Local Students Honored for Service to Others 


The Beverly Area Planning Association Youth Community Service Award recognizes 7th and 8th grade students from each Beverly/Morgan Park public elementary school, and a student in the 7th and 8th grade program at Morgan Park High School.   

The award was established last year to honor students who are dedicated to improving their school and community by actively serving others. Students are chosen for the award by their principals and all of the public schools were encouraged to participate.   

“BAPA is all about community and service, so the Education Committee wanted to create an award that supports this mission,” said Heather Wills, chair of the BAPA Education Committee.  We want our young people to value service and see it as an essential part of any strong community.  We have some amazing students in our community and this is an opportunity to promote the excellent work they are doing.”   

Awards were presented by BAPA Executive Director Susan Flood and BAPA Director of School and Safety Programs Gary Jenkins. Eacaward winner was given a $25 gift certificate to Bookies. 

Following are profiles of the winners. 

Mark Dace 

Kellogg School 

Mark Dace was in the International Baccalaureate Middle Years Programme at Kellogg School since the 6th grade.  He is an outstanding student who was consistently on the Principal’s Honor Roll for straight As. One requirement of the IBMYP is that students complete a minimum of 10 community and service hours each year. Mark exceeded that minimum by a great deal! 

While in 6th grade, Mark put in service hours volunteering at his church, shoveling snow for neighbors, and working at a blood drive. In his 7th grade year, Mark worked as a member of the Kellogg Safety Patrol, volunteered at the school’s weekend Open House, assisted at a hunger walk, and again helped at his local church and with a blood drive.   

As an 8th grader, Mark earned his community and service hours while working on a Community Project entitled “Grow Businesses, Grow,” in which he brought attention to the importance of supporting local businesses in Beverly/Morgan Park. 

Over the past three years, Mark has done Community and Service in excess of 73 hours.  Kellogg teachers and staff are proud of his ability to balance an academic and extra-curricular life, and feel that Mark is most-deserving of the BAPA Youth Community Service Award. 


Andrea Morris 

Vanderpoel Humanities Academy 

Andrea Morris is a 2019 8th grade graduate from Vanderpoel Humanities Academy“I enjoy reading books that’ll give me cognition, direction and aspirations to help me achieve all of my goals in life,” Andrea wrote. 

Fulfilling goals is something she does well! Andrea is a member of VHA’s Beta Club and Student Council, she also played on her school’s volleyball team.  

A straight A student throughout 8th grade, Andrea was selected to attend Gwendolyn Brooks College Prep Academy High School.  She is an active member of the Kroc Center where she has attended various classes in piano, swimming and work-out sessions.   

I have achieved all of my elementary school goals (for the most part) and look forward to a bright and prosperous high school and college future,” she wrote. 

Karisha Thomas 

Esmond School 

Esmond School nominated Karisha Thomas for BAPA’s Youth Community AwardKarisha is a leader among her peers as well as in her community. She has a honest and helpful spirit. Dedicated to community service, Karisha helps out with her local place of worship in community outreach.  

Emani James 

Morgan Park High School  

Emani James was a dedicated member of the Academic Center 8th grade class at Morgan Park High School.  As a part of the Academic Center, Emani received high school credit for numerous classes.  She has been on the honor roll every quarter and is an outstanding student.   

Emani is kind to others and shows empathy.  Her teachers could always rely on Emani to contribute to discussion in the classroom and to offer creative insights to ideas.  She never missed a deadline and worked hard to articulate herself through her essays, projects, labs and daily work. 

Emani was a member of the Morgan Park Book Club. She is active in her church community, loves to draw, has a great sense of humor, and is overall a pleasure to be around.  She is the type of student and person who teachers and parents love!  She made Morgan Park proud and her teachers are happy to share her talents and achievements with the larger community of Beverly/Morgan Park. 

Demetria Adams 

Clissold School 

Demetria Adams recently completed the 7th grade student at Clissold School. Middle School science teacher Vanessa Jordan recommended Demetria for the BAPA Youth Community Award. 

Demetria Adams serves in Clissold’s Young Leaders group where she helps develop plans for students to feel safe, challenged and equally treated. The group recruited other students to help fulfill that mission. Demetria, while serving as a young leader, lead her homeroom in social, emotional exercises. 

Demetria and another student demonstrated an inventive and creative idea to make their community stronger. They developed an Easter egg hunt in which plastic eggs were filled with pieces of paper on which each student wrote a positive quality of a classmate. Students who found the eggs read the quality to the person it was about, and also shared another positive quality about that person. The class loved the activity! 

Demetria has consistently shown that she is compassionate, reliable, and hard working,” Ms. Jordan wrote. “I can always depend on her to help others and to demonstrate selfcontrol and forgiveness when she is mistreated by others . . .  Demetria is a wonderful person whom I’m blessed to have in my homeroom. 

Kailie Patrick 

Sutherland School 

Kailie Patrick is a recent graduate from Elizabeth H. Sutherland Elementary School. Kailie was a student leader for Sutherland’s Environmental Club, and in that role led student groups in weekly organization and collecting of all recycling in the school.  She also planned and participated in monthly Clean & Green Service activities.  She promoted going green and encouraged all stakeholders to have a positive environmental mindset. Kailie has continued to care for the urban garden which she helped to install.     

As a member of Sutherland’s Stew Crew, Kailie mentored new crew members and coached students on what it means to be in Stew Crew.  As a crew member, Kailie worked with various grades leading activities such as read alouds and talking circles, and advocating for student rights such as gender equality, an idea sparked when students questioned why boys were continually asked to set up and take down assemblies.   

For her International Baccalaureate Middle Years Programme community project, Kalie hosted a youth writer’s workshop at Grove Heights Baptist Church. She invited students from Schmid Elementary School to attend her workshop and presented various writing activities geared to grade levels for primary and middle school students.     

Kailie leads by example, always finding ways to better the school, community, and herself.   

Ma’Leyah Porter  

Barnard School 

Barnard Elementary named Ma’Leyah Porter, recent 8th grade graduatefor the BAPA Youth Community Service Award for the 2018-19 school year.  Maleyah was born in Chicago and attended Barnard School since 1st grade. 

She began serving her community in 6th grade, in fulfillment of the International Baccalaureate Middle Years Programme Level 1 requirements.  Since then, she has prepared nutrient packets for international hunger relief at Feed My Starving Children in Aurora and Schaumberg, washed and fed dogs at an animal shelter, raised money for her great grandmother’s homeless shelter, Willis House of Refuge, picked up trash around the shelter, helped set up a fundraiser for a benevolent social club, and worked at a charity event to memorialize a child who died from violence. 

For her 8th grade IB/MYP Community Project, Ma’Leyah and her two partners, Ciara Gerring and Karla Grant, held technology classes for the elderly after school at Barnard.  The lessons taught cell phone and computer basics so that seniors could use their devices to text and email, as well as for fun things like listen to music and play games.   

Ma’Leyah will attend Simeon Career Academy in the fall.  She wants to study in the medical field, and plans to be a surgeon when she grows up. Congratulations to Ma’Leyah from the Barnard learning community, and to all the BAPA Youth Community Service Award recipients for their good deeds. 


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