By Nancy Covert
Steilacoom High School senior Jamie Reaves, (center) with her parents Sheri and Mario Reaves, was honored with the Elizabeth Wesley award at the October 27 Steilacoom School Board meeting. The Elizabeth Wesley award was started in 1996 as a way to send a positive message to African-American youths in Tacoma-Pierce County. During the program’s first year, five students received awards. Since then, more than 1,000 students have been awarded and encouraged by this incentive program. The program’s namesake, Elizabeth Wesley, moved to Tacoma in 1945 where she and her husband joined Bethlehem Baptist Church. In 1953, they helped organize Shiloh Baptist Church. Mother Wesley’s commitment to children is remembered by the entire community. This program honors her legacy by rewarding our youth for academic achievement and community service.