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Meet the SAMMI Nominees for Teen Spirit

The annual community awards event is on March 18.

The SAMMI Awards will be held on March 18 and event organizers are inviting the community to attend the annual event to honor people who have contributed to life on the Sammamish Plateau.

To honor the nominees and give the public a brief introduction to them, Sammamish Patch will be running profiles and photos of each person until the event doors open.

The written introductions and photographs were supplied by the SAMMI Awards. Sammamish Patch and other sponsors have contributed to the annual event.

"The people we honor have made unselfish contributions to the quality of life in our city, and in doing so they inspire all of us (to) give back," SAMMI Awards Executive Director Cary Young wrote in a letter to the community.

"This type of award ceremony is truly unique to Sammamish, and reflects the values that make our city one of the best small cities in America."

The awards ceremony will be held at 7 pm at Eastridge Church at 24205 SE Issaquah-Fall City Rd. in Issaquah. The doors open at 5:30 pm. The event is open to the public. But organizers would appreciate a $5 per person donation.

On average, about 400 people attend the annual event.

Here are the nominees for the 2011 Teen Spirit category:

Adam Hawkins

  • Adam Hawkins learned early that helping people feels good. Whether he’s providing leadership for the Eastlake Relay for Life, finding lost hikers as part of the King County Explorer Search & Rescue, or playing on the Eastlake High School Drum line, Adam enjoys sharing the benefits of leadership and accomplishment. He loves to help someone else take the lead and succeed, and will do all he can to make that happen. A natural leader who learns quickly from his own experiences, Adam understands that it’s empowering when someone gives you an important role in a project. His motto: "If not me, who? If not now, when?"

Andrea Liu and Tiffany Ng

  • Andrea Liu and Tiffany Ng share an interesting cultural perspective; both have been educated in both China and the United States. They have seen firsthand the differences in culture and academic rigor between the two countries, and both are convinced that there is a need for more global awareness among American teens. So, they started the Chinese Cultural Club at Skyline High School which offers fun and interesting activities designed to preserve and foster an understanding of the Chinese Culture. The club also contributed a very popular booth at the first annual Sammamish Days. Ultimately, Andrea and Tiffany are hoping to get Chinese included in the Skyline curriculum.

Josue' Lopez

  • For Josue’ Lopez, life is a gift from God, and sharing that gift with others is the focus of his life. He puts an incredible amount of time into his community with nearly 100 hours a month of volunteer time devoted to his Church, Overlake Hospital, food banks, and numerous other organizations. He particularly prides himself in being a teacher and example for the younger kids in his church through his work at the Vacation Bible camp and the Parish Sunday school.  Josue’ has seen his share of hardship, but it his focus on the positive aspects of his life that inspires others to follow his lead.

Nick Mahan

  • The way Nick Mahan sees it; he’s in such a blessed situation how can he not give back. In addition to maintaining a 4.0 GPA, Nick performs hundreds of hours of community service. He works every week at a local convent cooking for the retired nuns.  In addition, he is active with Angelorum, which assists expectant mothers in need. Nick tries to help people feel the cause, or at least begin to think about it. He strives for a balance in his life believing he can be passionate about his faith and studies and be passionate about people too.

Sarah Zhou

  • Sarah Zhou is a happy and friendly person who takes great joy in sharing her love of dance, especially with the very young children at the Evergreen Bilingual Institute. As an assistant dance instructor she provides leadership and inspiration for the younger students. Using a "big sister" approach, Sarah helps them practice their skills and dance routines. Sarah was the key contributor of the dance program from the Evergreen Bilingual Institute for the Sammamish Days festival.  Sarah also shares her enthusiasm for at numerous international community celebrations throughout King County.

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