Caring Heart Award

The Caring Heart Award is a Christian Service Recognition Award for secondary students who have demonstrated a personal commitment to service and witnessing activities.

A junior or senior from each school is chosen to receive the award, which includes a $500 scholarship to be used toward a mission trip or for college tuition. The scholarship was established by the North American Division Board of Education with private funding. The following are this year's recipients.

Ashley Summer Coggins, daughter of Robert Coggins and Ginnie Kim, and graduate of Milo Adventist Academy, is a “model of true servant leadership.” Coggins was involved in several mission trips and was always ready to volunteer. She will start the pre-med program at Walla Walla College this fall. Coggins is a member of the Valley View Church, Medford, Ore.

A 2005–06 junior at Livingstone Adventist Academy, Vanessa Cutz, was chosen for her school leadership as well as being student director for this year’s mission trip and a speaker for a student-led evangelistic series. She is the daughter of Dave and Sharon Cutz; all are members of the East Salem (Ore.) Church. Cutz plans to take education at Walla Walla College.

Columbia Adventist Academy is proud of one of their top four graduating students this year, Kevin Ford, the son of Greg and Rhonda Ford. Ford served as a student leader at school and in his Sabbath School youth group at Meadow Glade Church, Battle Ground, Wash. The past four summers he served abroad as an Ultimate Workout team member, which is a Maranatha mission project for youth. Ford plans to study engineering at Walla Walla College.

Korrine Hallam, a senior at Auburn Adventist Academy, was on honor roll all four years, volunteered as a peer tutor and participated in four mission trips: Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico, Sri Lanka and Pearlington, Miss., after Hurricane Katrina. Hallam, along with her parents Keith and Kandyce Hallam, are members of the Auburn Academy Church. She will be attending Andrews University, studying architectural engineering.

Jessica Michel has been busy the last four years at Gem State Adventist Academy with mission trips to Mexico, Peru, Dominican Republic and Arizona. Michel also helped plan the 2006 student-led evangelistic meetings. Michel, along with her parents, Larry and Donna, are members of the Caldwell (Idaho) Church. Secondary education will be her course of study at Walla Walla College.

Always looking on the bright side, Amber Page is a consistently positive influence in everything she does. Page is on the planning board at Milo Adventist Academy and helps with the youth programs at the Monroe (Ore.) Church and has participated in two mission trips. Her parents, Bill and Deanna Page, will be saying goodbye this fall as she heads off to Walla Walla College.

“It’s God’s love that inspires me to serve,” says Tommy Poole, a graduate of Upper Columbia Academy. Poole led out in planning a fund-raising banquet for Katrina survivors, raised funds for a leper colony in India along with participating in three mission trips, two to Borneo and one to Mississippi. His parents, Bill and Tammy Poole, serve as pastoral team to the Good News Fellowship church in Clarkston, Wash., where Poole is a member. Poole is going to Walla Walla College.

Graduating with a 4.0 from Portland Adventist Academy, Dustin Serns has already made an impact on the world and his community. Upon returning from a mission trip to India his junior year, Serns recruited 15 of his classmates to start a once-a-month “Youth-led Adventist Church” in an unentered area of his hometown of Vancouver, Wash. Serns will attend Southwestern Adventist University to study theology. Dustin and his parents, Dan and Lois Serns, are members of the Meadow Glade Church, Battle Ground, Wash.

Jon Solis, an honors graduate of Walla Walla Valley Academy, has a gift for helping others be successful academically, socially and personally. Solis volunteered as a tutor and teacher’s assistant at Rogers Adventist School and WWVA. He also volunteered for summer day camps at Village Church where he and his parents, Cindy and Dan, are members. Solis plans to major in history at Walla Walla College.

“A consistently caring human being” is how Sarah Thomas is described by her teachers at Orcas Christian School. Thomas assists her parents Burke and Barbara, from Eastsound, Wash., in community projects. Students know Thomas for her listening ear, supporting words and nonjudgmental spirit. Mexico and Peru have benefited from four consecutive years of mission service trips. Thomas plans to attend Capendraw Bible College in England for one year and then Seattle Pacific University.

An honor roll student for the past five years at Cascade Christian Academy, a K–12 school, Jonny Vargas recently help build a church in Fiji on his senior trip. He attends the Wenatchee Church with his parents Juan and Mary Vargas. Vargas plans to attend Walla Walla College.

Bekka Weltz, a 2005–06 junior,is an enthusiastic leader at Skagit Adventist School. Besides participating in a mission trip to Biloxi, Miss., Weltz organizes speakers and music for daily worship times. She also performs with the drama ministry. Weltz and her mother Laurie are members of the Emmanuel Baptist Church in Mount Vernon, Wash. Her future includes going to college for degrees in marine biology and acting.

Heather Wilbur is a fun, caring, hardworking person. A Mt. Ellis Academy graduate, she volunteered to help staff and students, tutoring a specific student to help him graduate. Heather and her mom Laurel are members of the Kalispell (Mont.) Church.

September 01, 2006 / North Pacific Union