Left Column: Kevin Gabriel (HAA), Nevaeh Hippler (AA), and Hai Cing (BCA). Center Column: Zane Taitano (WA), Alexis Nennich (IA), and Jason Kahari (GRAA). Right Column: Lenisa Garcia (GLAA).
The Lake Union and North American Division’s 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 Award is 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 2021‒2022 school year.
Nevaeh Hippler recently graduated from Andrews Academy. She has been a stage designer and director of a youth lead vespers group for three years. She has been on two mission trips to Texas and Utah. Last year she was involved in helping organize an office of a teacher who had been injured. Serving food for the homeless at Hope ministries and volunteering at VBS for the duration of two summers has been other activities Nevaeh has been involved in. during her freshman and sophomore year at the academy, she was involved in a mentoring program where she visited two senior women and cleaned, talked, or just give them company.
Esther Huai has taken on more responsibility as Student Association president than we have asked previous presidents to shoulder, including organizing chapel, community service, and Monday assembly activities, and she has done so with determination and positivity. She leads the student association to plan activities with the mission of the school in mind. She is a responsible worker, even using her study hall time in the afternoons to help her teachers and classmates wherever she can. Esther also tutors students who are struggling in math and science, translates for language learners, and encourages other students to do their best both as scholars and as citizens. She volunteers as a leader for her church and encourages other young people in their walk with Christ. Due in part to her influence, all the youth in her church will attend a youth conference this month.
Jason Kahari has shown the ability to go out of his way to assist others, no matter who they are. He consistently demonstrates a kind, caring, and patient attitude towards others, and the whole school of Grand Rapids has taken notice. This rising senior is a born leader, and it is his consistently strong character, and heart led interactions with others, that inspire students to do their best. Jason has a heart for God, and has demonstrated this in praying in chapel, leading out in worship, and using his God given talents to praise the Lord not only at our school, but also at church. Elected by his peers as the Student Association pastor this school year, he has tackled every task given to him.
Lenisa Garcia is a servant leader. She always prioritizes the wellbeing, comfort, and feelings of others before her own. She looks for ways to affirm others in a genuine, thoughtful, and meaningful way. She is sweet, loving, and nurturing, and her personality is welcoming and inviting to all. Perhaps it is for these reasons that she was elected to serve her GLAA family as the Student Association president. And yet, she often waves away the prestigious title as she exhibits humility and meekness. Through Lenisa’s character and actions, it is evident that she has a close walk with Jesus and simply reflects His character as she cares for and humbly serves her GLAA family on a daily basis.
Kevin Gabriel embodies what it means to be a friend. Throughout the years teachers and students alike always smile when others inquire about him. His kind-heartedness, jovial spirit, and quirky sense of humor allows young and old to find a point of connection. This gift of connectivity allows him to win the hearts of the people around him. He may be somewhat quiet, but it is not because he is not paying attention. He is taking notice of the things that are important to his friends and peers. In his own way, he references these details to let you know he understands you. Many students have trusted his friendship and have confided in him. Teachers see him as a student that can be trusted. Like Christ, people and their needs take a higher position than procedures and personal aspirations. If you need help, Kevin is there to lend a hand.
Over her four years as a student at Indiana Academy, Alexis Nennich has repeatedly demonstrated her commitment to sharing the gospel message with everyone she interacts with. She has held multiple positions of spiritual leadership, has actively coordinated Bible studies with her peers, and has intentionally sought to cultivate a culture of spiritual enrichment on Indiana Academy’s campus. We are excited to see how God continues to use Lexi as she seeks to serve Him with the diverse talents and passions He has blessed her with.
The “strong, silent type” is the perfect description of senior Zane Taitano. This class president is always ready to lend a hand or to speak up when he sees injustice. One staff member said that Zane is “a constant, unassuming, positive influence on our campus. He is always willing to serve others. His calm and thoughtful demeanor are a continuous witness and his diligence in work or schoolwork is admirable. When I grow up, I want to be like Zane.” Zane comes from a family that values service to others, and Zane is always willing to hand out GLOW tracks, shovel snow, help in a pinch, or do whatever needs to be done. He plans to attend Southern Adventist University to study animation, but he is open to doing something else if God calls him to do it.
Lake Union Conference Education Department