Thomas named A.C.E. recipient
Published 3:00 am Friday, May 1, 2015
Raydiance Thomas, a senior at Charles Henderson High School, was named the recipient of the Troy Exchange Club’s A.C.E. Award at the club’s Thursday meeting.
A.C.E. stands for Accepting the Challenge of Excellence. The award recognizes high school students who have had to overcome great physical, emotional or social obstacles and are now eligible for high school graduation.
Diane Aman, A.C.E. Award committee member, said three high school seniors were nominated for the award and all three were very deserving.
“We had to select one nominee to receive the award,” she said. “But, I wish we could have given three awards this year.”
Also nominated for the prestigious award were Erin Leonard, Pike County High School, and Haley Hughes, Goshen High School.
Aman said, contrary to popular belief, the lives of all students are not easy.
“When obstacles come, the easy thing to do is drop out,” she said. “Our nominees for the 2015 A.C.E Award did not choose the easy way. They chose to do whatever it took to overcome the obstacles that life set before them. I’m extremely pleased to call all of them overcomers. “
All three of nominees for the Troy Exchange Club’s 2015 A.C.E. Award have exhibited the very qualifications the award was designed to recognize, Aman said. “One of our nominees overcame the loss of her mother in the fight against cancer. Another overcame difficult family situations and consequences caused by dropping out of school. And another overcame physical obstacles and a serious health diagnosis.”
Aman said all three nominees were hit with obstacles very early in life and those obstacles didn’t go away.
“Yet, all nominees have flourished academically and personally in spite of their adversity,” she said. “Each had reasons to become bitter, yet all chose to be better. We congratulate our A.C.E. award recipient Raydiance and our nominees, Erin and Haley. They are all winners.
Raydiance’s goal is to become a toxicologist who will seek ways to save lives. As a medical professional, Raydiance said she plans to study disturbing situations in order to find alternatives to many problems.
“I will strive to channel positivity in order to challenge negativity,” she said. “The way I plan to contribute positively to my community and to the world in the future is with the attitude that ‘a quitter never wins and a winner never quits.’”
Erin plans a career in the United States Marine Corps and will report for boot camp in October. Haley’s future plans are to attend college and become a radiologist.
All the nominees received $100 from the Troy Exchange Club. As the A.C.E. Award recipient, Raydiance also received $1,000 in scholarship money and is eligible to compete for the district A.C.E. award.