Multicultural Awards


Student Role Models

These awards are presented to students who have given of themselves through action and example. The students honored have made our school a place in which all of us may appreciate one another and be proud of each other. The awards are named after role models from the many cultures that have combined to make our country a unique and wonderful place.

Senator Ben Nighthorse Campbell Award:  Public Service

This Native American senator from Colorado has championed the cause of Native Americans in his state, and has represented Native American’s interests in the US Senate. He serves as a role model for his people across the United States.

Cesar Chavez Award:  Courage

This Mexican-American labor organizer spent his entire adult life fighting for economic and social justice for the children and adults who sustain our lives through their labor in our nation’s orchards and farm fields. His devotion to non-violent resistance and his tremendous leadership skill led to the founding and success of the United Farm Workers.


Agatha Christie Award:  Creative Problem Solving  

This British author of mysteries and detective novels was the most popular author of such books in the 20th century. Through her characters, Inspector Poirot and Miss Marple, she has taught the art and skill of deductive reasoning to tens of million of people.

Winston Churchill Award: Oral Expression

This heroic prime minister of England became one of the greatest statesmen in world history. He lead the United Kingdom through World War II, often using powerful words that inspired people worldwide who were facing extreme difficulty. His words and speeches have continued to have a lasting impact on world politics.

Dorothea Dix Award:  Helpfulness

This European-American social activist championed the cause of mentally ill people who were treated shamefully in the US in the mid 1800’s. Her work resulted in the building of special hospitals for people who have mental illnesses and in legislation that guaranteed them basic rights.

Jim Garcia Award:  Community Service

This Chicano educator from California has worked on behalf of Chicano and Latino students throughout his adult life. He taught and counseled students from farm working families to enable them to complete their high school education, and has served as an academic and cultural counselor to Chicano and Latino students at the University of Oregon and Oregon State University. He currently directs the programs at Lane Community College that serve Chicano/Latino students at Kennedy.

A.C. Green Award:  Perfect Attendance

This Portland, Oregon native was a basketball star at Oregon State University. He has gone on to play in more than 1,100 NBA games without missing a single one! He played for the Los Angeles Lakers, the Phoenix Suns, the Dallas Mavericks, and the Miami Heat. He is respected for his work ethic and consistency.

S.E Hinton Award:  Written Expression

This European-American young adult novelist wrote the ever-popular “The Outsiders,” “Tex,” and “Rumble Fish.” She wrote “The Outsiders” when she was 16. Her books speak to, and give voice to, young people all over the world.

Chief Joseph Award:  Leadership  

Upon the breaking of a treaty by the US government, this American Indian chief of the Nez Perce led his people toward freedom on an arduous journey. Though he was unsuccessful in reaching Canada and freedom for his people, which was his goal, he continued to push for fair treatment of the continent’s indigenous people by speaking repeatedly before Congress in the late 1800’s. Legendary for his eloquence, his most famous words, “I will fight no more forever,” marked the end of an era in our country’s history.

Jackie Joyner-Kersee Award:  Competitive Excellence

This African-American track athlete twice broke the world record in the heptathlon and won two gold medals in the 1988 summer Olympics in Seoul, Korea. She was, in that year, the first woman ever to receive The Sporting News Person of the Year award. In her track career, she appeared in four Olympics and won six medals, three of them gold. She also was an all-American basketball player at UCLA.

Helen Keller Award:  Persistence

This world famous European- American overcame deafness and blindness with the help of a challenging and loving teacher, Annie Sullivan. She eventually graduated from Radcliffe College and then devoted her life to working for issues of social justice and the rights of disabled people everywhere.

Susan La Flesche Picotte Award:  Love For Learning   

This Omaha tribe member graduated from the Medical College of Philadelphia. She then returned to the Omaha reservation in Nebraska to serve as the head physician in the year following the military defeat of the Native Americans. Her work resulted in the first hospital on a reservation.

Thurgood Marshall Award:  Academic Excellence

This African-American lawyer and activist became the first African-American Justice of the Supreme Court. As the NAACP’s chief counsel, he successfully argued the Brown vs. Board of Education case that led to the desegregation of US public schools.

Tom McCall Award:  Environmentalism

As a former governor of Oregon, he established public beaches in Oregon and was the facilitator of the Willamette River clean-up. He championed the cause of environmentalism by establishing the first bottle bill in the US, and by creating a ban on pull-top cans to help keep our rivers and streams clean.

Tiffani Noah Award:  Friendliness

This former Kennedy student died of heart disease in 1994 when she was an 8th grader. While she had lived her life dealing with pain, illness, and a number of major operations, Tiffani made a lasting impression on her teachers and fellow students through her generous spirit and her positive approach to others.

Rosa Parks Award:  Anti-Discrimination Activism

Called the “Mother of the Modern Civil Rights Movement,” this African-American activist and community organizer sparked the bus boycott in Montgomery that propelled Martin Luther King into leadership.

Selena Quintanilla Award:  Musical Expression

This Mexican-American popular music singer made her name with her up-tempo versions of traditional Mexican and border music. Just as her singing career was taking an international leap, she was murdered at the age of 23. Selena’s fans continue to celebrate her memory, her musical ability, as well as her cultural and personal integrity.

Diego Rivera Award:  Artistic Expression

This world famous Mexican muralist portrayed the life of the common people of Mexico, including their participation in historic events and politics. He courageously blended his art with his desire for justice.


Eleanor Roosevelt Award:  Doing The Right Thing

The most active US first lady of the 20th century, this humanitarian championed the rights of the disenfranchised. She challenged racism in the US and she promoted world peace. She served as a role model for women in politics and public affairs.

Simon Wiesenthal Award:  Justice

This Polish-born Jewish person lost many of his relatives in the Nazi concentration camps. Knowing that many Nazi war criminals had escaped justice after the war, he established the Jewish Documentation Center in Vienna, Austria. More than 1,000 former Nazis accused of war crimes have been identified through the center’s work.

Minoryu Yamaski Award:  Self-Discipline

This Seattle-born Asian-American architect became world famous for innovations in architecture and city planning. Among his award winning designs are the Northwestern Insurance building, the International Affairs Building at Princeton, and the former twin-towered World Trade Center in New York City.

Min Yasui Award:  Citizenship

This Japanese-American lawyer from Oregon challenged the legality of the US interment camps that imprisoned citizens of Japanese descent during World War II. His work contributed to the eventual apology and settlement by the US government.