Bishop Kenny High School had two freshmen, Arisa Nakamichi and Jessica Golden, selected as the High School level recipients of the Tomorrow’s Leaders Award. Arisa’s MLK Essay was awarded first place from among 130 entries submitted to the annual writing competition sponsored by the City of Jacksonville in observance of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day. Jessica was the third place recipient from the high school division.
Mayor Lenny Curry made a surprise visit to BK to present the award to Arisa before the Christmas vacation. Arisa and Jessica will both attend the 32nd Annual Martin Luther King, Jr. Breakfast that will be held at the Prime F. Osborne Convention Center on January 18. She and her fellow award recipients will receive recognition at the event which is presented by Florida Blue.
Arisa’s essay began with the line, “Everyday people use staircases.” She then connected the physical aspects of staircases to the nonphysical elements of everyday life through this central theme. “But what about the staircase of life, the unknown stairs that lead to mysterious parts of many lives. There are many steps one can take to build a successful future, but there will always be complications. In the end, pushing through and climbing every step will lead to a beautiful future.”
Jessica’s central theme was based on the quote from Martin Luther King Jr., “Faith is taking the first step even when you don’t see the whole staircase.” Jessica felt personally connected to this topic because she has a close family member who has struggled with substance addiction. Ultimately it has brought her family closer together, but it also encompassed a lot of pain and made her realize the importance of everyday decisions that affect your life.
Arisa and Jessica are both 9th grade students at BK with rigorous academic schedules that keep them busy. They were extremely happy to receive the award and they both credit their teacher, Ms. Jennifer Whitford, for guiding and encouraging them through the writing process.