As part of the 2019 Marana State of the Town Luncheon last week, the Town handed out their third annual Youth Legacy Award.
The Marana Town Council created the Youth Legacy Award in order to acknowledge youth in the community who make Marana a better place for everyone. Recipients of this award benefit others in the community through acts supporting:
Heart: promoting a healthy and supportive environment for youth;
Body: Fulfilling essential needs such as food, shelter, and safety; or
Mind: Creating educational opportunities enriching young minds.
This year the nominees were evaluated by a panel made up of Town staff and members of the Marana Citizens Forum.
For the last three years, Jacob Cox has run the school supplies drive at Rattlesnake Ridge Elementary. He began in 2015 as a third grader, and the intent was to take school supplies with him on his summer trip to Peru and deliver to a small school in the mountains where many students didn't even have shoes to wear, much less have supplies to use for learning.
Jacob expected to have a few handfuls of crayons, pencils and some notebooks to take with him, but when he went to pick up the supplies from the drive, the boxes were overflowing. The response from the students, teachers and parents were overwhelming.
When he went back to school after his summer break in Peru, he made another presentation to his school with photos of some of the students who received the supplies. The joy on the faces of the students who were getting their very first backpack, or their own box of crayons for the first time, is indescribable.
Jacob was limited on what he could take with him to Peru, so to ensure all supplies went to a new home, he worked with another school in the district to get the supplies to the teachers and students who needed a little help. Jacob went on to run the supply drive for the next 3 years, up until his last summer in elementary school in 2018.