The International Association for Truancy and Dropout Prevention (IATDP) 108th Annual Conference was held this year in partnership with the Texas Association for Truancy and Dropout Prevention (TATDP) at the Omni Dallas Hotel at Park West. Dona Mitchell, 1st Vice President and Conference Co-Chair awarded, Otis Swiney, a Lancaster ISD 6th grade student, the ‘Victorious Student of the Year Award.’ This prestigious award is given to a local student that has overcome life challenges to stay in school. Otis Swiney was chosen by his school counselor Ms. Arabrian Lewis and was accompanied by his school principal Ms. Jamilla Thomas at the IATDP Awards Luncheon on October 23, 2018.
Mitchell says, ‘‘Empowering and encouraging youth is my main goal. If I can make a difference to one child at a time, then I am progressing. I created this award based on students that have overcome life’s challenges and their efforts call for recognition.’’
‘‘Mr. Otis Swiney Jr., is a 12-year-old student of George Washington Carver 6th Grade STEM Learning Center. As a Carver scholar, Otis exercises outstanding citizenship at school, and he tries to be a good example for his peers. Otis's efforts are to be commended because he is persistent with giving his very best at school and working on having good grades in spite of some of the personal challenges that he has recently experienced in life, including the loss of his mother. Mr. Swiney says he is going to make his father, Mr. Otis Swiney Sr., proud of him and when he grows up, he is going to be a judge so that he can help others too,’’ says Principal Ms. Jamilla Thomas.
With this year’s theme, ‘Focusing on the Future: Truancy Prevention through Intervention,’ we are inspiring educators to work even harder to impact their students. They deserve a chance to be successful and they need our help.
For ways to get involved contact Dona Mitchell, IATDP 1st Vice President by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.