We are proud to introduce the K-12 educators and school employees who have been selected as 2018-2019 LifeChanger of the Year national award winners. These individuals have been chosen by our selection committee from 830 nominees nationwide.
Grand Prize Winner
As a young woman and immigrant from Jamaica, Keishia Thorpe dreamed of living the American Dream. She worked very hard to earn a track and field scholarship to a college in the U.S, where she graduated at the top of her class. Since then, she made it her civic and personal responsibility to help others achieve their dreams of going to college, as well.
Today, she is an English teacher who has dedicated herself to helping her English language learners level up and prepare for college, an opportunity that most of them did not see as a possibility. She and her sister founded U.S. Elite Track and Field, a non-profit that provides student-athletes an opportunity to use their talents to access scholarships and earn a college diploma debt-free. Each year, she organizes a Scholarship and Athletic Convention, which brings together college coaches, admissions, and compliance teams to educate student-athletes on recruitment eligibility and ensure they transition to university successfully. The event culminates in a college fair, where student-athletes can interact with college coaches and admissions representatives, often being recruited on the spot.
As this year's Grand Prize Winner, Keishia received $10,000 to be shared between a $5,000 individual award and a $5,000 donation to International High School at Langley Park.
Grand Prize Finalists
These educators have received $5,000 to be shared between a $2,500 individual award and a $2,500 donation to their school or district. Additionally, they attended our national awards ceremony in Kauai, HI on May 5th, 2019.
LifeChanger Award Winners
In addition to our Grand Prize Finalists, ten educators will be chosen to receive $3,000 to be shared between a $1,500 individual award and a $1,500 donation to their school or district.
This year's LifeChanger Spirit Award was given to Lester Banks in Bryan, TX for the incredible support he received from his community! He was given $5,000 to be shared between a $2,500 individual award and a $2,500 donation to a nonprofit of his choice.
The 2018-19 Spotlight Award was given to Jenna Rycek in Garden City, KS for her exemplary work as a school psychologist. She received $5,000 to be shared between a $2,500 individual award and a $2,500 donation to her school.
Who Will Be Next?
We still have several awards left! We’ll be surprising the remaining winners at their schools over the next couple of months. All winners will be announced by early May.
Recognizing our strongest LifeChangers in a particular nomination period who didn't make the top 15.
$50 Visa gift card to the nominee, as well as some surprise goodies.