Area high school students shine at Telegraph’s Golden Eagle Awards

pramati@macon.comApril 29, 2014 

Just being associated with the Golden Eagle Awards can be a big boost to a high school student in Middle Georgia.

Andre Jones finished as runner-up in the Citizenship category of The Telegraph’s annual awards in 1983 when he was a senior at Southwest High School, and he said Tuesday the recognition was an important element of his resume.

“This award means so much,” said Jones, also known as “AJ the DJ,” who was the guest speaker at the 37th edition of the awards presentation Tuesday night at the Grand Opera House. “It’s like a movie trailer when they say ‘Academy Award-nominee.’ To be associated with something like this is so nice. Anytime you can build your resume with achievements, especially academic ones, it’s a good thing.”

Jones was selected as speaker because in addition to being a successful small business owner, he was honored as “Big Brother of the Year” for 2013 by the state’s Big Brothers Big Sisters organization for 2013, along with his “little brother,” Vidual Futch.

Jones told the evening’s attendees about the importance of community service.

“The main thing is that there’s no age limit to championing a worthy cause,” he said. “Do what you can to help, and you will find fulfillment.”

Telegraph Publisher Don Bailey said the fact that 174 students from 22 Middle Georgia high schools were honored across 12 categories shows positive academic achievement in the midstate.

“The first thing that came to my mind is that we hear so much negativity about education here,” Bailey said. “Tonight, we’re honoring 174 of the brightest and most successful students coming out of our education system.”

Bailey noted that one of Tuesday’s winners, Central High School senior Joseph Lofton, who won the Art category, also was named a Gates Millennium Scholar this week. In addition, another winner -- Mount de Sales’ Naa Adorkor Allotey (who won the Golden Eagle in Mathematics) -- had a perfect score on the SAT.

“I was very surprised to win,” said Allotey, who plans to attend Duke University next year. “I feel like it really honors my achievements in math. It’s very nice to receive this award.”

Golden Eagle award winners each receive $1,000, and students receiving an honorable mention get $300 apiece.

To contact writer Phillip Ramati, call 744-4334.

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