Southern Ohio Educational Service Center (SOESC) recognizes Exceptional Achievement Award recipients for services they have provided during the 2019/2020 school year to ensure students with disabilities achieve personal, social, or academic goals of the highest standards. Only a limited number of individuals or groups from throughout the five-counties served by Region 14 are recognized with this distinction. The Adams County 2020 Night to Shine (NTS) Buddies have been awarded the honor of receiving the Exceptional Achievement Award.
The NTS Buddies volunteered to accompany Honored Guest to the 2nd annual Adams County Night to Shine, sponsored by the Tim Tebow Foundation, on February 7, 2020 at Church 180 in Seaman, Ohio. Buddies volunteer on the night of the event but also attend a required training that reviews the evening and an overview for interacting with individuals that have special needs. The Buddies are strategically assigned to the Honored Guests that plan to attend the event prior to the big night. Nonetheless, there are always last-minute cancellations and changes that occur. The Buddy group took the last-minute changes with a smile.
It was quite awe inspiring to see such young adults and teens put their own needs aside and focus on ensuring that his/her Honored Guest had a magical evening at the Night to Shine. As stated by an Adams County Night to Shine Committee member, “Our buddies are absolutely amazing!! These kids volunteer their evening to buddy up with our Honored Guests and try their absolute best to make sure everyone has an amazing time. We had a guest who was incredibly shy and didn’t speak much. Her buddy was not only able to get her to speak, but he had her dancing all night! Yep, she spent her entire night living it up on the dance floor. Each one of our buddies did an absolute amazing job and we are incredibly thankful!” Each Buddy helped his/her Honored Guest shine on February 7th in so many different ways.
Each Buddy that volunteered for the 2020 Night to Shine did so due to a passion to positively impact the life of an individual with special needs. Upon sending messages of gratitude to all of the Night to Shine Buddies, the following message was received from an amazing Buddy, “I have loved this experience and will be back each year that I can make it happen. I truly love this type of connection and making a difference for just one night! This is one of the greatest highlights of my year. Thank you for allowing me the time with so many special people ♥.”
Congratulations to the Adams County 2020 Night to Shine Buddies for their Exceptional Achievement Award and gratitude for their service to individuals with special needs!
Back Row: Brandon Figgins, Nate Parks, Makayla Wilson, Sydney Figgins, Ireland D’Ambra, Connor Parks, & Caytie Rains
Front Row: Anna Shupert, Cassidy Blythe, Makara Vice, Gracelyn Spires, Kiersten Spires, Jaylynn Collett, Sydney Collett, Alyssa Mays, Rachel Bolen, Ashleigh Klickner, & Jessie Crawford
Not Pictured: Tori Riddle & Sierra Riddle