Samantha HoangLong is a student leader who actively works to improve school and community culture for everyone at Burnsville High School, according to her teacher Katie Burke.
That’s why Burke nominated Samantha for the 2016 Youth Frontiers Character Award, which is presented each year to a student who stands out as an exceptional leader who exemplifies the values of kindness, courage and respect.
Samantha was selected and received her award at a ceremony attended by hundreds of the area’s top corporate, nonprofit, education and civic leaders on Dec. 15. [Watch video]
Samantha also received a $5,000 college scholarship from Luther Automotive Group.
“Samantha’s community values place all whom she encounters in an environment of acceptance and respect, qualities that are #FutureReady and #CommunityStrong,” said Superintendent Joe Gothard. “I am very proud of Samantha and her many peers and mentors at Burnsville High School for their efforts to lead with respect.”
Samantha has been a vital member of BurnsvilleStrong, a student group whose goal is to inspire, support and unite the student body and community at large. She has also been a committed member of BrainPower in a BackPack, which provides weekend food for elementary students in need.
“Samantha is one of the kindest students I know,” said Burke. “She is always trying to include others by reaching out and making people feel comfortable and generally trying to make her school a better place and her peers better people.”
Youth Frontiers is a nonpartisan organization funded through a partnership between schools, private foundations, corporations and individuals. The group offers one-day retreats on kindness, courage and respect for students in grades 4 through 12, which students in Burnsville-Eagan-Savage School District 191 have attended.