Atlanta Metropolitan Council
Presents Annual Youth Awards
By PETER ATKINSON, Deputy Editor
The Atlanta Metropolitan Coun- cil held its 16th Annual Youth
Awards Banquet May 8 at the Holiday
Inn Select in Atlanta. Frank Campbell, the council’s vice president of
Youth Services, coordinated the dinner and was master of ceremonies.
Retired Navy Capt. Steven C.
Christopher, director of military
programs with council community
affiliate Phoenix Air Group Inc., was
the banquet speaker. He encouraged
the Junior Reserve Officers Training
Corps (JROTC) and U.S. Naval Sea
Cadet Corps (NSCC) cadets in
attendance to work hard, set realistic goals and take responsibility for
their actions, according to Larry
Hamilton, the council’s vice president of public affairs.
Cadet Lt. Eliud Martinez, of the
East Hall High School JROTC program, was the recipient of the 2009
JROTC Award. Martinez was selected from 40 nominees.
The council also selected NSCC
Cadet Seaman Apprentice James E.
Brown for the Ninth Annual Sea Cadet Award. Brown, a student at East
Coweta High School, is a member of
the NSCC Pathfinder Excursion
Squadron. Martinez and Brown each
received a $500 U.S. Savings Bond.
Cadet Lt. Col. Allison Faye
Gordy, a student East Coweta
High School, received a $250 U.S.
Savings Bond for second place in
the JROTC competition. Four
other cadets each received a $100
Bond as honorable mentions:
Cadet Lt. Cmdr. Christiana Ponder,
Southwest DeKalb High School;
Cadet Lt. Cmdr. David J. Bonham,
North Cobb High School; Cadet
Lt. Cmdr. Dirk Vandermeyden,
Kennesaw Mountain High School;
From the left, NJROTC Outstanding Cadet Lt. Eliud Martinez stands with the
runner-up, Cadet Lt. Col. Allison Faye Gordy, and honorable mentions, Cadet Lt.
Cmdr. Christiana Ponder, Cadet Lt. Cmdr. David J. Bonham, Cadet Lt. Cmdr.
Dirk Vandermeyden and Cadet Lt. Cmdr. Lisa Yi during the Atlanta Metropolitan Council’s 16th Annual Youth Awards Banquet May 8.
and Cadet Lt. Cmdr. Lisa Yi, Cross
Keys High School.
The JROTC awards were presented by Council President Steve
Adams and William T. Schwendler Jr. presented the Sea Cadet
William T. Schwendler Award for
Excellence to Brown. The award is
named in honor of the late William
T. Schwendler, an early aviation
designer who made major contributions to the aerospace industry.
There was a three-way tie for
runner-up for the award. Cadet
Seaman Noah Faber-Jones of the
2745th Seabee Battalion, Roswell
High School; Cadet Seaman Apprentice Christopher Houghton of
the Pathfinder Excursion Squadron, Arnoll Middle School; and
Cadet Petty Officer 2nd Class Billy
Phillips of Warrior Division, Trinity Home School Depot, each
received a $150 savings bond as
The Fifth Annual Jason E.
Lawson Trophy for Outstanding Sea
Cadet Unit 2009 was awarded to the
Warrior Division, commanded by Lt.
Rhonda “Smitty” Smith, NSCC. The
award is named for Navy Aviation
Warfare Systems Operator 2nd
Class Jason E. Lawson, who was
killed in a helicopter accident in
2002. Lawson was a member of
NARS B- 1 Squadron Sea Cadet Unit
for three years and the 1999 National
Navy League Sea Cadet of the Year.
The Atlanta area boasts 40 high
schools with Navy and Marine Corps
JROTC units and eight Sea Cadet
units, all of which were eligible for
the Atlanta Metropolitan Council’s
Youth Awards program. The council
has a separate program for the two
Navy ROTC units at Georgia Tech
University and Morehouse College.
SEAPOWER / AUGUST 2009