Burks wins citizenship award

Stevieray Burks has earned first place in the national "Focusing on the Future" essay contest, sponsored by the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR). Burks is a junior at Madison Academy. (CONTRIBUTED)
Stevieray Burks has earned first place in the national “Focusing on the Future” essay contest, sponsored by the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR). Burks is a junior at Madison Academy. (CONTRIBUTED)

HUNTSVILLE – Stevieray Burks has won a national, first-place award in the “Focusing on the Future” essay contest, sponsored by the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR).

When school resumes in August, Burks will be a junior at Madison Academy.

The Junior American Citizens Committee with DAR sponsors the contest to engage teenagers in documenting the value of community service in which they have participated.

Burks’ essay entry focused on his volunteer experience at Sci-Quest Hands-on Science Center. At Sci-Quest, he has been attending programs since he was four years old.

In his essay, Burks mentions how volunteering at Sci-Quest taught him patience and gave him the opportunity to assist children who have an avid appreciation for science, just as he does.

“I was able to help children who were just like me a long time ago, having fun and learning about science in the different camp programs,” Burks said. “It is a good feeling to have the younger kids look up to you, because you’re there helping them out and making memories.”

“We are so proud of Stevieray for winning this award,” Sci-Quest education director Angela O’Neil said. “I have known him for over 12 years, and it has been a joy to see him grow up into a wonderful and caring young man.”

“His big smile and great love of science is infectious to all around him,” O’Neil said. “We are so thrilled that Sci-Quest has had such a positive impact on his life and are sure there are great things in store for him in the future.”

Burks encourages teenagers to have confidence to step out in the community and get involved with the town’s local organizations and civic groups.

“Other teenagers should volunteer, because it helps you contribute back to your community and really connect with the kids you are helping,” Burks said.

For more information about Sci-Quest’s volunteer opportunities, call 256-837-0606 or visit sci-quest.org.

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