Students from 14 OVAC schools in Ohio, Marshall, and Belmont Counties were recognized for being recipients of the Bordas and Bordas Anti-Bullying Fighting for Justice Award.
This award is such an honor, each selected student receives a $500 cash prize at the end of the school year to use towards whatever they wanted.
On Tuesday, a congratulatory reception was held at the law firm for those selected and their families where an unexpected prize was given.
All 15 students selected received four box seat tickets to an upcoming Pirates game
The students were obviously both shocked and very excited.
“That’s very exciting, because I like baseball and that’s pretty cool I get free tickets,” award recipient Talia Duffy says.
But these gifts weren’t just given for good grades or athletic ability, each of the students were nominated by teachers, principals, and guidance counselors for their outstanding character and for meeting the following criteria:
-Treats everyone equally
-Respects differences in others
-Stands up to those who are targeted by others or are discriminated against
-Speaks out against injustice
This is the second year for the Bordas & Bordas Anti-Bullying award. It’s been something Lawyer Jim Bordas has always felt strongly about.
“I personally think it’s the most important thing,” Bordas says. “God gave you the brains god gave you the athletic talent, but you have to work a little bit on being kind and going above and beyond to be the nice person who also has courage to sometimes do things that other people think are unpopular by standing up for the poor kid that sitting by himself in the corner of the cafeteria.”
Those are the kind of good deeds that made these 15 students stand out:
-Stephen Gretchen, Bishop Donahue
-Talia Duffy, Bellaire
-Alex Gazdik, St. Clairsville
-Cassidy Simonson, Union Local
-Madeleine Pacifico, Shadyside
-Spencer Wiley, Wheeling Park
-Lakhottah Taylor, Beallsville
-Josie Pettit, Cameron
-Peter Hartzell, Wheeling Central
-Sarah Weaver, John Marshall
-Cheyenne Harris, St. John Central
-Priscilla Wright, Linsly
-Bailey McGarth, Bridgeport
-Kody Seevers, Bridgeport
-Lauren Bennett, Martins Ferry
Each having a different reason for doing so.
“You never know what other people are going through or what other people could be struggling with and you never know what something small you could do for them that could help,” award recipient Priscilla Wright says.
“The younger kids really look up to high schoolers and when they come up to the high school and see an athlete or someone who is higher up in the ranks be nicer to a person whose on their own it kind of makes them realize that it’s our right to be nice to other people even if its against your friends,” Spencer Wiley adds.
If you would like to nominate someone you can do so by calling the law office.
Jim says he would like to clear up that you don’t have to be a teacher, principal or guidance counselor anyone in the community can nominate a senior student.