HERO OF THE YEAR AWARD RECIPIENTS
HERO Peer Club of the Year
The Anti-Bullying Club, or ABC, began 9 years ago at Canyon Springs High School with the primary goals of preventing bullying on campus and positively affecting school climate. During lunches, ABC hosts activities that help engage students, create unity, and bring awareness to students on campus. Members create a Bully Prevention presentation and train to present information to students in classrooms about the definition of bullying, the consequences of bullying, bully prevention methods, and how to anonymously report bullying to staff, administration, or through the MVUSD website. ABC helps students recognize bullying by first establishing a clear definition of the term. By ensuring their fellow students are clear on this definition, they can focus on prevention and positive intervention, and ultimately help create a safer and more unified school community. ABC encourages students to speak out and report any issues of bullying or discrimination. Outside of the classroom, ABC spreads awareness of bullying prevention through fun and engaging activities during Bullying Prevention Month and Pink Shirt Week, and participates in awareness campaigns around violence prevention, suicide prevention, and more. Today, they are over 150 strong and continuing to grow, proving that their message of kindness is speaking to the hearts of their fellow students, and goals to raise awareness and spread positivity are being realized.
Learn more about ABC here!
Super HERO of the Year
Aramis Verano was 6 year’s old when he began to write his first children’s book about his experience being bullied in Kindergarten, “Kindergarten CEO: The Struggle is Real.” Aramis, also known as, “The Kid CEO”, has spoken at different events about his experience to help other students his age find hope and inspire them to do better. To celebrate his accomplishment, Aramis decided to release his book on the day he turned 7 years old in 2019. He is currently 8 years old and since the release of his book he has spoken at conferences, a rotary club meeting, podcasts, and elementary schools. In the past he has done community events to promote his book and also would meet with other kids that have been in similar situations like him and give them hope.
Learn more about Aramis’ book here!
Follow Aramis on Instagram!
Empowering HERO of the Year
Kennedy Wiltz created a virtual workshop to accomplish her vision for her Girl Scouts Gold Award .The target issue she chose was Bullying because of her own past personal experiences. When she became a victim of bullying, it broke her down and affected the way she felt about herself.
Throughout her experience, she also constantly felt like she was the only one who felt negative about herself. As she got older, she realized bullying still happens, but now she understands how to respond in a healthier manner. Her goal is to no longer see or hear about one more person who has to deal with bullying or hear about another person thinking negatively about themselves because of what they’re experiencing.
Learn more about Kennedy’s workshop’s here!
View workshop recordings’ here.
Inspirational HERO of the Year
Jadyn Gomberg is an alumni of a local high school within the Corona-Norco Unified School District. She is also the founder of the bullying prevention organization, Keep It Kind (KIK). Jadyn was a victim of bullying, so she decided to start Keep It Kind to help put an end to bullying. KIK serves as a bullying prevention connection dedicated to advocating for victims of bullying and empowering them to help change the current culture. KIK promotes kindness, respect, acceptance, inclusion, and equality. The organization seeks to make acts of bullying punishable by law. Through KIK, Jadyn has been an instrumental partner with the Anti-Bullying Institute. She has spoken at our previous bullying prevention conference, as well as, various of our bullying prevention parent classes. The Anti-Bullying Institute always spotlights the amazing resources and programming KIK offers and vice versa!
Follow Jadyn and KIK on Instagram & join the movement!
QUARTERLY HERO AWARD RECIPIENTS
2019-2020 SCHOOL YEAR
Aramis Verano aka “The Kid CEO” – Southern, CA Elementary School Student
Canyon Springs High School Anti-Bullying Club (ABC) – Over 145 active members!
Perris High School (PLUS Leadership Program) – Laisha Arredondo, Sayra Beltran, Rubi Espinoza, Jason Evans III, Kalvin Fernandez, Daniel Fewkes, Gilberto Gil, Cesar Herrera, Kevin Jaimes, Samuel Munoz, Pablo Perez, Vanessa Perez, Julian Preciado, Edgard Prieto Gutierrez, Nevaeh Rangel, Marco Rodriguez, Ebony Rueda, Lena Tran
Ashley Hayball, Teacher, Desert Ridge Academy Middle School
Ramona High School (S.U.P.E.R. Peers) – Yoshelyn Vera, Breanna Carlos, Guadalupe Esparza, Jonathan Salinas, Victoria Howell, Ruben Lemos, Brandon Martinez
Our Lady of Perpetual Help Student Ambassadors and Moderators -Samantha Kimble, Joshua Frazier, Daphne Egizi, Ana Sofia Ramirez, Isabella Barragan, Giselle Galvin, Cali Gonzalez , Emily Cube, Julian Armijo Moderators: Ms. Pat Minson Ms. Jane Manasuk
Britney Criswell, Instructional Assistant, Alessandro School
2018-2019 SCHOOL YEAR
La Sierra High School (PALS) – Alejandro Acosta, Alan Alvarez Gonzalez, Alizee Ambriz, Ashley Anderson, Daniel Ayala Muniz, Josh Baias, Joselyne Casillas, Melanie Ceja, Jocelyn Cuen, Irene Garcia Gonzalez, David Gomez, Brissia Gomez Carrillo, Katherine Gonzalez, Naomi Guerrero, Jarod Hingada, Jordan Kinsman, Naomi Lara Espinoza, Samantha Maciel Diaz, Angelica Martinez Castellanos, Fabian Mejia, Chris Morton, Priscilla Mugica, Christian Ortiz, Adrian Paris, Sebastian Romero Regalado, Adriane Ruvalcaba, Lillyana Shelton
Voices for Children CASA’s Against Bullying – Tamara Slagill, John Page, Frances Lynn Harris, Carolyn Ponder, Andrea Greer, Carmen Ortiz, Stacey Morse, Samantha Tajalli Tehrani, Jasmine Valdez, Summer Escorcia, Julie Dawson
Ramona High School (S.U.P.E.R. Peers) – Alexis Arrivillaga, Belen Saldana Lopez, Claire Lopez, Destini Egan, Hannah Dunkel, Hannah Robinson, Mariel Almaraz-Olvera, Wendy Carrillo Lopez, Wendy Solis
Clare Pierce, Student, Jurupa Middle School
Dan Taylor, Founder, BullyStop 360 Program
Maria Lomeli, Student, Ramona High School
Berenice Toledano, School Counselor, Boulder Ridge Elementary School
Edward Gutierrez, Student, Boulder Ridge Elementary School
Jordan Thompkins, Student, Stone Avenue Elementary School
Mandy Wiltrout, Assistant Principal, Desert Ridge Academy Middle School
Megan Murano, Student, Indio High School
Melinda Tapia, Teacher, Jurupa Middle School
Payton Ramirez, Student, Lincoln Elementary School
Ryan Johnston, Student, Amelia Earhart Elementary School
Silvana Diaz, Teacher, Troth Street Elementary School
Special recognition was given to the following recipients:
Hailey Bisbee, Student, Jurupa Middle School
Mandy Bush, Teacher, Norte Vista High School
Mario Claussen, Rancho Cucamonga Resident
Opal Singleton, Riverside Resident
Shannon O’Brien, Co-founder & CEO, Children’s Resources, Incorporated
Tamara Baer, Teacher on Special Assignment, Corona-Norco Unified School District/Educational Services
Check out our Facebook for pictures of some of our HERO Award winners!
2017-2018 SCHOOL YEAR
Jurupa Middle School – Ariana Ortiz, Angelica Gonzalez, Alexandra Garcia, Sophia Salazar, Alexa Morales, Monique Ortega, Noemi Acosta, Marie Esteem, Elizabeth Becerril
Sundance Elementary – Arianna Horta, Alexander Smith, Genesis Valdez, Brooklyn Carbajal, Kate Mariscal, Madison Coleman, Milannah Quach, Morgan Savoy, Faith Reeves, Juliana Ash, Gabriella Salgado, Henry Valdivia, Alyssa Prado, Jose Saucedo, Paige Walker, Abigail Ball, Makayla Hampton Hernandez, Lucas Lugo, Ruby Pacheco, Sophia Hernandez
Three Rings Elementary – Alanah Muesser, Hunter Stowall, Aimee Castaneda
Previous HERO of the Year Award Recipients
2019 HERO Community Partner of the Year- California Baptist University, College of Behavioral and Social Sciences, Special recognition was also given to Dr. Kristin Mauldin, Assistant Professor of Psychology, Director, Sport and Performance Psychology Program.
2019 Inspirational HERO of the Year- Jessica Fuller, Teacher & Public Speaker, Orange Grove High School.
2019 HERO Counselor of the Year- Mrs. Kathleen Sarmiento, Student Assistance Program Counselor, Ramona High School.
2019 HERO Student of the Year- Megan Murano, Indio High School Student.
2018 HERO Initiative of the Year- The Corona-Norco Unified School District, Special recognition was given to Dr. Milisav (Mike) Ilic, Administrative Director,Instructional Support
2018 HERO Staff of the Year- Dena Drouault, Counselor Clayton A. Record Junior Elementary School
2018 HERO Student of the Year- Ayanna Johnson, former Student, Polytechnic High School
2018 HERO Inspirational Person of the Year- Cassandra Lackie, Riverside resident
2018 HERO Community Leader of the Year- Michael Barboza, Owner of Right at Home In-Home Care and Assistance
2017 HERO Administrator of the Year – Jessica Simpson-Thomas Jefferson Middle School, Vice Principal
2017 HERO Community Leader of Year –Dr. Susan Levine, Director of Pupil and Administrative Service, Riverside County Office of Education
2017 HERO Staff Member of the Year –Michelle Gomez, Counselor Canyon Springs High School
2017 HERO Student of the Year –Keilee Ann Grace Kelly, Student Mesa View Elementary
2017 HERO Ambassador of the Year –Shannon Fox, Ms. USA Universal
If you would like to nominate an individual for making making a positive impact within their workplace, school, or community please fill out the nomination form at the link below.