FireFlies Denton honors students for achievement
RIDGELY — The Eastern Shore’s young talent and achievement were on display at North Caroline High School Saturday, April 1, as the FireFlies Denton youth organization honored 100 Shore students at its 100 Youth on the Move ceremony.
The mission of the FireFlies Denton event was to honor youth across the Eastern Shore who are excelling in the areas of music, art, sports, academics and community service. More than 600 people joined the celebration, which featured musical and dance performances by the honorees.
Students being honored live in Talbot, Caroline, Dorchester, Kent, Queen Anne’s, Somerset and Wicomico counties.
Queen Anne’s County youth recognized were Leah Hoffman-Rhodes, Amiya Potts, Lloyd Price IV, Asia Reed, Zarron Seals and Carlos Wilson.
“We are here to honor the outstanding achievement by our youth here on the Eastern Shore,” said FireFlies Denton President Doncella Wilson. “They do outstanding things each and every day. They are our future, but they are also our present. They are making a great difference today.
“We are proud of all of them,” she said. “They do so many great things for their schools and their communities.”
The 100 Youth on the Move ceremony is included in the three-part recognition program by FireFlies Denton, which began in March 2016 with the 100 Men of Distinction on Maryland’s Eastern Shore, and then the 100 Ladies of Elegance on Maryland’s Eastern Shore in October 2016.
The ceremony also featured several song performances: Taylan Wilson of Easton High School, Sophie Callahan of Denton Elementary School and Chyna Slaughter of North Caroline High School.
The Easton High School Cheerleading GEMS and the ABM Dancing DIVAS from Cambridge each performed dance routines.
Bayside HOYAS (Helping Our Youth Achieve Success) co-founder and Vice President Paul Tue III of Chestertown presented two special scholar athlete awards, one to Kent County High School senior Manny Camper Jr., and one to Mardela High School senior Nasir Tucker.
Camper is studying to be a civil engineer at Siena College while playing on the college’s basketball team. He has a 3.929 grade point average, is a National Honor Society member and is ranked in the top 10 of Kent County High School’s graduating class.
He is a four-year varsity starter on the Trojans’ basketball team and was named North Bayside player of the year after averaging more than 26 points a game as a junior. He also won the Player of the Year award this season. Camper became the first student at the high school to achieve the 1,000-point milestone in their junior year.
“Manny has maintained academic excellence while remaining true to his core values and faith,” Tue said.
Tucker will be attending Salisbury University while majoring in business with a minor in accounting. He has a 4.0 GPA and is an Honor Society member.
He was the team captain for the Mardela varsity wrestling team, and is a three-time Bayside Conference and regional champion. He has achieved more than 100 wins and earned three berths in the state wrestling tournament, where he finished fifth, second and sixth.
Tucker also mentors youth at Mardela Middle School and coaches junior wrestling.
Tue then asked all the students to stand and be recognized. He also congratulated family members for the successes of their students.
“All these kids with all these accomplishments means you guys are doing something right too,” he said.
Wayne Curtis Sr. of Queen Anne’s County, congratulated the students for their accomplishments and urged them to be strong when facing adversity.
“Like they said in the movie ‘Finding Nemo,’ just keep swimming,” he said.
Denton Mayor Abigail McNinch thanked Fireflies Denton for hosting the ceremony. She said the organization is great for the community and the Eastern Shore.
Del. Jeff Ghrist, R-36-Caroline, presented each student with citations from Gov. Larry Hogan and the Eastern Shore Delegation.
For more information about the FireFlies Denton youth organization, visit the organization’s Facebook page.
Follow Caroline/Dorchester Editor Dustin Holt on Twitter @Dustin_StarDem.
Queen Anne’s County students honored at the FireFlies Denton 100 Youth on the Move ceremony included Leah HoffmanRhodes, Amiya Potts, Lloyd Price IV, Asia Reed, Zarron Seals and Carlos Wilson.
Zarron Seals, Queen Anne’s County
Lloyd Price, Queen Anne’s County
Leah Hoffman-Rhodes, Queen Anne’s County
Asia Reed, Queen County Anne’s
Amiya Potts, Queen Anne’s County