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African-American Youth Achievement Awards Honor Evanston Students

February 12, 2024  10:50am CT


AAYA winners seated on stage, three rows.
Students from Evanston/Skokie school districts 65 and 202 were honored at the African-American Youth Achievement Awards ceremony on February 8, 2024. (Photo: Gail Hutchison)

Evanston Township High School hosted the 27th annual African-American Youth Achievement (AAYA) Awards to honor 41 African-American students from Evanston/Skokie public schools. Students were recognized in a ceremony on February 8, 2024, for their daily actions that pay homage to the visions and legacy of African-American pioneers. Through initiative and perseverance, each awardee has excelled in character, civility, community service, leadership, scholarship, or sportsmanship. 


The AAYA program is part of a Black History Month initiative and was sponsored by Byline Bank, Chessmen, C&W Market and Ice Cream Parlor, Delta Chi Omega Chapter, Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Inc., Evanston North Shore Alumnae Chapter, Ivy Pearl Foundation, Joe “Butch” Martin Foundation, Mary Wilkerson, McGaw YMCA, Mudlark, NAACP, Northwestern University, Omega Pi Zeta Chapter of the Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc., Saville Flowers, Schnell VFW Post Auxiliary, Shorefront, Gerri Sizemore, and Soul Creations, in conjunction with Evanston/Skokie School District 65 and Evanston Township High School District 202.


2024 ETHS District 202 AAYA Recipients:


Grade 12: Winston Gilbert Flowers, Jr. and Mya Nichell Shephard

Grade 11: Kari Alexander Robinson and Solomon Thomas Taylor

Grade 10: Amaya Kayla Johnson and Andrew Asafa Jones

Grade 9: Makhi Alexander Bryan and Chazahyah Bithyah Hawkins Burgess

2024 Evanston/Skokie District 65 AAYA Recipients:


Bessie Rhodes: Ji Aire Bamberg and Leah Grant


Chute: Olivia Jean-Pierre and Jaxx Watson


Dawes: Trent Bondon and Nylah Patton 


Dewey: Stefani Lee Duroseau and Elijah Singleton


Haven: Cayden Cunningham and Alicea Stuart


King Arts: Reign Lewis and Isiah Wynn


Kingsley: Kaleb Horton and Amy Paddyfoot


Lincoln: Annecia Johnson and Derrick (DJ) Seivright


Lincolnwood: Jacari Ross and Keyourah Stanciel


Nichols: Shayla Hunt and Wayne Levy


Oakton: Kenneth Drew and Brooklynn Watson


Orrington: Sydney Gardner and Tyler Garriques


Park: Glen Humes and Aaliyah McGowan


Rice: Brandon S. Pommells 


Walker: Kayden Harris and Khultum Salaam


Washington: Bereket Daniel and Makayla Mack


Willard: Alay’Jah Lane and DaeShaun Tinch

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 2024 recipients of the Living Legend-Trailblazer Award are Clarence and Wendy Weaver.