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Students honored at event

Lafayette County Law Enforcement Awards.

Lafayette County Law Enforcement Awards.

When Oxford High School student Lydia Holland saw how middle school students sometimes struggle when transitioning into high school, she wanted to reach out to them and be a role model.

Her concern for other students and the importance she places on education caused School Resource Officer Mario Weekly to nominate Holland for the annual Lafayette County Law Enforcement Officers Association Outstanding Character Youth Character Award.

Weekly said he nominated Holland because of her daily attitude toward school and life.

“She demonstrates leadership, dignity and accountability inside and outside of school and her hard work is admired by many students and teachers,” Weekly said.

Holland, 16, also won an Outstanding Student award by the Oxford-Lafayette Junior Leadership program. She carries a 3.5 grade point average. Raised in a single-family home, said she understands how important education is to her future. Her goal is to become a pediatrician.

“I’m very honored that I was considered for this award,” she said.

Holland volunteers at her church’s nursery, the Oxford Activity Center and in various school clubs.

“She is also willing to offer her assis- tance in tutoring her classmates,” Weekly said. She has shown exemplary actions in putting for the effort to make plans for college.”

Each year, area middle and high schools are asked to submit nominations for the LCLEOA Youth Character Award that are presented at the annual banquet, which was held Thursday at the Oxford Conference Center. The award winners are chosen based on their character during times of adversity and rising above challenges thrown at them to become the best person they can be.

Kim Maples with Lafayette High School submitted senior Malia Carothers for the award from Lafayette this year. Carothers, 18, has overcome many hardships in her life and had to mostly raise herself for a good part of her teenage life. Maples said Carothers has faced those struggles bravely and successfully.

Lafayette County Law Enforcement Awards.

Lafayette County Law Enforcement Awards.

“She always has a smile on her face, a positive attitude and is polite and respectful,” Maple said. “I am impressed with her maturity and ability to look on the bright side.”

She maintains a GPA of 3.15 while working 20 to 30 hours a week at a local restaurant to support herself. The school informed Carothers recently she could be eligible for food stamps since she does not live with her parents.

“Malia told me she did not want to sign up for anything like that because, in her words, ‘I’ve seen people who get those and they never get off them.’”

Carothers will attend the University of Mississippi in the fall in hopes of earning a bachelor’s degree in broadcast journalism.

“Even when things were bad, I didn’t let my grades fall because I know that education is important for me to reach my goals,” she said Thursday.