In the Seventh-day Adventist Church, we believe that teaching young people to be actively involved in witnessing and service activities is central to the educational goals of the school and the mission of the church. For this reason, the secondary student “Caring Heart Award” for Christian service has been established to give recognition to those students who have demonstrated a personal commitment to active service and witnessing activities. Through the Caring Heart Award, the importance of witnessing and service activities is emphasized and given appropriate recognition along with academic, athletic, music and other school awards and honors. It is the purpose of this award to not only give appropriate recognition, but to foster increased awareness and participation in witnessing and service activities by all students.
To be eligible, the student should be a full-time junior or senior student with a strong citizenship record, who has given evidence of a personal commitment to witnessing and service activities by exhibiting initiative and responsibility for carrying through, serving as an overall example on the campus. Criteria also might include significant and varied participation in service-type activities, witnessing experiences, and mission trips (inside and/or outside the country). The North American Division (NAD) Office of Education provides one Caring Heart Award to each NAD-accredited senior academy that has selected an eligible candidate. The award will consist of a special scholarship award certificate with a value of $500, which is paid by the Union and accompanied by a plaque and engraved Bible provided by the NAD Office of Education. The scholarship award may be used by the student award recipient for either funding a mission trip experience, or as tuition assistance at the Adventist school of their choice.
The recipient for the 2018‒2019 school year at Wisconsin Academy was Ximong Thao. Walk into the men’s dorm at Wisconsin Academy and you’ll see neatly trimmed hair. That’s because Ximong Thao has taken on the role of dorm barber. He developed his haircutting talent while living as a refugee in Thailand. Now he shares it with fellow students. Ximong’s family came to America in 2016. He tried public school but they didn’t have enough emphasis on academics. He came to Wisconsin Academy the 2018‒2019 year as a Junior because he knows it will give him a strong platform for college and his dream of becoming an engineer. Ximong has an outstanding work ethic and exemplary study habits. Moreover, he has become a cherished friend, especially to those who are struggling or disaffected. He’s always ready to share his faith, cheerfulness and wise perspective. Ximong says of his new school, “People are so nice.” The nicest of all, perhaps, is Ximong Thao.
Adapted from article in August, 2019, Lake Union Herald