2019 A.C.E Award winner

Scott (Shaggy) Riley is the winner for this year’s ACE award winner. 

Scott was nominated in part because:

Scott is a hardworking ambitious candidate due to the “tough time” which he describes in his narrative. I will give a few examples:
• The devastating deaths of his uncle and his grandfather.
• The transfer to a new high school his senior year
• The worry and fear due to his mom’s addiction
• His homelessness for five months while staying in school
• The stability to persevere at school and maintain his job
Scott has worked hard to accomplish his goal of high school graduation on June 8, 2019. He plans to study culinary arts.

As one teacher noted: “Early on, I saw he had an eagerness to learn and was open to learning new skills. He was quite knowledgeable in applying what he has previously learned from his past jobs in the food industry. He learns quickly and possesses excellent comprehension skills. Scott has very strong interpersonal and interpersonal skills; he’s popular among his peers at school and he encourages them to do the necessary things to be able to graduate. I overheard him tell another student “if I can graduate, I know you can, boy you just don’t know the things I’ve been through. I was homeless and everything”. He [..] welcomes constructive criticism without taking offense. “

In his narrative Hurdles to Hope, he writes:

I have overcome some high hurdles in my 21 young years of life, drug abuse, recent five months of homelessness, and I’m on my third attempt at graduating high school. I envision myself in my cap and gown running across the stage to get my diploma while Uncle Hobbie and grandpa are looking at me from above. Most of all my mother will be sitting sober and proud of me graduating.
My name is Scott Riley, I’m known to my friends and family as “Shaggy”. I was nicknamed this because of my appetite and my shaggy hair. My life began on February 21st, 1997. I was born right here in the Buckeye state. I was the first child born to my mother, who would later become addicted to drugs. My father just sort of drifted in and out of my life from time to time. As a young child I ended up living with my grandfather due to my mother’s instability. Life as I remember it with her was like riding “The Beast’, one of the world’s biggest rollercoasters while being blindfolded, never knowing when the bottom was going to drop. I became accustomed to my new living arrangement with my grandfather. I found him to be super cool. My Uncle Hobbie was my role model because he instilled holistic values in me. What he taught me then impacts my life greatly now. In 2011 everything came to a crashing end when my Uncle Hobbie was killed in a motorcycle crash. Five years later there was the devastation of my grandfather’s death. I was blessed to have these two great men in my life. I never forgot I promised my grandfather I would graduate high school. So once again I’m blindfolded riding on this rollercoaster.

In my pre-teen and teen years my mind drifted aimlessly about, the Devils Workshop if I might say. I always had behavioral problems and on top of that my dysfunctional childhood was haunting me something awful, but through it all I could still hear my Uncle Hobbies’ voice “Scott graduate high school and further your education.” I began roaming the streets and then I discovered what would soon be my worst enemy “drugs.” I soon discovered my mother was abusing drugs. I begged my mother to stop using drugs. As I entered adulthood, she had accomplished sobriety. Life is what you make it, I was given some lemons and I chose to make lemonade, had I not I wouldn’t be where I am today at Dayton Technology High School about to graduate.

Hope for Future Goals

As I reflect on my past I can commit to my future. I’ve endured and defeated the many hurdles in my lifetime. I’ll be graduating from Dayton Business Technology High School in June 2019 and I had to sit down and have a serious talk with myself about my future. I know I must set goals for myself and the mini- steps that it will take to obtain them. Once I reach them, I have to maintain them as well, if I want to be successful. I’ve rough drafted my goals and some of the “prices” I know I must pay to obtain them. I’ll have to work harder than I play so to speak. Strengthening my professional relationships, setting deadlines for my goals to be attained, drawing roadmaps and following them are some positive ways I can further assure my success at reaching my goals.
I desire to be a chef, not just any chef, but a well renowned chef. Cooking is my passion!! I have been assisting the Nutrition Services Manager at my school and it has been a valuable learning experience for me.
I plan on attending a college/ university so I can earn a degree in Culinary Arts. While I am in school, I will continue to work in the food service/hospitality industry. I saw this quote by a famous author, John C Maxwell, and I thought to myself that it made a lot of sense. “You will never change your life until you change something daily. The secret of your success is found in your daily routine.” (Maxwell).