By Chris Kellogg-Peeler
Last June at Closing Ceremonies, two BB&N students earned grants to pursue their personal development. Alicia Kaneb ’13 won the Craig B. Stonestreet Prize, and Adon Wade-Currie ’15 won a grant from the Desiree Rodgers King Fund.
According to its official description, the Craig B. Stonestreet Prize of $1,500 is awarded annually “to a member of the junior class in recognition of high scholarship, excellence in athletics, and constructive influence within the School.”
Junior Class Dean Beth McNamara said of the selection process for the Craig B. Stonestreet Prize, “A committee composed of Mr. Theobald, a representative from the athletic department, and I receive a short list of students nominated for the prize. We then look into both their athletic distinctions and academic records and get character references from their advisors before we decide who we feel best fits the requirements.”
The committee was impressed with Alicia’s versatility across all three categories. Ms. McNamara said, “Alicia [was] very highly recommended in all of the required areas of the prize.”
Adon was also strongly endorsed in the selection process for the Desiree Rodgers King Fund, which is $1,000 awarded annually to “a promising student of the arts at BB&N,” according to its official description.
According to Arts Department Head John Norton, “Every year, the Arts Department faculty nominate students who are deserving based most generally on their dedication to their art and their potential as young artists. As there are every year, there were many deserving candidates last year. However, the Department was unanimous in its support of Adon.”
Alicia’s and Adon’s instructors noted that the winners were well-deserving of their respective grants.
Varsity Cross Country Coach Charlie O’Rourke said, “Alicia Kaneb embodies what a Scholar Athlete is. [Her] academic excellence speaks for itself. As Captain of the Cross-Country team, Alicia led with quiet intensity, and the bigger the race, the better she ran. The coaches and athletes all knew that Alicia would set the bar high for herself and the team—this is what made Alicia such a great leader.”
Jazz Band Conductor Pandelis Karayorgis said of Adon, “I was very impressed by Adon’s musical abilities as a freshman. He was very serious about jazz piano, very talented, and a great student to work with.”
Adon’s and Alicia’s peers voiced their enthusiasm as well.
Tynan Friend ’15, a member of the Ninth Grade Jazz Band last year and the Evening Jazz Ensemble this year, said that he believed Adon deserved the award. “He’s really, really, really good at piano. Beyond his skill, he brings a quiet but invigorating energy to our jazz group, which is greatly evident during his solos. He communicates through the piano to the other musicians.”
Ellie Moriearty ’13, Alicia’s co-captain on Varsity Cross-Country, said that Alicia fit each of the categories required for the award. “I’ve seen Alicia be fearless and driven in everything she does. While succeeding in cross-country and academics, she also manages to have the humor and generosity of a great friend,” she said.
Though Alicia has yet to spend any of the prize money, she has been weighing her options. She said, “I have thought for an excessive amount of time about what to do with it since I received it last summer.”
As a result of her deliberations, she now believes that she has found the perfect way to spend the money. She said, “For the past couple months, the idea’s been percolating, and I keep coming back to the idea of WWOOFing [World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms]. It’s a program where you apply to an area, which could be anywhere around the world, and they match you with a farm where you stay for a couple of weeks.”
She added, “What’s awesome about it is that I’ve really been wanting to travel internationally, and $1,500 is not normally enough to take a full vacation abroad. With this program, you don’t have to pay for food and housing because you work on the farm.”
Alicia’s friend Elana Sulakshana ’13 thinks this is a great use of the award. “It reflects her commitment to athletics, academics, and the community. Alicia cares deeply about everything she does. She will learn a lot about the world, traveling, and one of her passions, sustainable agriculture.”
Adon has already begun using his grant to help facilitate his development as a musician. He said, “Outside of school I spend a lot of time on piano. I practice at home every day starting at 5:00 AM. I take private lessons at the Community Music Center of Boston (CMCB), and I used the grant to help pay for [them] this year. The grant enabled me to increase my private lesson time from 45 minutes to 1 hour each week. The extra 15 minutes really makes a difference.”
Mr. Karayorgis has been impressed with Adon’s advancement. “He has made tremendous progress in the Tuesday Evening Jazz Ensemble. I am so glad to know that the award has helped him get deeper into his jazz studies,” he said.
According to Adon, he is thrilled that he has been able to increase his learning as a musician because he sees himself playing piano in the future. He said, “Beyond college, I would like to continue to be a part of an ensemble and play gigs occasionally, as well as possibly teach younger students how to play.”