Kids of Honor

Kids of Honor Facts®: Our Stories
Congratulations Princess Anne Elementary

PAnne_-WebThis year, kids of Honor was pleased to add Princess Anne Elementary to our growing list of partner sites.  Princess Anne Elementary After School Group met weekly on Wednesdays and provided students with an outlet to receive extra assistance on homework and help building life skills.  The program consisted of about 15 students in third through fifth grades.  Kicking-off a little later than other programs, the staff and students quickly got into the flow of things.

The program coordinators, Mrs. Gray and Mrs. Bell, along with the Principal and staff helped make the program a success.

Students in the program made tremendous behavioral and attitudinal improvements. By the end of the year, the staff even awarded a few students with the "Shining Star" award.

These students were not the monthly winner, but with input from teachers, they have improved academically, behaviorally, or both.

PAnne_-YE_-webTo wrap-up the programming year, Princess Anne Elementary had a Bar-B-Que for students and thier parents.  Everyone ate and played games. Later, Jordan J. became Princess Anne Elementary's first Annual Winner. His mom was excited about Jordan's "first Scholarship".  Mrs. Gray Concluded by saying, "All students improved academically.  More than half of our students improved their attendance.  One student had an increase in self-esteem.  We are pleased with how Kids of Honor positively impacted our students."

Keep up the great work.  Kids of Honor looks forward to partnering with Princess Anne Elementary next school year.

YEAH Expands

Not long ago Kids of Honor® YEAH club was created starting with only 6 faithful members meeting once a month with students solely representing one high school. Kids of Honor® has been meeting at Wicomico Middle School on Monday afternoons for some time now and the group has been on a constant increase. Since starting the Kids of Honor® YEAH club the number of participants increase each year. With almost 40 students participating in the program this is Kids of Honor® largest number of participants. Each week since the kick off of the YEAH club this year new students have joined and old members have returned. Kids of Honor® now has students representing all 3 high schools in the area. In our club Kids of Honor® assist the students with homework, college, and job preparedness, help improve on life skills, and host 2 college tours each year. It is a fun relaxing safe environment. If there are high school students who wish to join of Kids of Honor® YEAH club please contact our office at 410-422-5437.

22 graduate in the class of 2011

Congratulations to the class of 2011

downloadWe're so proud of your accomplishments.  In a survey of our graduates.  Eight of the 22 responded.  Of those students, one plans to attend Delmarva Beauty Academy, Five enrolled at WOR-WIC Community College.  The other two are destined for University life; one at UMES , the other at UMCP... that's all eight pursuing their dreams and continuing their educations!

We'd love to hear from the rest of you. Where are you going? What are your plans? Just drop a message on the facebook page at

Congratulations to the following students:

Mardela -- Shannon D., Gabriella F., Joey L., Ashley M., Curtis P., Jeremy R.

WIHI -- Nkongho B., Sierra B., Ja'Kel B., Shaquille C., Kelly G., Mariah L., Walter M., Brandi S., Tory W., Noah W., Kaalliah N.,

Bennett -- De'Asia H.

Annapolis -- Tymiesha B.

Washington -- Kaitlyn A.

Crisfield -- E'N D., Tyron S.


Download this file (2011 Graduation Ad Final.pdf)2011 Graduation Ad Final.pdfPaula Morris
Taylor excels at WI Middle!
taylor_webMs.Ross had a special message for the top 6 finalist made during the morning announcements. the announcement said "congratulations to our top 6 finalist who are in the running to becoming an Annual Kid of Honor® Winner. Kids of Honor® staff members will surprise that lucky student during homeroom." As we walked to the winners classroom - Ms. Ross still wanted the student to be surprised so she entered the classroom alone congratulated Taylor S. on being a finalist and walked out. (the teacher played along as well asking various questions before Ms.Ross exited) After being informed Taylor looked sad and held her head down in utter disbelief Alessa and Reva walked in the room. Taylor still unaware she was the winner remained with her head down. Reva asked "where is Ms.Taylor S." the class pointed as Taylor still held her head down peeking up barely making eye contact. Reva said "Taylor congrats on being a finalist! But Alessa and I would also like to congratulate you on being the annual winner!" ( as Alessa slowly pulled the check from hiding behind her) Taylor was in total shock. Her classmates clapped and cheered for her.
YEAH ends the year with superlatives & a trip to OC!

YEAH_YE_-WebYEAH! club in Wicomico county holding up their various awards and superlative certificates. Some superlatives included King and Queen of Arby's, Mr. No Homework and Miss "Yuck, Purple." One of our annual $500 graduation incentive winners, Nehemie, is also featured in this picture along with TJ who was recognized for a drastically improving his grades this school year. Congrats YEAH! on another year and way to go!

YEAH_OC_1-webD.J., Kyle and Wyntin enjoying a stroll down the boardwalk in Ocean City on their last YEAH! club meeting.

Reva and Alessa, you did a great job shaping and guiding our Kids of Honor!


Competing for the Year End Prizes...


Some essays from our 2010/2011 Kids of Honor
What would I do with $500? Many ideas came to me, toys, itunes, games but then I decided on something else. I would save the money for college. I want to go to Towson University where my sister goes. I know it cost a lot to go to college so I should start saving now. I want to be a zookeeper or a vet when I am older.
Anthony K.
I think that I should get the prize because I do not talk back or hit people of kick somebody and I do not say bad words and I would use the prize money for college and get a education or get a job.
Anterio C.

Some essays from our 2010/2011 Kids

What would I do with $500? Many ideas came to me, toys, itunes, games but then I decided on something else. I would save the money for college. I want to go to Towson University where my sister goes. I know it cost a lot to go to college so I should start saving now. I want to be a zookeeper or a vet when I am older.
Anthony K.

I think that I should get the prize because I do not talk back or hit people of kick somebody and I do not say bad words and I would use the prize money for college and get a education or get a job.
Anterio C.


Nkongho shares her spark!

Nkhongo-Beteck-smYou may remember Nkongho B from the January issue of YouthSense. When we asked Nkongho, an aspiring journalist, and senior at Wicomico Senior High, in Salisbury, MD,to contribute to this month’s Asset Champion newsletter, she jumped at the opportunity to share her spark and hone her interviewing skills by asking her classmates about their sparks—the things that motivate them and give meaning to their lives. Sit back, and take notes:

“I am passionate about creating a life that I can wake up exited to partake in every morning. [I’ll be] attending college in the fall and graduating with a Master’s degree in Journalism. From there, I hope to begin working at a place that celebrates and highlights my abilities in writing and telling stories to the world. ..”—Nkongho Beteck, grade 12: Aspiring Journalist/Master Storyteller

Click Here to learn more about The Search Institute and Sparks!

Winners 2011

Congtatulations to our young friends who made great progress improving grades, attitudes and behaviors! We're proud you joined Kids of Honor®! Thanks also to our partners.  Together we make a real difference as we empower youth to graduate from high school and pursue their dreams! 


Salisbury Middle - The winner was Ericka M. Ericka is the younger sister of current YEAH students. Some students had an idea that Ericka was the winner. Meanwhile others thought it was another young lady. When Ericka's name was revealed - she was excited and smiled. She said "thank you". Her classmates congratulated her on the way to their next activity.

104_1544_1Delmar- The winner was Cori S. Ms.Switalski invited her family members. During the celebration when Cori's name was announced her family cheered and clapped. Her classmates congratulated her. Cori was greeted by her family with balloons, teddy bears, hugs, and smiles. 

Prince Street STARS- The winner was Almani R. Almani is the younger sister of one of YEAH students. Almani was in cheer practice during the celebration. But when the students heard she was the winner the rushed over to inform her. She came over to receive her "check". Little to my surprise her mom was in cheer practice as well. She came out and began to cry. She thanked Kids of Honor and started to call family members to tell them about the good news.

North Salisbury- The winner was Anthony W. During the celebration only 2 staff members knew who had been selected as the annual winner. When I flipped the check over with the name. The students were quiet then said "ANTHONY W" and clapped and cheered. Anthony's mom was in complete shock. She was there to pick him up for baseball practice. She hugged him and congratulated him. Anthony took pictures with the STARS staff and his classmate.

glen_ave_-_WebPinehurst Elementary- The winner was De'Asia who was chosen by the staff because she was always prepared and willing to help. Ms. Hill from Pinehurst also expressed that her family was in need to a financial reward. To De'Asia's surprise her mother, grandmother and older sister all showed up after school that day although she did not understand why they were there. When I announced De'Asia's name as the annual winner, it finally made sense to her! I asked De'Asia what she wanted to do with her $500 graduation incentive and she replied "use it to go to college." Ms. Hill also told me that they will be recognizing De'Asia's award in front of the school at the end of the year assembly.

East Salisbury Elementary- The winner was Xavier who was chosen by the staff because of his excellent behavior and high point average throughout the year. Normally, East Salisbury has juice and cookies during KOH celebrations but for the annual celebration there was a HUGE cake with Kids of Honor written on it in icing! The students were very excited and Xavier was shocked to find out that he was a winner. When I asked Xavier what he would like to use his incentive for he told me he wants to put it toward a new mustang!

pemberton_-webPemberton Elementary- The annual winner was Inga who was chosen by the staff for being cooperative and respectful. When Inga saw her name on the giant check she dropped to her knees and yelled "thank you Jesus!" Everyone laughed and congratulated her with loud applause. Inga was so shocked she couldn't answer me when I asked her what she would like to do with her graduation incentive. She was speechless and could only stare at her check wide-eyed and grinning. She did ask if she could keep the big check at home because she wanted to keep it on her wall to remind her how important it is to graduate. I told her of course she could!

Glen Ave Elementary- The annual winner was Jayden who was chosen by the staff unanimously for showing improvement in behavior that was consistent throughout the school year. The students could hardly contain themselves when I unveiled the name on the giant check. They gave a drumroll with their hands on the cafeteria floor and all screamed "Jayden!" when they saw his name. Jayden smiled but was pretty shocked to hear that he had won! The students all wanted an acceptance speech but Jayden was unprepared. He told me he would like to use the $500 towards college expenses. He was very shy to take a picture but you could tell he was proud from his ear to ear grin.
Nkongho's Senior paper -- AP Literature and Composition, 14 Mar. 2011

One out of three students in the United States does not graduate from high school (Davis, “In Pursuit…”1). Kids of Honor was created to help decrease these statistics. Founded in 2001, Kids of Honor developed as an attempt to reach out to local struggling youth in the lower counties of Maryland’s Eastern Shore and help them through high school graduation. Through programs that reinforce positive behavior and encourage positive life choices, the non-profit organization reaches about 1000 youth a day (“Partner Site Handbook” 5). Through leadership activities, Kids of Honor, a nonprofit organization, collaborates with its community to empower students to graduate from high school and achieve their goals.

Since 1969, the graduation rate among high school students in the United States has declined rapidly (Davis, “In Pursuit…” 1). According to the Kids of Honor “Partner Site Handbook”, from 1990 to 2000 alone, the high school completion rate plummeted in forty three states, and nationally more than 1,300 students drop out of school every day (5). “One dropout cost the nation approximately $260,000 in lost earnings, taxes, and productivity. If the nation had graduated 100% of its high school students 10 years ago, the money the additional graduates would have put back into the economy would have covered the entire cost of running the federal government in 2009” (“Kids of Honor Facts: Dropping Out” 1). The effects of high school dropouts not only affect the nation, they are costly to the dropout and his community as well. Nearly half of all inmates in jail are high school dropouts, and a dropout’s child is more likely to become a high school dropout as well. The advances of a high school graduate are eminent. The Kids of Honor website on dropping out states that graduates earn 27% more than high school dropouts, and on average a high school graduate lives 6-9 years longer than a drop out (1).
Struck by these statistics, Paula Morris, the founder of Kids of Honor, wanted to find a way to reverse the odds. On page 5 of the Kids of Honor “Partner Site Handbook”, it is highlighted that on Maryland’s Eastern Shore, 4 of the lower counties consistently graduated fewer students than the rest of the state. At the time she discovered Kids of Honor, Morris was working in the Management and Marketing Department of Salisbury University’s Franklin P. Perdue School of Business. She had earned her Bachelor’s of Science in business administration at East Carolina University and an MBA at George Washington University. Evidently educated in a business field to make earnings, it became ironic that she would start a nonprofit. However, her journey to Kids of Honor began at the Local Salvation Army Learning Center.
Youth at the Salvation Army Learning Center had to attend tutoring two days each week in order to play sports at the Salvation Army if their grades were not good enough to play at school. Paula Morris noticed that once the kids got their grades up to the required 1.6 GPA, they stopped coming to tutoring (Morris 1). Kids of Honor was created and designed to get the Salvation Army students to want to come back to tutoring and reverse drop out statistics. Rather than focusing on grades specifically, Kids of Honor sought improvement in attendance, preparation, organization, cooperation, and respect (“Partner Site Handbook” 6). Kids of Honor was planned in the fall of 2000 and ran at the Salvation Army for a year. As they offered praise and encouragement, more students became engaged in the tutoring, in school, and in their futures. “I know the amazing effect Kids of Honor has on individual students from personally implementing their tools at the Salvation Army. The positive effect on our community as a whole is phenomenal”, stated Mark S. Thompson, President of Wicomico County Board of Education (“Partner Site Handbook” 9). Since the Salvation Army project, Kids of Honor has helped hundreds of students improve academically by providing them with tools, because they know what works. In December of 2003, Kids of Honor incorporated as a nonprofit organization,  embracing the 40 developmental assets for youth (“Kids of Honor History” 1).
Kids of Honor’s work with many existing organizations in its community is one of the elements that has made it a thriving organization. They work with existing organizations because according to Paula Morris, it is “silly to recreate things that are already excellent” in their community (Davis, “In Pursuit…”1). Sites they partner with include local schools, Horizons, an educational enrichment program at The Salisbury School, and countless more centers that work with children. The Kids of Honor model begins with a point based system that recognizes each child’s progress and improvement. The “Partner Site Handbook” states that Partner Sites keep their own point system, depending on each site (6). Those students who surpass a predetermined percentage of available points become “Plus Club” members. Students remain in this Plus Club by earning at least the same amount of points or more for three consecutive months, or 6 months throughout the school year. At the end of the school year, each partner site selects a winning Kid of Honor. The winner is selected based on points, an essay, or other outstanding factors. Students in the Partner site who succeed are invited to join the Connection Club, a club they remain in until their high school graduation (“Partner Site Handbook”7). Kameron, an annual winner at Horizons at the Salisbury school stated in the Partner Site Handbook, “I would be honored to show the world what I have achieved and learned from Horizons and Kids of Honor” ( 9).
364 family members who belong to the Connection Club are taken from Partner Sites each month. Approximately seven times a year, Connection Club hosts events for the entire family, allowing students across the region to stay connected to peers, family, and their community. On page 7 of the “Partner Site Handbook”, young children are exposed to positive child-adult interactions and community service. Older kids are given more responsibility, mentoring, and leadership skills. Older kids also help produce club events. Connection club activities include watching sporting events, gardening, canned food drives, and various other activities (Davis, “Kids of Honor…”2).
Those students who excelled at past Connection Club and Point Club events wanted to continue their range of success. The middle school students wanted to continue a high school club and came up with a Y.E.A.H- Youth Excelling in Academics with Honor Club. The club expanded and became open to all high school students in Wicomico County. Soon after, the club expanded to Somerset county. The members meet every Monday at Wicomico Middle School or Tuesdays at 3:30 pm at It Takes a Village in Crisfield (“Partner Site Handbook”8). Those students who joined the Y.E.A.H club were referred to by their siblings who had joined previously, teachers or parents. According to Josh Davis’s SHORELIFE article, about 25 kids participate in the Y.E.A.H Club in Wicomico County, and 15 kids participate in Crisfield, MD (2). The Y.E.A.H Club helps with college applications, job searches, financial aid, and also provides educational speakers and service learning. In the fall of 2009, Y.E.A.H members became involved in Junior Achievement, book exercises expanding knowledge on business ethics. After 8 weeks, each member received a certificate of completion from Junior Achievement, gaining knowledge in ethical life situations (“Reaching for Success: 6.4” 3).Y.E.A.H students also participated in the Youth Leadership Academy, a three day workshop with speakers and fun youth activities. After the academy, Y.E.A.H members had the opportunity of being included in the Youth Action team, a youth group that personally plans the Youth Leadership Academy(“Wicomico County” 1).
In early 2010, the Y.E.A.H students filmed, wrote, and personally directed mini-movies on struggles a student would face to graduate. Subjects included getting into trouble at school, and having problems at home with parents. After the Y.E.A.H club was over, students shared their videos at their one year celebration with family and friends. Each year, an outstanding student from the Y.E.A.H club is chosen and awarded a $500 incentive, only given to them after they graduate from high school. If a child wins the $500 scholarship, Kids of Honor advises that student on what to do with the money if they are not going to college. Saving the money, buying a laptop or a down payment on a car are some suggestions given. 100% of the youth participating in the Y.E.A.H Club graduate on time or a year early. On the second page of Josh Davis’s article on school dropouts, there were three Kids of Honor graduates in 2007, 14 in 2008, 26 in 2009, and 25 in 2010.
Kids of Honor has many devoted staff that work both at the Kids of Honor office and physically interact with other youth to help them reach their goals. Dawn Mills is the office coordinator who joined Kids of Honor in June 2010. She runs the office and is responsible for scheduling, answering phones, developing manuals, and product management (“Reaching for Success: 7.1” 1). Kristi Richardson, who later became the Developmental Director for Kids of Honor in 2007, started volunteering with Kids of Honor while a marketing student at Salisbury University. She was voted onto the board of directors and hired as the Developmental director in 2007. In a personal interview, she stated her original duties were to “raise money and work with the community to spread the word regarding what Kids of Honor does and the goals they accomplished.” She discovered the kids in the site were not being communicated to enough, so she started working with the program, what the kids needed to thrive and what they needed to stay engaged. She would speak daily with students, parents, and site leaders. Above that she would market Kids of Honor and fundraise for the organization. It became a lot of work once the Executive Director left, so she employed Reva Oliver, a college student from the AmeriCorps organization to help with program visits and score keeping for points (Richardson 1).
After being an AmeriCorps member for two years, Reva Oliver became a full time employee of Kids of Honor. As the program director, she works directly with students at partner sites, Connection club events, and Y.E.A.H. She has a Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice, and is currently working on her Master’s degree. Alessa Rash is an AmeriCorps worker who also works part time at Kids of Honor assisting Reva with programming task at partner sites, and Y.E.A.H. She is currently a student at Salisbury University studying psychology and sociology. A former teacher’s aide at the Maryland School for the Deaf, she had volunteered at various other nonprofit organizations (“Reaching for Success: 7.1” 1). Other significant people include Andrea Sims, a consultant for Kids of Honor, and Amanda Hailey, who became program Director after Kristi Richardson.
Kids of Honor has received many awards for its work in non profits. Kids of Honor, along with the Wicomico County Board of Education, is a “Promise Place”, part of the America’s promise alliance for 100 Best Communities in 2010 (“Wicomico County” 1). Along with this, on October 19th 2010, the President’s Call to Service Award was presented to founder Paula Morris, especially for founding Kids of Honor. The President’s Call to Service Award recognizes 4000 hours of volunteer service and is the highest award given nationally (Kids of Honor 2). Award recipients of the President’s call to service award receive a congratulatory letter from the president, the president’s council on service and civic participation, and an official Presidents Award pin (Kids of Honor 3). Paula Morris was also presented with the Community Foundation of the Eastern Shore’s Richard A. Henson Award of Excellence in 2009. On receiving the award, she stated “It is such an honor to receive this prestigious award. We are blessed to work in such a caring and giving community. Empowering youth to graduate from high school takes a lot of work. Many caring people share this award” (“Henson Award Honors” 1). Marty Neat, Chairman of the Henson Award selection committee, spoke on Kids of Honor, stating “They change lives and make a real difference in our world” (Davis, “Kids of Honor…” 2). Morris has been recognized with outstanding volunteer and troop leader awards from the Chesapeake Bay Girl Scout council. In 2006 she earned the National Points of Light award for creating change and helping meet critical needs in her community. Then in 2008 the Baltimore Daily Record named her one of Maryland’s top 100 women for demonstrated professional accomplishments and impact mentoring (“White House Honors” 1).
Many events have been held in order to benefit Kids of Honor. Significant events in the “Reaching for Success” 6.4 Volume include a one year celebration featuring “Hoops for Haiti”, a basketball tournament to benefit victims of the Haiti earthquake and book drive to benefit Village of Hope ( 1). “Kids Helping Kids of Honor” was also a month long fundraiser hosted by Crown sports center. Young soccer players helped raise almost $2,000.00 (Kids of Honor 3). Other significant fundraisers included a coffee tasting event, Boscov’s and Macy’s shopping days, and an April Fool’s not happening Ball, presented by Long and Foster with proceeds going to Kids of Honor. “Together Forever”, a live music show at UMES’s Richard Henson Center was also a fundraiser to help benefit Kids of Honor. On Saturday, August 28th, 2010 from 6-9:00pm, Las Vegas singers Rebecca Holden and Kevin Sasaki performed hits from Steve Lawrence and Eydie Gorme (Together Forever 1). Over $5,000.00 was raised the night of the event. After the event, the General Manager of WMDT 47 News in Salisbury invited two Y.E.A.H students who had attended to shadow reporters and photographers from WMDT. This was a wonderful opportunity for the Y.E.A.H students because the shadow days were in the career fields that the students wanted to pursue. (“Reaching for Success: 7.1” 6)
Dawn Mills and Paula Morris, along with two other Y.E.A.H students traveled to Houston Texas on November 18-20th 2010 for the Big Tent Conference. This conference is an international forum for those who work with schools, communities, and families, providing opportunities for participants to share ideas and methods that will help others. The participants met others from all over the country and attended enlightening, impacting, and fun workshops (Davis, “Dreams” 1). Two of the Y.E.A.H students presented a workshop on the last day of the conference entitled “Connecting the Dots…Empowering Youth for life.” They introduced Kids of Honor and described the impact it had on their lives. Both students discussed how Kids of Honor allowed them to gain more confidence and instill them with goals and opportunities, like the shadow days they experienced. Morris then shared the history and progression of Kids of Honor. Afterwards Nathan, a former Kid of Honor now in college, shared his story.
Rebecca, who became a Kid of Honor, grew up in a small town outside of Berlin, MD. She moved to Salisbury, MD after her parents separated. She stated “I knew I had to find something to occupy my time and keep my mind off the memories of my parent’s separation.” This is when Rebecca’s love for cooking began. “Helping my family make dinner and baked goods allowed me to see I could accomplish anything I put my mind to.” Pursuing her dream early, she enrolled in the Parkside High school Career Technology Education program. This program gave her the experience to enter the real world right out of high school. She even gives back to her community through Local Owner Restaurant Association fundraisers by serving at various events. One of her greatest accomplishments was graduatingfrom high school with a scholar and technical diploma. Her goal now is to attain a bachelor’s degree in culinary arts at the University of Maryland, Eastern Shore. She won the Kids of Honor scholarship and said “My appreciation for the funds of this scholarship is immeasurable. Receiving this scholarship gets me closer to obtaining the education to pursue my dreams as a chef” (“Kids of Honor Facts: Stories” 1).
Gladys Dix, the parent of a Kid of Honor student, once stated in the Kids of Honor “Partner Site handbook”, “You have made mole-hills into mountains. Boys who the school would have written off have now become young men who are envied by others. The turnaround in my child alone has been remarkable. He has gone from weekly referrals to a Kid of Honor (9). Nathan was one of those students who evolved into a Kid of Honor by its influence. After goofing off in school, Nathan became involved in the Youth Leadership Academy. That day, there was a speaker, Dr. Greenfield, who introduced Nathan to Shaw University. Today, Nathan is a Presidential Scholar, student ambassador, and the sophomore class president of his Shaw University’s Student Government Association. After all his accomplishments, his mother exclaimed, “You connected the dots for Nathan” (“Kids of Honor Facts: Stories 1”).  Nathan exclaimed, “Kids of Honor changed my life. Thank you!” (“Partner Site Handbook” 9).
Kids of Honor, a non profit organization, collaborates with its community, empowering students to become leaders, graduate from high school, and achieve goals. Kids of Honor began as an attempt to catch those struggling students and guide them through high school graduation. They partnered with existing youth based groups in their community so they could impact as many students as possible. Catching students before they reached high school, they influenced caring adults who listened to what young people needed and found ways to connect them to their community. Through the Connection Club, students gained opportunities to learn to unite more with others. Personal growth is achieved through the Y.E.A.H club where the students work on their education effectively and efficiently get those opportunities to achieve their goals. Through these programs, Kids of Honor achieves its goal of graduating 100% of the students who remain in its program. Through caring and productive tools, Kids of Honor is an effective program that indeed empowers the will of students and instills them with positive visions for the future. These confident, successful, and educated young people will inspire positive community and world changes.

One out of three students in the United States does not graduate from high school (Davis, “In Pursuit…”1). Kids of Honor was created to help decrease these statistics. Founded in 2001, Kids of Honor developed as an attempt to reach out to local struggling youth in the lower counties of Maryland’s Eastern Shore and help them through high school graduation. Through programs that reinforce positive behavior and encourage positive life choices, the non-profit organization reaches about 1000 youth a day (“Partner Site Handbook” 5). Through leadership activities, Kids of Honor, a nonprofit organization, collaborates with its community to empower students to graduate from high school and achieve their goals.

Nkongho B. and Christina D. try out their journalism and photography skills


At the Together Forever show on August 28, 2010, Y.E.A.H. students tried on the careers of their dreams as they interviewed and photographed celebrities and guests at our Kids ofHonor® fundraising event. After a lively and energetic performance, Rebecca Holden and Kevin Sasaki graciously granted interview and photography time to Nkongho and Christina.This interview is by Nkongho B. And the photos by Christina D.

Rebecca__Nkongho_--_WebNkongho B- What did you study in college? What was your major?
Kevin Sasaki- Well I studied many subjects, but I ended up graduating as an English major. What do you do with an ENGLISH major you might ask? Well you can do a lot. But today I work in Public Relations.
NB- Along with working in Public relations, do you also enjoy performing today?
Sasaki- I absolutely LOVE what I do! I enjoy the fact that I can just pack up and go from place to place with no other obligations. As a matter of fact, traveling here to the eastern shore was one of the farthest places we’ve ever traveled.
Board__Celebs_--_WEBNB- What kind of music do you enjoy listening to? Any artists of today that you enjoy?
Sasaki- I really enjoy Steve Lawrence- A lot of people say I sound like him. (laughs) I also really enjoy, of course, Frank Sinatra, and I think Michael Buble is an awesome artist bringing back the type of music I sing to youth like you today.
NB- Is there a quote that you live by day to day?
Sasaki- “If you believe it, you can achieve it.”
*Mr. Sasaki not only sounds extremely like Frank Sinatra but he is also very concerned with today’s youth, and hopes that they also appreciate the music that he sings.

NB- What do you enjoy the most about performing?
Rebecca Holden- I really love doing duets and singing songs where I can really get pumped up singing with my partner!
NB-  Who are some of your favorite artist of today?
Holden- I’m not really much of a fan of the MUSIC, artist make, I am more in tune with the lyrics and the VOICE of a particular artist. I think singers like Katherine McPhee and Carrie Underwood have great voices.
NB- Are there any quotes that you live by?
Holden- “To serve god”. I believe that we ALL have inherit gifts and things that we are good at, and that we should just enhance them and live out our talents to the fullest.

Mom__Nelsons_-_WEB*It should be noted that Rebecca has an exceptional warm and vibrant personally. Recently she has flown and helped out with the cause in Ethiopia.

Y.E.A.H. Dreams...

This year we recorded our hopes and dreams.  This poster is our testimony as we pledged  to support each other, reach for success, and challenge our friends. We believe that Nothing is impossible! Together we can all achieve!
As a group, Y.E.A.H. set a goal: “To try something new.” 
Individually, each of us has hopes and dreams:

poster_small“Go to school and become a social worker or possible teacher” – M.B.
“Never take anything for granted” – S.H.
“Pass to be a Senior”- T.F.“
Graduate c/o 2009” – A.A.
“Cut back on my snacks”- A.T.
“Live life to the fullest” – S.H.“
Graduate c/o 2009”- T.S.“
Travel the world”- T.S.
“Successful” - S. H.
“Get a part time job”- A. C.
“Reach for the unreachable”- A. A.
“Peruse a life of pharmacy” – A.T.
“To Stop Playing Games”- A. T.
“Never Quit”- A. A.
“Reach for the stars”- S. H.
“Strive for more better things in life” A.A.
“Always smile” – D. J.
“Go to college” D. J.
“Make my own shoe under Nike” – T.S.
“Be more cautious” – D.J.
“Don’t let anyone walk over me.” D.F.
“Never put myself down for something that I won’t do” D.F
.“To someday bare children” A.T.
“Always do me, not what others want me to be”
“Stop world hunger” T.S.
“To become a pediatric nurse” J.M.
“Be unstoppable, successful, loving and kind” M.B.


‘You connected the dots for Nathan.” That’s what Nathan’s mother told the Kids of Honor® Board of Directors.  Nathan’s story is similar to many at Kids of Honor®. It involves young people and the network of caring adults that listen to their needs and connect them to resources.  Nathan was lucky enough to meet Ms. Ross, the WISE afterschool coordinator at Wicomico Middle school.  Nathan, a smart young man, was starting to goof off in the classroom.  Ms. Ross identified Nathan as A Kid of Honor and then, Ms Paula got engaged with Nathan. Kids of Honor® then recognized Nathan’s talents and connected Nathan to the Youth Leadership Academy where Nathan met Dr. Whitehead.  At the Youth Leadership academy, Nathan met the speaker, Dr. Greenfield who introduced Nathan to Shaw University where Nathan is a Presidential Scholar and Student Ambassador.  Connecting young people to the resources they need, Kids of Honor® creates a tight web of support.

Give us an opportunity and we’ll tell you about Alicia, Sade, Lucie, and many more students we’ve connected to their sparks and dreams.

Rebecca Writes...

JMB_GradsJPGMy appreciation for the funds of this scholarship is immeasurable.  Receiving this scholarship gets me closer to obtaining the education to pursue my dreams as a chef.  This has been my dream since childhood.  I grew up in the little town of Libertytown, outside Berlin, MD then moving to Salisbury after my parents separated at the age of eight. I knew I had to find something to occupy my time and keep my mind off the memories of my parent’s separation.  This was when the love of cooking began.  Helping family make dinner and making baked goods allowed me to see that I could accomplish anything I put my mind to.  Looking up to my grandmother as she made many Hispanic dishes had an influence on my culinary dream.  My uncle as he went back to college at the age of forty to obtain an associate’s degree in culinary arts inspired me even more and bonded our relationship even more.  Starting to pursue my dream early I enrolled in the Culinary Arts Program at Parkside CTE, gave me the experience to enter the real world directly out of high school.  In my spare time I give back to my community through Local Owner Restaurant Association fundraisers, by serving at various events.  Graduating with a Scholar and Technical diploma felt outstanding.  My educational goals now are to obtain my Associates degree as a full time student at Wor-Wic Community college my Associates degree further my education at the University of Maryland Eastern Shore and receive my Bachelors degree in Culinary Arts.  Through the generosity of your scholarship, I will be able to accomplish my dreams of becoming a chef.  While accomplishing my dream I hope to help others accomplish their dreams in various ways.

Kameron is the Annual Winner at Horizons

When asked to write an essay titled ‘What Horizons and Kids of Honor means to me’, Kameron responded:

It means the future to me.  It is very important that we try our best.  I would be honored to show the world what I have achieved and learned from Horizons & Kids of Honor.  Horizons has helped me for 8 years through the good and bad. 1 year I remember when they helped me learn how to write.  Another year they gave me some lessons on dancing and music. Kids of Honor helps me get a shot at my scholarship so I don’t have to give my parents a hard time.  It would be an honor to be presented with the scholarship and to be part of your club.

Nkongho enjoys Y.E.A.H. Activities!

Nkongho_smallNkongho, a high school junior, now believes nothing is impossible.  After joining the Kids of Honor High School club, Y.E.A.H., she says she has the resources to do things she only dreamt possible. Like her Kids of Honor peers, she will graduate and pursue her dreams of becoming a writer.