The National WWII Museum in New Orleans has named local student Zachary Chadwick of Mayfield High School as a 2019 Billy Michal Student Leadership Award recipient. The national honor is awarded annually to one student in every state who has maintained a strong record of volunteerism, demonstrates school and community activism, and helps implement creative solutions to recognized problems. Each honoree will be flown to New Orleans to participate in the Museum’s American Spirit Awards program, taking place May 22-23.
The leadership award, which the Museum first presented in 2017, was created in honor of Billy Michal, who was a child living in Louisiana during World War II. At only six years old, Michal helped his one-room school win a statewide scrap paper-collection contest during the war, proving that every citizen could contribute to victory. Michal’s achievement demonstrated the positive impact the American spirit could have on the home-front war efforts, and he continues to inspire students across America today.
“It’s extremely gratifying to recognize students throughout the nation for the wonderful contributions they make to their local communities,” said Stephen J. Watson, President & CEO at The National WWII Museum. “During World War II, our country needed everyone to come together for a common goal of securing freedom and democracy around the world. Much like Billy Michal’s contribution over 70 years ago, our student honorees prove that their positive actions, no matter how big or small, can make a difference in their communities. We are proud to honor their accomplishments.”
Zachary has been involved in National Honor Society and Student Government throughout his high school years. He has volunteered in numerous ways, including nursing home visits and community clean-ups. Zachary has volunteered at El Caldito Soup Kitchen for four years, where he serves as a board member, volunteers in the kitchen, is a gleaner, and is the volunteer coordinator for his class at Mayfield High School. He has worked with the LCPS-TV to broadcast local sporting events and activities and has interned with KVIA-TV.
Zachary was nominated for the award by his AP U.S. Government teacher, Juan Armijo. Zachary is the second Mayfield student in a row to receive the honor. In 2018, Caleb Conaway received the award.
The National WWII Museum’s American Spirit Awards – presented by Hancock Whitney – is a multi-day event consisting of a patron reception, premier gala, and awards luncheon and leadership forum, which is where the Billy Michal students will receive their awards. In addition to the Billy Michal winners, the recipients of the Museum’s American Spirit Award, American Spirit Medallion and Silver Service Medallion will be honored throughout the event. The 2019 American Spirit Award honorees include Vice President Richard Cheney and Senator Joseph Lieberman.
Proceeds from the American Spirit Awards will support educational programming at The National WWII Museum, including the ongoing development of classroom materials and professional development opportunities for teachers in schools across the country, as well as online experiences that bring the Museum and its resources to students around the world.
— Damien Willis, LCPS Director of Communications, 575-527-5811, firstname.lastname@example.org
[Information provided by the National WWII Museum]