- Sponsorship -

Union High juniors receive Impact Award 

Grand Rapids — Two Union High School juniors were recently selected as this year’s winners of the Impact Award from the Women’s City Club. 

Nebyat Gebrehiwot and Dilanny Perez received the award for their winning responses to a prompt that asked them to describe someone who’s been an inspiration, according to a release from the club.

Nebyat’s winning entry is a colorful tribute to the culture of her native country, Eritrea (courtesy)

Dilanny wrote an essay about U.S. Army Lt. William D. Swenson, a Medal of Honor recipient she learned about in her ROTC class.

“It was kind of obvious I was going to write about that person because they show their values,” Dilanny said. “And the trials he went through and how he kept his values along the way.”

Nebyat’s entry went beyond just one individual source of inspiration, focusing instead on the culture of her home country of Eritrea in Northeast Africa. Her painting depicts a solitary woman in colorful Eritrean garb.

“I did it because my mom told me that everyone has to know I’m from Eritrea, because they think I’m from Ethiopia and other countries,” Nebyat said. “So she told me to do Eritrean culture to let people know the culture is different from others.”

Women’s City Club President Wendy Sturm surprised the students at school to let them know they’d won. The two juniors each received a $750 cash prize during a luncheon at Mayflower Congregational Church.

The Women’s City Club, now celebrating its 100-year anniversary, works to promote educational, civic and social activities through study, community service and friendly associations. The club has granted the Impact Award to Union High students since 2018.

Read more from Grand Rapids: 
Community partners bring field trips to Burton’s backyard
Senior picked as a Black History Maker of Tomorrow

- Sponsorship -
Riley Kelley
Riley Kelley
Riley Kelley is a reporter covering Cedar Springs, Grand Rapids, East Grand Rapids and Sparta school districts. An award-winning journalist, Riley spent eight years with the Ludington Daily News, reporting, copy editing, paginating and acting as editor for its weekly entertainment section. He also contributed to LDN’s sister publications, Oceana’s Herald-Journal and the White Lake Beacon. His reporting on issues in education and government has earned accolades from the Michigan Press Association and Michigan Associated Press Media Editors. Riley’s early work in journalism included a stint as an on-air news reporter for WMOM Radio, and work on the editorial staff of various student publications. Riley is a graduate of Grand Valley State University. He originally hails from western Washington.


Related Articles

- Sponsorship -

Issues in Education

Making Headlines

- Sponsorship -


Maranda Where You Live WGVU