Every year, on the night of our Annual Awards Banquet, the youth of the Cathedral Home for Children are able to dress up and celebrate their accomplishments in treatment, how far they have come and how far their peers have come. Their achievements are shared not only with the youth and staff, but with board members, donors, case workers, and representatives from local community organizations. Banquet attendees get the opportunity to hear and celebrate the success stories of the youth of Cathedral Home for Children.
Throughout the night, the youth of Cathedral Home for Children were presented with an award Awards were given to youth that have overcome certain obstacles and have excelled not only on their cottage but in their school environment as well. Our Mae Olson Education Center (MOEC) gave out three awards that included Rookie Students of the Year, Academic Perseverance, and Most Improved Student. Rookie Students of the Year were awarded to two students that came to MOEC struggling to succeed and within a short time, were able to turn their perspectives around and understand the true impact that having a high school diploma can have on their future. The Academic Perseverance Award went to a student that had no desire to get a high school diploma as nobody in his family had ever received one. Being the first in his family to obtain a high school diploma, this young man is looking to attend college in the future. . Lastly, the Most Improved Student went to a youth that struggled to maintain a good GPA but really pushed to try different subjects. Through Cathedral Home’s Iron Riders Bike Program, he was able to open up to not only his peers, but to teachers and his direct care staff as well.
As the night went on, the youth of Cathedral Home continued to be recognized and through the “And Yet They Persisted” Awards, each had a special meaning behind them and was developed personally by the youth’s individual treatment team. Each award was tailored to the clients’ individual strengths and contributions to their cottage environment. The first award that was presented was the Million Dollar Smile Award. This award was given to a youth that can be seen smiling no matter what may have happened to her on that day or what struggles she was currently experiencing. Rain or shine, she always has a smile on her face. The All Day Every Day Award went to an individual that pushed themselves to be better every day and pushed everyone around them to be a better person in small ways. The Athena Award based off of the book Percy Jackson and the character, Goddess Athena, went to a youth that portrayed the same characteristics such as wisdom, courage, and inspiration. The Eye of the Tiger went to a youth that, when they first started at CHC, wanted to give up. Throughout their treatment, they were able to work through their struggles and make a change on their outlook on life. The Pursuer of Happiness Award went to an individual that exuded happiness and was able to spread the same feeling campus wide, going out of their way to make everyone’s day just a little bit better. Lastly, the Tougher Than Award was presented to a youth that has touched numerous peoples’ lives while residing at CHC. Living in both our Crisis Center and Residential Treatment Center, The youth always kept his head held high, despite the unknown and unpredictable obstacles that he was given. For the youth of Cathedral Home for Children, the Annual Awards Banquet is a night for them to be reminded of their potential and encouraged to pursue a brighter future, despite the challenges that they have been given. For many, it is a night where they are able to forget their struggles and focus on their strengths. For all of us at Cathedral Home, it is a night that we are honored to be a part of.