance worker. His friends have nicknamed him "Overtime" for his heavy load of service for others. He has been an absolute joy to have at Great Lakes Adventist Academy, and he truly has a Caring Heart like his Savior! 







Hinsdale Academy

Luke Hamel has been an excellent student leader throughout his academy experience serving as the Student Association (SA) pastor his junior year, and SA president his senior year. Luke found many ways to demonstrate his Christian character to fellow students over the years; learning a completely new instrument for band when there was no one else to play it, earning the Hurricane Award for character excellence in athletics twice, and embracing numerous mission opportunities in the community like volunteering with National Honor Society at the mobile food pantry. Luke is also an active member in his home church, Elmhurst Seventh-day Adventist, where he has participated in mission trips, led Sabbath School activities, and preached sermons. He was recently invested as a Master Guide. Luke plans to attend Texas Tech University where he will study engineering and continue sharing Jesus passionately.   





Indiana Academy

During the four years Alissa Sampson attended Indiana Academy she made a strong impression. Alissa’s caring attitude towards others made her a perfect candidate to be a Resident Assistant in the ladies’ dormitory her junior year. She was always a compassionate listener, led a small group Bible study and gave support to the other students academically and emotionally. Her dedication to exemplify a loving Christ-like character earned her the position of Head RA during her senior year. Alissa will be greatly missed on campus and in the dormitory, but she’s left a legacy of caring interaction for the other girls to build upon.




Wisconsin Academy

Nathan Gulzar grew up in the Congo, the son of missionaries, and came to Wisconsin Academy after his father met our principal at the General Conference session. He adjusted quickly and has always been friendly and pleasant to other students. He has been a very faithful worker, volunteering to work in the cafeteria before he was legally allowed to hold a job. He will be studying aviation at Andrews University this fall with the goal of serving as a mission pilot. We appreciated having Nathan here for four years and we wish him the best as he seeks to follow God’s plan for his life.