ASU’s MLK celebration honorees - East Valley Tribune: East Valley Local News

ASU’s MLK celebration honorees

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Posted: Monday, January 17, 2005 5:14 am | Updated: 10:04 am, Fri Oct 7, 2011.

The following people and groups will be honored at Arizona State University’s annual MLK celebration breakfast 7 a.m. Jan. 27 in the Memorial Union, Tempe:

Five schoolchildren from the East Val ley are among 24 in the state to win ASU’s annual Martin Luther King Jr. poster-essay contest. They are: Theresa Lobato, second-grader at Broadmor Elementary in Tempe; first place for essay.

• Willie Karr, second-grader at Franklin Northeast in Mesa, third place for primary category essay.

• Olivia Wilson, second-grader at Franklin Northeast, second place for essay.

• Reilly Anderson, fourth-grader at Franklin East in Mesa, third place for intermediate category essay.

• Maria Mercado, seventh-grader at Kino Junior High in Mesa, third place middle category for poster.

The students will receive savings bonds and ribbons at a celebration breakfast on Jan 27. Winning essays and posters may be viewed at

Businessman and community leader Eddie Basha will receive the 2005 Martin Luther King Jr. Servant Leadership Award. Basha has influenced Arizona’s education system at all levels. He has served on the Chandler School Board, the State Board of Education, and the Arizona Board of Regents. He also has been deeply involved in many community and civic projects.

Anshantia Oso of Mesa, a senior in communications, will receive the Student Servant Leadership Award. Oso’s drive for justice led her to become the charter president for the East Valley youth branch of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People at age 12. Today, she is president of the NAACP Arizona college division and creator of Diaspora Magazine, one of the first black student publications at ASU.

Mesa’s 2005 Veora E. Johnson Spirit of Unity Educator Award will be presented today to Theresa Price, Mesa Unified School District specialist for American Indian programs.

"Theresa seeks to bridge the cultural differences between the schools and the Native American community," said Cliff Moon, diversity specialist for the district.

Price will receive her award at Mesa’s annual MLK Breakfast, then will be in the downtown parade.

The following people will be recognized at the seventh annual Tempe Human Relations Commission MLK Diversity Awards Brunch today.

• Tamarla Forrest is being recognized for her work in creating a Best Buddies program at Corona del Sol High School in Tempe. The program pairs students with special-education needs with students from the rest of school population.

• Danna Kundrat is a special education/resource teacher at Kyrene del Norte Elementary School in Tempe who created the Circle of Friends Buddy Club. The club pairs disabled students with typical peers so they will not have to spend their days at school alone, shunned because of their differences.

• Christine Puzauskas founded Flight33, a nonprofit, faith-based organization that works in Tempe and Guadalupe. The group provides tutoring and service opportunities for children of the Yaqui tribe and of Mexican-American descent. She has personally given more than 1,200 hours of volunteer service in the past year.

• Sue Ringler is president of Tempe Emergency Assistance Ministry, as well as the executive director of Paz de Cristo. She helped establish Paz de Cristo, which brings together 1,000 volunteers to provide the needy with daily meals, food boxes and empowerment services.

• For more than 30 years, Bevie and Virginia Sanders have served and cared for international students and their families while they are in Tempe studying at ASU.

• Chelsea Janesky is involved in many communityoriented events, such as the Tempe Tardeada Hispanic Festival and Take Back the Night Event at ASU. She also is a peer educator at Thomas J. Pappas Elementary School for homeless children.

• Natalia Perez is president of the Gay-Straight Alliance at Corona del Sol High School, organizing several events to raise tolerance and create awareness, such as the Hate Crime Awareness Vigil.

• Arizona Dragon Boat Association believes that dragon boating provides a window into the Asian culture and an opportunity for youth, adults, senior citizens and the disabled to participate in a team sport.

• Wyndham Buttes Resort in Tempe reflects its corporate philosophy of creating a diverse and inclusive culture in a number of ways. Its staff is 47 percent minority and 40 percent female. English as a Second Language classes are offered on-site twice weekly. Diversity classes are offered quarterly. Employee benefits are extended to all domestic partners regardless of sexual orientation.

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