The students did not win a contest or compete for the honor, but
rather, were recognized for displaying these virtues on a regular
basis without any thought of recognition, said Michele Morris,
secretary for the La Crescenta B'hai Community. B'hai is a worldwide
faith that believes in the common foundations of religions. The
awards have been given since 1996.
"We started it, because we were sitting in a meeting one evening,
trying to think of something to do to make things better," Morris
said. "We thought there was too much bad news, and we wanted to let
youth know they were appreciated."
Teachers nominated students, who were unaware they were being
U.S. and world history teacher Gavin Hall nominated 16-year-old
Gohar Kotcharian, noting she displayed all nine virtues.
"She is a very active student in our school community," Hall said.
"She's in seven clubs and groups on campus. She's honest, and she's
trustworthy. Any task I give her, she can complete it. She's a
Rosetta Ragusa, 15, was nominated by her teacher Amber Segal for
her work in raising money for Ugandan children. Rosetta has raised
about $780 toward a $1,000 goal through events like a Baja Fresh
night and a bake sale.
"My teacher told me, but in a way it was a surprise," Rosetta
said. "I thought she just nominated me, but she gave a nice speech."