Louisiana Young Heroes | LPB
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1997 Young Heroes »»»

Young Hero
Wayne Abney

Wayne Abney has a rare medical condition called Congenital Alveola Hypoventilation Syndrome which causes his body to stop breathing. An amateur comedian, he has been a tireless representative for Easter Seals, emceed countless benefits for Children's Hospital, the Retarded Citizen's Association and other worthy causes and is very active in Sick Kids Need Involved People (SKIP) of Louisiana. He has also maintained a 3.7 average at Slidell High.

Young Hero
Traci Alexander

Traci Alexander has not let being born with only one finger on each hand and half of each foot stop her from being class valedictorian (4.0 grade point average), president of the National Honor Society, and a member of the homecoming court and the school's Quiz Bowl team. She has also spearheaded fund-raisers for the needy, worked in food kitchens for the poor and worked as a hospital volunteer in the summer. Traci also helps care for the five severely handicapped children her family has adopted.

Young Hero
Nicole Marie Armand

Nicole Marie Armand underwent extremely difficult and dangerous brain surgery in 1995 to control the uncontrollable seizures caused by Intractable Epilepsy. Since that time, she has recovered enough to become an honor student, cheerleader, sing in bands, take piano lessons, and write poetry. Nicole also counsels other young children who are facing this risky operation and her goal is to be a neurosurgeon.

Young Hero
Ashley Barton

Ashley Barton has suffered more tragedy in her young life than most people do in a lifetime. She not only witnessed the murder of her mother at the hands of her abusive stepfather, but also lost one of her younger sisters in a drowning incident. Despite all this, Ashley has become a model citizen and a leader at her school. She has won a Horatio Alger Association Scholarship, is president of the Student Council. secretary of Students Against Drunk Driving (SADD) and was named an outstanding senior by her fellow classmates.

Young Hero
Alicia Ketcham

Cerebral Palsy has left Alicia Ketcham unable to speak or control her limbs, but it has not stopped her from pursuing her high school diploma, writing poetry, and being an inspiration to other physically challenged students.

Young Hero
Jon-Robert Mouton

Jon-Robert Mouton not only starred on Kaplan High's football team and earned a scholarship to Tulane, but last June he risked his own life to save a woman who was being beaten, getting stabbed in the neck in the process.

Young Hero
Dee Jonette Starr

Dee Johnette Starr is an outstanding student who has had to overcome major difficulties in her everyday personal and family life. Dee was able to advance directly from the eighth to the tenth grade and graduates this month after only three years of high school. Her goal is to earn a Ph.D. in School Psychology and make her community a better place for children.

Young Hero
Lindsey Ryan Thibodeaux

Lindsay Ryan Thibodeaux has Spina Bifida, but that has not stopped him from being a tireless worker for the March of Dimes and the Race for Cancer, being a cheerleader, acting in plays and keeping stats for Christian Life Academy's basketball team.

Young Hero
Robert Martin Whatley

Martin Whatley has Werdnig-Hoffman Disease, which causes him serious respiratory and motor function problems. Despite these physical difficulties, he has a 3.7 grade point average and is a member of the school's Quiz Bowl team, Beta, Math and Science Clubs, and yearbook staff. HE also serves on a statewide committee to identify the needs of adolescents with developmental disabilities and chronic health care needs.

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