• REEL KIDS 2016

  • K - 5th Grade Winners

  • 6th - 8th Grade Winners

  • 9th - 12th Grade Winners     2016


HTC REEL Kids 2016 - 9th - 12th Grade Winners

Academy for Arts, Science, & Technology - Kayla Herbel - 12th grade
She was nominated by his school counselor, Pam Bosselait.

"Kayla's family has experienced the ravages of drug abuse and a prime example of how an addiction to prescription drugs can affect a family. Kayla really impressed me last year when she joined the National Guard and spent the entire summer at Boot Camp. She came back to school with a more self-assured attitude and a more mature approach to her studies. This strength helped her face recent hardships, including abuse in the household, eviction from the family home and the death of her father. Despite all this, Kayla continues to maintain a smile and has kept her grades up through it all, ranking in the top 25% of her class. Kayla is a Pre-med major at the Academy and hopes to pursue a career in Health Science. She is considering studying to become a trauma surgeon, but she also has a strong interest in criminal investigation, and may study Psychology to pursue a career as a criminal profiler. Kayla's positive outlook in spite of her circumstances, and her active pursuit of improving her life, make her the perfect REEL Kid. She is respected by teachers and fellow students alike and is a fine example of the pursuit of excellence in spite of the obstacles life presents her."

Academy for Technology and Academics - Mayia Bellamy - 12th grade
She was nominated by her school counselor, Romulus McNeill.

"In November of 2014, Mayia Bellamy was diagnosed with a benign brain tumor and in January of 2015, she underwent surgery at MUSC in Charleston, SC. Even with the surgery, a piece of the tumor remains in her brain. Doctors informed Mayia if the tumor continued to grow, she would need to have another surgery. Mayia stated she suffers from headaches daily and does the best to get through the day. In addition to her previous diagnosis, on April 10 2015, Mayia was diagnosed with type II diabetes. With this recent diagnosis, she felt so overwhelmed. As a result, she is on intermittent homebound, which means she attends school when she is physically able. I really admire Mayia because not many people know about her physical illness. She always has a good attitude and goes about her business as she should."

Aynor High - Acie Catron - 9th grade
He was nominated by his teacher, Sherry Flowers.

"Acie is a very pleasant young man who always has a smile. He is willing to help with anything in the classroom, especially with technology. He is very intelligent and takes learning very seriously. Acie loves to read. He participated in the2016 Horry County Technology Fair in the Creative Innovative Category. He designed a representation of the building of Aynor High School by using his knowledge of the 3D Printer. Even though he did not win, he showed lots of perseverance and tenacity. When Acie was younger, his father had a great fall on the job site which caused him to become disabled. So, now for years, it has been left up to Acie's mother to provide food, clothing, and shelter for her family. Acie has trouble breathing, but yet continues to carry on with his daily activities. While in ROTC Acie strived to achieve weight loss and succeeded in losing 30 pounds. He is motivated to become a Video Game Designer or some form of a technology career dealing with electronics."

Carolina Forest High - Ashley Velazquez - 12th grade
She was nominated by her teacher, Diana Forrer.

"Ashley Velazquez has had a lifelong obstacle as a deaf person who received a cochlear implant relatively late in her childhood. She has grown up having to learn not only the content (not like an ESOL student) but also a language, vocabulary, and social skills that she did not always pick up naturally due to not being able to hear. She has become a model student and hard worker. She began researching careers and making business plans to open her own beauty salon in an area with a Spanish speaking and Deaf population since she speaks some Spanish and is fluent in English and American Sign Language. She collaborated with a few students of her own accord at the end of last year to begin planning a presentation called "my deaf life" to educate community and school members on what being deaf has been like for her. She says she wants to educate others so that life will one day be easier for deaf students growing up and she wants to inspire younger deaf students."

Conway High - Aaron Beall - 12th grade
He was nominated by his coach, Gabe Moreland.

Aaron Beall is a remarkable young man who demonstrates strength of character in the classroom and on the athletic field. His quiet strength and fortitude in facing adversity is an example for other students. He has remained committed to his work in the classroom and the athletic field all the while dealing with the terminal illness and eventual death of his father. While others would use this as an excuse to give up and fail to give their best, he has seen it as an opportunity to bring out the best of qualities of resilience, endurance, and perseverance. His individual determination and strength of character are an inspiration for others as they have watched him in his diligence in the athletic and academic field. He is a valued member and leader of both the cross country and football teams and has pushed himself to successfully complete honors and Advanced Placement curriculum in high school."

Early College High - Charmaine Branch - 12th grade
She was nominated by her school counselor, Julie Hearn.

"Charmaine Branch is an amazing young lady. Her mother died unexpectedly when she was in middle school. The death of her mother was a life altering event that led to unexpected difficulties and personal challenges. Charmaine has persevered through it all with the support of many adults who have been placed in her life at critical moments. Charmaine expects to graduate with an Associates of Arts Degree in May 2016 and receive her high school diploma June 2016. Her dream is to attend Coastal Carolina University in the Fall of 2016 to pursue a teaching degree."

Green Sea Floyds High - Lonnie McCracken - 11th grade
He was nominated by his teacher, Peter DiLeo.

"Lonnie McCracken shows great leadership skills and character. He maintains a positive attitude despite the fact that both of his parents have serious ongoing health issues. He makes good grades and has a leadership role in the school marching band. He won first place in the multimedia competition in the Horry County Schools Technology Fair last year. He is also the director of operation of an airsoft team and is a certified instructor of the sport."

Loris High - Dakota Nealey - 9th grade
She was nominated by her band director, Stephen Whisnant.

"Dakota Nealey has overcome great obstacles in her life to be as normal as possible. Despite her physical limitations, Dakota is a valuable member of the marching band and is a very talented trumpet player making All-County Band and All –Region Band last year."

Donna Doerr

Myrtle Beach High - Elias Martinez Reyes - 12th grade
He was nominated by his teacher, Amy Herrera.

"Twelve years ago, Elias Martinez Reyes's mother pooled all of her resources and made the difficult decision to bring Elias to the United States of America. Unfortunately, this move meant leaving her daughter behind with an aunt as there was only enough money to bring one child to America. After arriving in the US, Elias's health began to improve. Over the years one thing did start bothering him. Could he hear? Was he losing his hearing? Year after year he would be screened for vision and hearing issues but the reports continued to state that everything was good. This pattern continued until Elias's 10th grade year when the hearing test showed a significant hearing loss. The proof of hearing loss brought confirmation of what Elias had suspected for years, but it also crushed a future dream. Elias's dream and career goal was to serve in the US military and now that was no longer an option. Elias has been a leader in our JROTC program since the beginning of his 9th grade year and his love for his new country grew stronger and stronger daily. Elias has continued to excel in JROTC even after his diagnosis. Just a few weeks ago, he and his peers won numerous trophies for their accomplishments in drill, color guard, etc. in a JROTC competition. Despite all of his health issues, Elias has continued to keep a positive outlook on life and keeps a smile on his face."

North Myrtle Beach High - Chris Coleman - 12th grade
He was nominated by his teacher, Jack Mundy.

"Chris Coleman and his younger brother grew up with their mother and father in North Carolina. The mother was a drug addict and the father was in prison. Chris's grandparents went to North Carolina and made the decision to bring the boys down here and raise them. At this time, Chris was in the 6th grade and his brother was in the 2nd grade. When Chris came to North Myrtle Beach High School, he had trouble dealing with his anger. He had anger issues and it was believed that a lot of that had to do with the environment in which he grew up. Over his high school career, Chris has learned to control and work through his anger issues and he has become a productive leader in the school and on the athletic team. Chris is getting ready to graduate and plans to attend HGTC in the fall."

Socastee High - Damoni Brown - 11th grade
She was nominated by her teacher, Lou Ellen Blackmon.

"Damoni Brown lives with her grandmother. Her father is in and out of jail on drug charges. Her mother passed away a year ago. Damoni still keeps her head high, her academic work complete, and her grades exceptionally well. She is a Red Bow girl, a DECA member and Spanish club member."

St. James High - Kaitlin Weiss - 11th grade
She was nominated by her teacher, Diane Faile.

"Kaitlin Weiss was born deaf. Her parents did not know she was deaf until she was two-years-old. She attended a school for the deaf to learn sign language. She now has a cochlear implant which allows her to hear minimally. In high school she has played basketball, soccer, lacrosse, and swimming. She has done so well academically that she has gained membership to the National Honor Society. She always does her best and has a great attitude. She has many friends and is a joy to teach.

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