June 3, 2022

JFK Awardees: FHS & UHS

Since 1964, Ferndale Schools has honored President John F. Kennedy and the aspirations, intelligence, and public conscience he stood for—which our schools strive to foster. This is done through a scholarship recognizing outstanding achievement both in academics and service. In addition to a plaque, these two students also receive a $1,000 college scholarship from the Ferndale Schools Board of Education.

This year's FHS honorees are Ember Wood & Mohammad Al Zoubani

This year's UHS honorees are Sasha Wilson & Jazlyn Coles

Honorees, you are truly outstanding representatives of Ferndale Schools, and your dedication and achievements exemplify the principles of John F. Kennedy.  Congratulations to you on joining the ranks of more than 50 Years of Ferndale School’s John F. Kennedy Award recipients and best of luck in all you do in the future.

Two graduating seniors from each of our high schools are selected, students who represent their graduating class through scholarship, school involvement, community service, leadership, and individual responsibility.

Ember Wood's nominator wrote:

Ember has taken advantage of every opportunity that Ferndale Schools and our community has offered as a leader. She has been an active participant in DECA and various athletic teams. As a leader she has taken on various roles from being captain of her Soccer Team, United Student Assembly treasurer, committee chair for multiple school-wide events, including
Charity Week and Homecoming.

Last year, during remote learning, Ember was part of a student group that set up virtual tutoring sessions with the principal. All this demonstrates and is an attribute to her emotional maturity beyond her years and a profound empathy for those she encounters. Ember has done all of this for her peers and Ferndale Schools while maintaining a job!

Mohammad Al Zoubani's nominator wrote:

Mohammad is an excellent student who always pushes to do his best. He moved to this country to escape the horrors of war. He has seen and experienced more than most adults, but he has not allowed the ugliness of his past to tarnish his heart. He is one of the most caring and kind individuals I have ever met. He always supports his classmates and will always put others before himself. 

I had Mohammad freshmen year and was able to have the pleasure of getting to know him once again as a senior. Mohammad is an all around good human. I recall freshmen year Mohammad talking to me about his transition to America and some of the tough times he endured on his journey. Mohammad is always upbeat, smiling and brings a positive energy to the classroom. It is evident that Mohammad has been an asset to FHS and will surely do wonderful things in the future. Mohammad is pursuing a career in the medical field, where I know his dedication and empathy will serve him well.

Sasha Wilson's four nominators wrote:

Sasha Wilson has been heavily involved in so many of our extracurricular programs at UHS. She has been an active member of Student Council since coming to UHS her Sophomore year, and this year she took on the role of Student Council President. She writes for our school newspaper, she participates in Art Club, and she is a member of the volleyball team, as well. Beyond her involvement in all of these extracurriculars, she is an excellent student. Sasha takes ownership of her learning and is an active participant in the classroom. She also seeks out learning opportunities outside of school. She participates in our Peer Mentoring program, and I have had the pleasure of watching her develop a caring relationship with her mentee. She is an excellent role model for her peers, and an excellent candidate for this scholarship.

Another nominated added, Sasha Wilson has been a joy to have in class this year. When it comes to her school work, she is responsible, diligent, and intellectually curious. She also gives interesting contributions to class discussions, and she encourages her classmates to get involved. Sasha has been a leader within my classroom setting an excellent example for her underclassman peers. On a personal level, Sasha is caring, mature, and funny. She is the type of person who asks "How are you?" and actually cares to hear the answer. Sasha has been an asset to UHS over the last few years, and she will be missed after graduation!

Sasha is a hard working and wonderful student. She is dedicated to making a difference in our world and giving back to our community. Sasha excels in academics, art, and helping others. Her drive for education and making a big difference is incomparable. The responsibilities that Sasha has taken on in UHS are immense. Whether it be student council, art club, school leadership, classroom management and so much more. Academically Sasha is at the top of the class and just thrives in her education. Not only is she smart, but she is intelligent in her studies, execution, and all of her classes. I believe that there are wonderful things in store for Sasha in her future and am honored to have her as a student at UHS.

Jazlyn Coles's seven nominators wrote:

I highly recommend Jazlyn Coles for the JFK Award.  She demonstrates perseverance and determination daily.  She is an essential part of the University High School community. Throughout her time, her at UHS, Jaz has participated in many different clubs and activities.  Jaz has work with the Student Council, Student Union and contributed to the Black Excellence Celebration.  As Jazlyn sees a need, she’s willing to step-up and put in the hard work and dedication to make her endeavors successful. Jaz and students like her, inspire others to apply themselves and make their community better.  UHS is a better place to learn and teach because of students like Jazlyn Coles.  I am proud of her accomplishments and can’t wait to see the wonderful things she’ll do moving forward. 

Another nominated wrote, Jazlyn Coles has been an incredibly motivated student throughout her high school career. She has been active in several UHS extracurricular programs, including Student Council, Newspaper,  Peer Mentoring, and she founded the UHS Student Union. In the classroom, she is an amazing student. She leads whole group discussions, and displays a genuine love of learning.  Beyond her involvement in several UHS programs, she has sought out opportunities to do community service and is a talented motivational speaker. She is an excellent role model for her peers, and an excellent candidate for this scholarship.

Jazlyn is one of the most incredible young women that I have ever had the privilege to educate. Academically Jazlyn is so dedicated, motivated, and invested. She thrives in her studies and has dominated every challenge that she has come to know. Jazlyn's personal responsibility and dedication that she has put into helping her community is truly inspiring. She has started the student union at UHS which has allowed her to assist her fellow students in preparing for their post high school future. Jazlyn has done fundraisers and events to assist our community and to give back to them.  Jazlyn has an immensely bright future ahead of her, and the sky is the limit for this young woman. I am so proud of all her hard work in her education, community service, personal growth, and personal achievements. 

Jazlyn Cole is an exemplary student. She embodies the qualities of leadership, bravery, boldness, intelligence, and being well rounded. Jazlyn is a student that is not afraid to step outside the box, be different, and strive after her goals. Jazlyn is respectful, never stops learning and growing, and never stops trying to be great. I believe she will do justice to this award and that she exemplifies the characteristics of someone deserving of the award.