Janesville student surprised with Young Woman of Distinction award

Janesville student surprised with Young Woman of Distinction award

Many teachers at Craig High School would agree that junior Ama Kyereme is a stand-out student, but one teacher thought her special achievements should be recognized.

Social studies teacher David Davis nominated Ama for the YWCA Rock County’s Women of Distinction award, which honors individuals and organizations for their service and dedication to improving women’s lives.

“A lot of stuff here (at school) is about data and grades, and some of these things you can’t measure with a grade,” Davis said. “She’s doing so much in the community that it’s good to see it recognized.”

Ama is very involved at Craig High School. She belongs to the Human Relations club, which focuses on educating others about cultural awareness and diversity.

“We do mostly stuff in our community and then we also sometimes have an international focus, where we do fundraisers or projects that promote awareness of things, like right now we’re working on domestic violence,” Ama said.

She’s also part of Circles of Support, a club that promotes academic excellence for minorities.

“We just get together and try to empower each other,” Ama said.

As if she didn’t already have enough on her plate, Ama also helped start the high school’s first feminist club.

“She’s been a leader from day one,” Davis said.

Cheryl Peterson, development director at YWCA Rock County, along with Craig principal Alison Bjion, district superintendent Karen Schulte and Davis all surprised Ama with the award during class Thursday morning.

“I was kind of surprised, a little bit nervous,” Ama said about her reaction to seeing everyone come into the classroom. “I felt really happy. I knew my parents would be proud. I just really was excited.”

Peterson gave Ama a bouquet of flowers and read part of the letter Davis wrote to nominate her.

“I think one of the greatest aspects of Ama is her humble nature,” the letter said. “She is doing so much for so many and doesn’t look to be thanked or noticed. She does good because she is good.”

Davis said it’s been neat to see Ama come out of her shell since her freshman year, and he knows she is going to continue to do great things.

“She can do whatever she wants,” he said. “She is going to be a leader in whatever she does.”

Ama will be honored along with six other women and one local business at the YWCA Rock County’s 42nd annual Women of Distinction Awards on April 6.