Fourteen Northwest academy students were recipients of the 2009 Caring Heart Award made possible through funding from a private foundation and the North American Division of Seventh-day Adventists. Students were selected by schools for exemplifying the spirit of the Caring Heart—a willingness to serve others. Each student received a plaque, an engraved Bible and a $500 scholarship which may be used toward tuition at an Adventist school or on a short-term mission trip.
Ian Bilinowich is known as a student who always gives of himself. He is academically motivated and a leader at Portland Adventist Academy. He is committed to his family, friends, school and community. Ian plans to attend Walla Walla University and major in education with an emphasis in administration. He is the son of Kelli and John Bilinowich.
Charles Dunlap has been active in service projects for all four years at Skagit Adventist Academy. He has served in leadership roles in his class, as well as worships and has spoken for church services. He was part of the North Pacific Union Conference mission trip to the Dominican Republic in March. He also helps in the local Pathfinder club and is active in the youth group at the North Cascade Adventist Church. Charles plans to attend Walla Walla University next year. He is the son of Larry and Teri Dunlap.
Gabriella Fernandez strives to make every student feel welcome at Rogue Valley Adventist School. Known as a very solid "spiritual base," she has shared her testimony at a community event she helped organize and has led Bible studies for the non-Adventist students. Gabriella plans to attend Andrews University in the fall. Her parents are Rogelio and Maria Elena Fernandez.
Felicia Vazquez is an active member of the worship team and youth group at Cascade Christian Academy. A real spiritual leader on campus, she leads out in ministries and shares her testimony. She has been on numerous mission trips including Fiji and Mexico. Felicia plans to study both theology and psychology at Walla Walla University or LaSierra University. Her mother is Geneva Vazquez.
B.J. Colvin exemplifies one willing to help regardless of the task. He served as the IT tech on the school annual staff and volunteers in the Walla Walla Valley Academy IT department. He served as a Pathfinder counselor, was part of the UCC Pathfinder teen mission, participated at the Mountain Leadership NW Institute and volunteers with the sound system at his home church. B.J. plans to attend Walla Walla University and major in English or history, and eventually earn a master's degree in library science. His parents are Traci and John Colvin.
Katelyn Campbell is very active with campus life at Auburn Adventist Academy. She is involved with the music department, has worked in campus ministries, succeeds academically, and has held several office positions, including Associated Student Body spiritual vice president. Not afraid to show her love for God, she is often seen in the hallways praying with or for a fellow student. Katelyn has been a speaker for student Week of Prayer and has been involved in several mission trips. Her parents are Terry and Julie Campbell.
Eric Wagner has shown great leadership and care for those around him at Milo Adventist Academy and during his time as a Pathfinder, earning master guide status. He possesses a can-do spirit that continues to grow each day. Whether it is helping out teachers or students, he is always cheerful and willing to lend a hand. He has helped organize several outreach days and participated in mission trips. Eric plans to study engineering at Walla Walla University. His parents are Ed and Linda Wagner.
Brittany Wachter consistently modeled a caring heart at Orcas Christian School. She has participated in service trips to New Jersey, New Orleans and Mexico. Whether tutoring inner-children or building homes for families needing shelter, she has been willing to leave her comfort zone and reach out to her global community. She has served as a student leader and is known by all as the person anyone can turn to for support and comfort. Brittany plans to attend Northwest University with an emphasis in Youth Ministry. Her parents are John and Diane Wachter.
Athena Teresa Smith was elected spiritual leader of her class as well as the Associated Student Body this year at Livingstone Adventist Academy. She organized a program sending Christmas toys to children outside the U.S. and care boxes to soldiers in Iraq. She has participated in annual mission trips to the Wapato Indian Reservation and has spoken at the student-led Week of Prayer. Asked about her future career, she states, "I am waiting for God to show me what to do." Athena plans to attend two years of community college and possibly Walla Walla University. Her parents are Louis and Rosemarie Smith.
Elizabeth Beddoe consistently puts others first and is considerate of other people's feelings at Puget Sound Adventist Academy. On a Mexico mission trip, she spent time with orphans to help make them feel special. With a cheerful and enthusiastic attitude, she never misses an opportunity to serve others. Elizabeth plans to attend an Adventist college. Her parents are Bart and Sandie Beddoe.
Hannah Klingler is very involved at church with Pathfinders and Sabbath School. At Columbia Adventist Academy, she was involved with mission trips and started a Headstart project that the Associated Student Body directed. A pet lover, she owns several animals such as terrapins, tortoises, guinea pigs, peafowl, ducks, pigeons and fish. She also volunteers at the Humane Society and Animal Rescue. Hannah plans to attend Walla Walla University this fall and plans to become a science teacher. Her parents are Jim and Ruth Klingler.
Danielle Shull is involved with feeding the homeless. Recently she started the "Cheery Little Card Company" and sells her cards to help raise funds for mission trips and tuition. She went on the Borneo mission trip last year and has stayed in contact with the people there. She was chosen by the Associated Student Body to be the student Week of Prayer speaker. She always has time to pray with fellow students. Danielle plans to attend Walla Walla University and major in English. Her parents are Dwight and Jacqueline Shull.
Justin Hansen demonstrates strong and dependable leadership skills at Gem State Academy. He held the offices of senate representative, class sergeant-at-arms, class president and Associated Student Body sergeant-at-arms. He exhibits a positive spiritual and social attitude in his interaction with others. He is truly "other focused" and helps his peers with homework. He participated in a mission trip to Chili in 2008 and currently assists on out-of-town recruitment trips. Justin plans to attend Walla Walla University and major in engineering. His parents are Jeff and Cherie Hansen and Sheri Malakhova.
Jeffery Meador started a daily morning prayer group in the cafeteria at Mount Ellis Academy. He also started a program for the guys called "Wild at Heart" to discuss religion, world conflicts and engage in outdoor activities. Jeff is very helpful to all the faculty. He likes to be busy and doing for others when there is a need. He is still deciding on which college to attend. Jeffery's career interests include national relief and rescue, youth counseling, ministry and diesel mechanics. His parents are Donna and Perry Meador.