Oakridge Neighborhood


Aroda holding his trophy he received at the Stellar Awards.

DES MOINES, IA- On Friday, May 4th, 2018 150 Des Moines Public Schools (DMPS) middle school students were recognized at the 5th annual Stellar Awards. One of those students being our own Aroda Khalifa, son of Nura KuKu. Khalifa was awarded the “Having the ability to work hard to be successful award.”

The Stella Awards was launched five years ago by Corey Harris, director of middle schools for DMPS. Like most schools, DMPS did an excellent job awarding academic achievements; however it did not celebrate outstanding character traits. Seeing this problem, Harris knew he had to do something about this right away. That’s when the Stellar Awards came into place. Studies show it takes both academics and succeeding character traits to excel.

15 different awards are awarded to 10 DMPS middle schools equaling out to 150 awards total.

“The Stellar Awards has created a more positive peer pressure and reduced negative peer pressure. Students are not setting personal goals to win a Stellar Award,” said Harris.

The night started out with stretched limousines picking the students up from their middle schools and being personally escorted to North High School where the ceremony took place. The students were then gifted a trophy with their named etched into, and a book that featured their award winning trait that reminded them to continue to nurture and grow that characteristic trait.

Oakridge Neighborhood would like to again congratulate our own Aroda Khalifa, along with the other 149 students who received an award that night!


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