Local High Schoolers Honored with Congressional Merit Awards

Courtesy of Turlock High School and Jonathan McCorkell/TurlockCityNews.com|

Three Turlock students were honored with the Congressional Merit Award by U.S. Rep. Jeff Denham, including Adam Bennett of Turlock Christian High School, Janae Imani Marable of Pitman High School and Jonas Trevethan of Turlock High School.

“These students represent the best and the brightest,” said Denham. “Their dedication to their studies and our community is exemplary. Each has a bright future and I was honored to recognize their hard work at our annual Congressional Merit Awards presentation.”

Each award recipient was nominated by their high school’s principal for their academic achievement, leadership, involvement in extracurricular activities, school citizenship, volunteerism and community service.

Adam Bennett

Bennett is on track to graduate TCHS with a 4.15 grade point average and serves as senior class president. He has served as his class president since he was a freshman. He is very involved in the TCHS drama department, participated in a two-week mission to the Dominican Republic last summer and he is a member of the school debate team.

TCHS Principal Kyle Fast says Bennett has “a heart to serve others.”

Janae Imani Marable

Imani Marable will complete her four years at Pitman High School with a 4.0 GPA, which is impressive enough, but this remarkable young lady did so with a huge plate of accomplishments. She has participated in band, volleyball, soccer and Associated Student Body Student Council.

In the community she has worked for Turlock Christmas for the past seven years, worked as a server providing food for homeless families, assisted the elderly at Brandel Manor, spent countless hours at Operation Christmas Child and was a member of the Turlock Teen Advisory Council.

Somehow, during her free time, Imani Marable took her interest in photography and cinematography far beyond the hobby phase and she created her own business, Janae’s Photography, for which she won several Chamber of Commerce and County Fair awards.

She plans to attend University of California, San Diego in the fall.

PHS Principal Rod Hollars praised her character, “Janae not only embodies the character traits embedded in TUSD’s Character Counts program, she lives them as a most respectful and trustworthy ambassador of true citizenship. Respect, trustworthiness, fairness and caring are the hallmarks of her interpersonal approach with stakeholders of all ages.”

Jonas Trevethan

Trevethan is a senior at Turlock High School and he is currently ranked number one in the entire state for speech and debate points. Denham also nominated him for admission to the U.S. Air Force Academy and the Maritime Academy.

At THS Trevethan is involved in athletics as well as mock trial and student government.

He has earned accolades from his teachers. “I have known Jonas his entire life and now have him in my AP American Government class. He is curious, witty, and asks the types of questions most students do not think to ask. He also has a vast knowledge of many topics due to his speech and debate background. This knowledge serves him well in my class. Jonas has also been an important part of the THS Mock Trial team for four years. He is a leader on our team and has received numerous awards for his performance at the county competition,” said AP American Government and Economics Teacher Jill Ogden.

THS Principal Marie Peterson noted his courage in the face of difficult circumstances.

“On a personal note, Jonas comes from a single parent family as his father died three years ago from cancer. Jonas, the middle child, often helps his mom caring for his younger sibling and has matured tremendously over the course of his high school career truly becoming a man of the house after his older brother went off the college. I know the future holds great things for Jonas. He is a dynamo of energy, quick-witted, intelligent, focused, and driven,” she said. “When I think of the words leadership, citizenship, and volunteerism—Jonas Trevethan is the first student that comes to mind.” 

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