Ten Riverside County youths win character awards

Ten students are winners of the 2022 Jamil Dada Character Excellence Youth Awards.

The Riverside County Workforce Development Board honored the youths during a July 14 event at the March Field Air Museum near Riverside. The awards go to Riverside County youths “who have shown exemplary character while overcoming some of life’s most significant challenges,” a news release states.

Jamil Dada, a youth advocate and vice chair of the Riverside County Workforce Board, speaks Thursday, July 14, 2022, at the 2022 Jamil Dada Character Excellence Youth Awards. (Courtesy of Riverside County)

Green Bay Packers player Kenneth Clark delivers the keynote speech Thursday, July 14, 2022, at the 2022 Jamil Dada Character Excellence Youth Awards. (Courtesy of Riverside County)

Ten students were honored with the 2022 Jamil Dada Character Excellence Youth Awards during an event at the March Field Air Museum near Riverside on Thursday, July 14, 2022. NFL player Kenneth Clark, standing at rear left, and Jamil Dada, rear middle, are seen with the students. (Courtesy of Riverside County)

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The winners each receive $2,500 scholarships, a trophy and legislative certificates. This year’s awardees, and their residences, are:

Angie Cortez Ramos, Jurupa Valley
Brianna Espino, Palm Desert
Chandler Gibbens, Riverside
Jasson Ruiz, Moreno Valley
Kaine Spurlin, San Jacinto
Monnaje McCorley, San Jacinto
Samantha Gonzalez, Lake Elsinore
Sierra Alvarez, Bermuda Dunes
Ulysses Aguilar, Murrieta
Zayla Overton, Perris

“In spite of difficult and sometimes tragic situations, these young people have been identified as leaders in their communities, determined to earn a high school diploma, and/or in pursuit of a post secondary education,” the release states.

The honorees are chosen based on character traits such as trustworthiness, respect, responsibility,  fairness, caring and citizenship.

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Kenneth Clark, who plays for the Green Bay Packers and is a former UCLA player, was the keynote speaker. Clark graduated from the Rialto Unified School District.

The awards are named after Dada, a youth advocate who is the Riverside County Workforce Development Board’s vice chair. The event and scholarships are funded by donations from businesses, community partners and non-profit agencies.

“This is an amazing and important program that supports youth, particularly those who are disconnected, helping them achieve their educational goals and dreams,” Dada said in the release.

Information: [email protected]