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African-American Youth Achievement Awards recognize Evanston students

AAYA 2019

Students from Evanston/Skokie school districts 65 and 202 were honored at the African-American Youth Achievement Awards program on February 7. (Photo: Evanston Photographic/Genie Lemieux)


Evanston Township High School hosted the 22nd annual African-American Youth Achievement (AAYA) Awards to honor 38 African-American students from Evanston/Skokie public schools. These students were recognized on February 7, 2019, for their daily actions that pay homage to the visions and legacy of African-American pioneers.


The AAYA program is part of a Black History Month initiative and was sponsored by the Ivy Pearl Foundation, Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Inc., Delta Chi Omega Chapter, Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Inc., Evanston North Shore Alumnae Chapter, Family Focus Evanston, Dr. Gilo Kwesi Logan, The Joe “Butch” Martin Fund, Northwestern University, McGaw YMCA, NAACP, Omega Pi Zeta of Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc., Shorefront, and Gerri Sizemore, in conjunction with Evanston/Skokie School District 65 and Evanston Township High School District 202.


2019 high school AAYA recipients


Evanston Township High School

Lys Acacia

Beyonce Bailey

Dystonae Clark

Demarcus Dennison

Donald Gibbs

Darius Johnson

Sarah Parisien

Elisa Walker


2019 middle school AAYA recipients



William Campbell

Ava Moseley



Jahvar Quire

Ariana Williams



Tyler Shaun Alexander

Sadaya Deeble


2019 elementary and magnet school AAYA recipients


Bessie Rhodes

Olaitan Dada

Cecily Jordan



Noah Nelson

Hani Ramos



Teshawna Rhaburn

Arnon Timms


King Arts

Tyler Dobson

Shaneil Henderson



Abdul Ouedraogo

Kayla Strickland



Anna Iwuagwu

Carter McIntosh



Dylan Quire

Rhiana Ruddock



Cross Mitchell

Elyse Pinckney



Jakyra Lockhart

Edouard Josef Millner



Ethan Carpenter

Skylar Lomax



Ashlee Murray

Billy Price



Eleanor Ghogomu

Micah Smith


As part of the AAYA program, the Living Legend-Trailblazer Award honors African-American Evanstonians for their leadership and community contributions that encourage and inspire African-American youth. The 2019 recipient of the Living Legend-Trailblazer Award is Hecky Powell, founder and owner of Hecky’s Barbecue.