ANNOUNCING THE WINNERS OF THE 2018… | Louisiana Public Broadcasting
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LPB and the Rotary Club of Baton Rouge sponsor the program which was underwritten this year by Acadian Companies, CenturyLink, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Louisiana, and Walters, Papillion, Thomas, Cullens, LLC. Attorneys at Law.

The winners and their families will be honored on Monday, April 16th with a luncheon at the Old Governor’s Mansion, a banquet at the Renaissance Hotel in Baton Rouge, and lots more.

This year’s Louisiana Young Heroes are: • Garett Byrne of Walker, a 12th grader at Louisiana School for Math, Science and Arts in Natchitoches • Savannah Green of Winnfield, a 12th grader at Winnfield Senior High School • Megan Gremillion of Baton Rouge, a 12th grader at St. Joseph’s Academy • Sethan Hollier of Baton Rouge, a 12th grader at Catholic High School • Jarrius Robertson of Garyville, a 9th grader at Lutcher High School • Amanda Rougee of New Orleans, an 8th grader at Mount Carmel Academy • Garrinecia Singleton of Baton Rouge, a 12th grader at Scotlandville Magnet High School • Kari Stephens of Baton Rouge, a 12th grader at Baton Rouge Magnet High School

17-year-old Garett Byrne and his sister went to live with their grandparents in 2011 when both of their parents were arrested on drug charges. Garett immersed himself in music, becoming proficient at playing trombone. Because of his experiences having formerly drug addicted parents, Garett volunteers to help others with addictions. He and musician friends have played music at a treatment center; he helps serve food at Mission Heart, a sober living house; and he has helped write grants to keep Mission Heart running. Garett is also a gifted student and vocalist, and has been offered a music scholarship at LSU.

18-year-old Savannah Green was diagnosed with acute promyelocytic leukemia when she was 15. She spent nearly a year in treatment. Despite only being able to attend school half a day, Savannah maintained a 3.75 GPA. For two years, she has attended Camp Challenge for children with hematology and oncology disorders and their siblings, and was a counselor there this past year. Savannah is very involved in 4-H and is the Vice President of her school and parish club, and Vice President of the Louisiana State 4-H Citizenship Board. Savannah plans to attend Louisiana Tech University where she will major in nursing. She wants to become a pediatric oncology nurse.

17-year-old Megan Gremillion was diagnosed with Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD) as a freshman in high school, suffering from intense panic attacks that would cause her to pass out. Through intense therapy, plus hard work and determination, Megan has learned to control her GAD. She is a Youth Board Member for the Ghana Educational Collaborative and organized a fundraiser that generated enough money to fund the education of four students in Ghana. She is a volunteer with the THRIVE club, which provides refuge, help, and support to underprivileged children in Baton Rouge. Megan is a member of National Honor Society, is a peer tutor, and is President of her Senior Class, as well as Vice President of the Science Club. Megan would like to pursue a career in medicine.

18-year-old Sethan Hollier, who was born to a young single mother, has seen family members struggle with alcoholism, drugs, and domestic violence in his lifetime. Sethan was accepted into The Southern States Scholars Laboratory, a residential home that helps academically capable, motivated but underserved youth reach their full potential. At Catholic High School in Baton Rouge, Sethan has maintained a 3.0 GPA, sacrificing the athletics he loves to focus on academics. He has volunteered in soup kitchens, helped flood victims with their homes, and mentored first year scholars. This past summer, Sethan was recruited to work with a Fortune 500 company.

While she was in the 3rd grade, Amanda Rougee’s grandfather passed away. Following this, her mother went into a major depression and became an alcoholic. In 2015, Amanda’s mother died from a brain aneurysm. At the age of 11, Amanda made the grownup decision to agree to donate her mother’s organs, helping save the lives of three recipients. Now in the 8th grade, Amanda gives speeches through organizations representing Donate Life Louisiana and Louisiana Organ Procurement Agency (LOPA). She and her father formed a foundation called Takes Heroes to Save Lives. Amanda is in the process of opening a volleyball training center named for her mother that will allow children of all ages to develop their skills, no matter their socioeconomic status. She has also been offered a book deal.

15-year-old Jarrius “JJ” Robertson is a two-time liver transplant recipient and an organ donor advocate. JJ teams up with Ochsner Medical Center and LOPA to promote organ and tissue donation. He visits hospitals to encourage other transplant recipients and their families. JJ has spearheaded multiple blood drives, and recently conducted his second annual “It Takes Lives to Save Lives” toy drive benefitting hospitalized children. He has appeared on “Good Morning America” and ESPN and was written about in USA Today. Last July, ESPN presented him with one of their most prestigious ESPY Awards – the Jimmy V. Perseverance Award. New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees addressed Jarrius in a team video congratulating him on the ESPY, saying in part, “Your strength, your courage, your resolve are second to none.”

18-year-old Garrinecia Singleton suffered an abusive childhood at the hands of a family member. After her abuser was imprisoned, she was diagnosed with PTSD, anxiety, and severe clinical depression. Garrinecia committed herself to a stringent mental health regimen, remaining a dedicated student. In fact, she will be her class salutatorian, and has been accepted to Rhodes College with a scholarship worth more than $200,000. Garrinecia plans to become a Licensed Clinical Social Worker, and plans to support vulnerable young people and spread awareness of predatory behavior.

When their mother died of cancer, Kari Stephens and her brother were adopted by their aunt. In addition to her mother’s terminal illness, Kari’s childhood was made more difficult by a father in prison, an older sister who frequently ran away, and time spent in a homeless shelter. Kari found that by opening herself up to people, she would be exposed to opportunities she hadn’t considered, such as Key Club. Kari is the District Secretary Treasurer and is past Lieutenant Governor of Key Club. Kari has traveled around the country with Key Club and has been fully able to embrace the lessons of strength and selflessness that her mothers taught her. For more information about the Louisiana Young Heroes Awards, please go to, or email