2011 Caring Heart Award Winners

July 01, 2011

Thirteen Northwest academy students were recipients of the $500 Caring Heart Award Scholarship made possible through three-way funding from the North Pacific Union Conference, local conferences and academies. Students were selected by their schools for exemplifying the spirit of the Caring Heart — a willingness to serve others. The North American Division provided each student with a plaque and an engraved Bible. The scholarship may be used toward tuition at an Adventist school or on a short-term mission trip.

Nolan Baker is very active in Campus Ministries, including Student Week of Prayer. He is ready and willing at any time to help someone in need. Viewed by his peers as a close follower of Christ, Baker was selected by Auburn Adventist Academy as this year's recipient because he exemplifies what it means to be a Christian. Baker is currently a junior and his future plans include attending Union College. His parents are Scott and Tammi Baker.

Gregory Ringering is a senior at Cascade Christian Academy. He consistently shows true concern for his fellow classmates. He is spiritual vice president of his class as well as spiritual vice president of the Student Association. His future plans include studying engineering. His parents are Greg and Tracy Ringering.

Whitney Sanders joined Columbia Adventist Academy during her junior year. It became very apparent she had a way of putting others before herself and would reach out to her peers and teachers with a spirit of friendship, empathy and compassion. She is a constant source of encouragement and shares a personal testimony that says even in the most tragic of circumstances God gives hope and strength. She is an active leader in her church youth group and the local community service program and has participated in mission trips. Sanders' future plans include attending Southern Adventist University and majoring in nursing. Her guardians are Marvin and Mandy Fernando.

Ellissa Joy Nelson is a junior at Gem State Adventist Academy. She takes the initiative to reach out, welcome and nurture new and lonely students. She's been a speaker for Student Week of Prayer, a speaker at a local evangelistic series and a speaker for entire Weeks of Prayer at local elementary schools. She also gives sermons at local churches. Her future plans include attending Walla Walla University majoring in psychology and theology with hopes of becoming an equine assisted child psychotherapist. Her parents are Stan and Sami Nelson.

Natalie Smith, Student Body pastor, organizes spiritual activities at Livingstone Adventist Academy. She enjoys speaking at Girl Scout meetings and helping her neighbors with various jobs. She obtained her solo pilot's license for possible mission piloting. A junior at LAA, Smith's future plans include attending either Walla Walla University or Loma Linda University and majoring in either medicine or civil engineering.

Amber Wilkinson, a senior at Milo Adventist Academy, genuinely cares for the spiritual growth of those around her. She can be found cleaning up after major events and being involved with various outreach projects including mission trips. Her parents are Gregory and Theresa Wilkinson.

Jaime Woodall has created a prayer wall and has helped students by leaving encouraging notes and by praying for individual needs. Her Christian lifestyle, along with her loving smiles and energy have served as a fine example for others to follow. She is currently a senior at Mt. Ellis Academy. Her parent is Bart Woodall.

Lauren Lewis has been been a shining example of God's compassion for others during her four years at Portland Adventist Academy. "Lauren is not only an academically gifted student," says Gale Crosby, PAA principal, "but she has the unique ability to see the needs of those around her and be of service wherever she may be. Her involvement in outreach programs and volunteer organizations is commendable." Lewis leads a small and growing group of students in an Abolitionist Movement that educates people about and helps to eliminate human trafficking. She has joined mission trips to Nepal and Zambia. Her teachers and classmates respect her because of her attitude, enthusiasm and energy for life. Lewis plans to major in anthropology at WWU and spend a year as a student missionary. She also plans to spend her life serving others. Her parents are Brant and Carlene Lewis.

Taylor Amanda Decker has been unanimously selected for this scholarship for her caring spirit that is evident in the halls and classrooms at Puget Sound Adventist Academy. Her generosity and concern extends not only to classmates, but staff and visitors as well. She is involved in sports, class office, church and community outreach. A junior at PSAA, her future plans include going to college to become a fashion designer. Her parents are Brian and Erin Decker.

Joshua J. Wood is a senior at Rogue Valley Adventist Academy. On the India Mission Trip he renewed his love for God and has become a wonderful, spiritual young man. He has become a great leader in school activities including on and off the basketball court. His parents are Jon and Verona Wood.

Daniel Sacdalan cares about his classmates, teachers and those in his community. As a junior, he currently holds a student office at Skagit Adventist Academy. He was a speaker for Week of Prayer and has participated in the Nicaragua Mission Trip where he hand mixed concrete and assisted his father in providing dental care for children and house parents at the orphanage. He is actively involved in church and sharing his faith with others. His future plans include computer programming or counseling. His parents are Jesse and Liliana Sacdalan.

Perla Suarez is a caring young lady who is always willing to help others in the dorm whether it be with homework or with seeing the value in themselves. She has a positive personality and is not afraid to share her love for Jesus and pray with students regularly. She is known as a hard worker on mission trips. A junior at Upper Columbia Academy, her future plans include attending college and entering the medical field. Her parents are Ismael and Angelina Tabares.

Herbert Sweezey is a senior at Walla Walla Valley Academy. He was chosen for his unique skills in seeking out those students who are on the margins of school life needing a listening ear, warm smile and encouraging words. At WWVA he is seen as a role model of how Jesus treated others. He serves in student leadership offices and is on the gymnastic team. Sweezey's future plans include attending Walla Walla University and majoring in engineering. His parents are Robert (deceased) and Karen Sweezey.