2015 Award Winners

Our 2015 finalists have broken barriers and add great value to our community. Following are small samples of their accomplishments.

Artist Awards

Cameron Juno

1st Place: Cameron Juno- One of the biggest challenges Cameron Juno faces is the limitations placed on him by people who do not understand his "abilities". He repeatedly identifies himself by what he can do rather than what he cannot do. He uses his talents to make people happy.

Runner-up: Emily Murray- With increased self-belief, and her enjoyment in art, Emily is moving beyond challenges which otherwise could keep her from being a productive member of society.

Runner-up: Grace Sissom- Grace believes it is never too late to try new things. She has an exceptional talent in handwork and painting-by-pattern which she shares with others.

Employee Awards

Kristen Alford

1st Place: Kristen Alford- Not expected to live past an early age, Kristen has overcome many obstacles and achieved almost unbelievable goals. Although she has many health problems, working very hard she received her GED and now works part time at two jobs.

Runner-up: Mathew Licausi- Mathew is a model employee, in fact a family member, of the staff at Winn Dixie. He is always a pleasure to be around and helpful to customers and other employees.

Runner-up: Shileah Wright- Shileah meets her challenges and is a productive citizen. She works to be independent, earn her own money and enjoys being involved in the community.

Adult Spirit Awards

Casey Schallenberg

1st Place: Casey Schallenberg- Not expected to walk or talk, Casey has defied all odds and since the age of nine, has been an inspirational speaker.
Speaking throughout the community, he encourages people with and without disabilities to never give up and have an attitude of gratitude.

Runner-up: Lauren Gennaro- Lauren is a role model for other young girls in understanding appropriate behavior. She was prom queen of her high school a maid in the Krewe of Tchefuncte.

Runner-up Simon Roussel- Simon, a true gentleman with an ever-present smile, is an energetic employee for two employees and is very active in community activities.

Champion Awards

Roy Delaney

1st Place: Roy Delaney- Roy partnered with St. Tammany Schools to bring their Buddy Program into Pope John Paul High School. PJP students are learning to work with and involve people with profound disabilities in the activities of the school.

Runner-up: Julie Aleshire- Julie works to keep people with disabilities involved in the community even after she leaves her job in the classroom where she assists special education students.

Runner-up: St. John’s Coffeehouse- The staff at St. John’s Coffeehouse, welcomes the Book Club of Northshore Families Helping Families, treating them like the loyal customers they are.

Youth Spirit Awards

Ariyana Marcel

1st Place: Ariyana Marcel- Ariyana is a great example of what a person with disabilities can do, not how they are limited. She faces the challenges caused by muscle weakness and multiple surgeries and is involved, making our communities better.

Runner-up: Braden Farrell- Braden doesn’t focus on his numerous surgeries and disabilities. He believes in himself and others, doesn’t meet a stranger, & always leaves a positive impression.

Runner-up: Catherine Villar- Catherine’s physical and academic challenges in no way affect her desire to learn, achieve and succeed. She keeps active at school and in the community.