African American Participate 2 Graduate Empowerment Celebration

Lincoln Public Schools on May 4 held its 11th annual African American Participate 2 Graduate Empowerment Celebration, an event that honored students from throughout the school district based on their strengths, resilience and growth, including but not limited to academic excellence.

LPS Youth Development Coordinator Pete Ferguson facilitated this year’s event, whose theme was “The Value of You.” It featured live music by vocalist Lisa Taylor, who welcomed attendees both online and in-person at the LPS District Office with a stirring rendition of “Lift Every Voice to Sing.” Lincoln High School senior Zahria Johnson recited an original spoken word piece titled “Racism a Pandemic.”

The evening’s keynote speaker was former Husker and Olympic gold medalist wrestler Jordan Burroughs, who joined the event via Zoom.

“The best is yet to come…and I have to lead with positive expectations with one of the acronyms and mantras I live by and challenge you to live by: H.O.P.E. - Having Only Positive Expectations. Remember to always believe in your dreams and do your best every day and accept full accountability for everything you do every day."

Members of the LPS Youth Development Team, LPS District Office staff and community members identified, nominated and selected the students. 

Those honored as 2021 Scholars of Distinction were:


Belmont: Mohamed Seibel, Jevon Payne, Leriya'h Clay, Payton Craine, Alex Morris, Kenadee Broussard

Rousseau: Moaid Ahmed

Middle School

Lefler: Kylin Trout, Jordan Collins, Kyquel Snyder, Mauriel Bradford, Amari Wilson, Nyalonh Puoch, Ibrahim Adam and Aniyah Hicks-Robinson

Park: Sandra Beltran Vargas, Chenille Patterson, Sandra Beltran Vargas, Pal Gatwech, Jamyla Gilmore, Ahmed Khamis

Moore: Jadeon Carter, Valencia Fuehrer, Jadeon Carter, Raiyn Elerson, Mia Habel, Andrew Johnson, Malaki Peoples

Goodrich: Achan Abdelkarim, Tatum Moore

Irving: Tom Goe, Solomon White, Jayven Mitchell, Brandon Daniel, Daniel Green, Jastacia Rieck -Murry, Quincy Soto

Scott: Bany Yual, Nathan Mensah, Nifemi Bankole

Dawes: Ahmad Babiker

Mickle: Maya Baker

Culler: Nuer Bol and Carter Washington

Pound: Olivia Bechtel, Joshua Bradley, Kaylana Bowling, Kianna Isom and Chey Wilson

High School

Southwest: Aniya Seymore, Oyin Bankole Brown, Mia Wilson

Northeast: Bashir Omer, Tay'la Thomas

North Star: Halla Looky, Deja'nae Smith, Erica Johnson, Jordan Joyner, Kayla Blackson, Rylan Foster, Marshawna Kapke, Aleana Loyd

Lincoln High: Riek Bol, Adonis Hutchinson

East: Anya Seymore, Kaylee Denker, Gour Choul, Alyanna Johnson, Gour Choul

Southeast: Adalia Maiya, Ta'Sha Baxter, Taveon Thompson, Keneisha Dean, Jalijah Rieck-Brown

Those honored as 2021 Scholars of the Year were:

Belmont: Eveline Ungery

Dawes: Maxwell Guerra Owens

Mickle: Michael Hunter, Jr.

Park: Jahlecia Phillips

East High: Nyantiop Mading

North Star: Well Rang

Bryan Community: Kamryn James

Lincoln High: Zahria Johnson

Southwest: Abel Ue-Bari

Lincoln High: Riek Bol

Northeast: Ahmad Basher

Southeast: Maddox Burton

Published: May 13, 2021, Updated: May 14, 2021