Jefferson Middle School Annual 8th Grade Leadership Award
Keleher & McLeod, which supports many activities in the community, maintains a special relationship with Jefferson Middle School. Since 1989, the firm has sponsored the annual 8th Grade Leadership Award and plays an active role in selecting the award winner.
The selection process for the coveted Leadership Award is rigorous. Students are nominated by their teachers not only on the basis of grades but on community service participation and other extra-curricular activities. The students then submit a resume, a one-page summary statement and a lengthy essay on leadership. The finalists are chosen from the field of applicants, who then meet with a panel of attorneys at the firm offices for an extensive interview.
Finalists this year were Kamea Pino, Dominic Gonzales, Fiona Wohrer, Marley Roberts and Erin Meadors. Kamea Pino was chosen for the 2012 Leadership Award from this very excellent field. Kameo's parents are Tammy James-Pino and Ryan Pino.
Kamea is on Jefferson Middle School's honor role. She actively demonstrates her leadership skills in her community participation, which includes volunteer work with sports groups and Native American cultural support. Among other achievements, she is an excellent basketball player and a champion Girl's Fancy Shawl Dancer.
Kamea wrote in her essay about Kenny Dobbs, a Native American role model she credited with inspiring her to fulfill her goals, regardless of negative influences. She wrote of her vision to strive to inspire others that they can overcome their obstacles, too.
Kamea and the other finalists were each given a cash award and and honored at an evening school assembly, attended by their families.
Keleher & McLeod sponsors a number of school initiatives, including Jefferson Middle School's Mock Trial Program.
In addition, the firm annually adopts a needy family from the school for holiday support.