PSUSD Junior Black Achievers Recognizes Students With African American Figure Awards

Kamari Esquerra

“JBA is really important,” said Brittney Harrell, Family Community Engagement Specialist for Palm Springs Unified School District. “We’re just highlighting a lot of amazing black students that are going above and beyond for their school and community.”

The Junior Black Achievers group of the Palm Springs Unified School District is inspiring the next generation of achievers. JBA, focused on academic enrichment, black history, and black mentorship, held its “Night of Excellence” awards, spotlighting black students making a difference in the Coachella Valley. 

“It was nice seeing young black kings and queens, especially in this valley,” said Ziere Reves, an award presenter and student at Rancho Mirage High School. “We don’t see a lot of that so it was just great to see the future youth and seeing them do great things.” 

The event on Saturday recognized middle school students who are active members of JBA demonstrating exceptional talents, community leadership, and academic excellence.

“These awards are important because we’re giving them a lot of inspiration and motivation. A lot of our students, especially students of color, get recognized for their sport, but it’s more than just sports,” said Harrell. “These students are being recognized for their acts of service, how they (carry) themselves on campus and outside of school, and are also being recognized for their academics.”

The awards were inspired by African American figures such as the Obamas “Influencer” Award, the Harriet Tubman “Courage” Award, and the John Lewis “Acts Of Service” Award, helping the rising stars to see who they can be.

“We’re not just athletes, we can be more. We can be a lawyer, we can be a doctor, we can be anything we choose to be,” said Reves.

“It’s really inspiring. I come from an area where I didn’t see a lot of educators look like me. (I have the) opportunity to go and motivate these students and let them know that there is more and they have a lot of potential,” said Harrell.

And building up the next generation of leaders. 

“They are our future and we want to uplift them and let them know that,” said Harrell.

If you are interested in your child becoming a Junior Black Achiever, you can register using this link bit.ly/JBA20-21 or clicking the link here.

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