The Alton Area Optimist Club named Karisma Burnett of Alton Middle School and Antonia Phillips of East Elementary its Students of the Month for February.
The club gives a $25 gift card to each student and a $25 donation to a nonprofit organization of the student’s choice.
Karisma is the daughter of Takeisha Burnett-Thompson and Kenneth Burnett of Alton. She chose Target for her gift card and St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital for her donation. Karisma is a sixth-grader at Alton Middle School in the Eagle’s Nest. She superbly represents the CREST motto of Cooperation, Respect, Encouragement, Safety and Trust. Karisma is an active dedicated student and a considerate peer as well as a leader in her school. She has been a successful honor student and her teachers recognize her for her enthusiasm for education and commitment to doing her very best. Her teachers say she is respectful and helpful to all students she meets. Karisma is always willing to help in community service opportunities in which she and her cheerleading squad take part. She continuously tries to improve herself not only in cheerleading but in school, too. Karisma has volunteered to be an active member in the Airport Express as well as the Shop-With-a-Cop program. Although she is unclear about what she wants to do with her future, it is clear there will be many opportunities coming her way.
Antonia Phillips is the daughter of Guadalupe and Durando Phillips of Alton. She is a fifth-grader at East Elementary School. She chose Target for her gift card and Impact for her donation. Antonia is described as a leader among her peers. She shows academic and behavioral characteristics that exemplify an excellent student. Antonia volunteers to teach her peers sign language in her free time because they are all eager to learn. She is motivated, organized and passionate about learning. She is always kind to everyone she meets and constantly wears a smile. Antonia is a member of Little Redbirds Football and wrestling teams and exhibits great sportsmanship. She has also been a consistent member of the East math team and is a high honor roll student. Although Antonia is a deaf student, she is optimistic about her future and plans to become a math teacher when she graduates from college.
The Alton Area Optimist Club is a youth-oriented community service organization that has been in existence for more than 60 years in the Riverbend. The club sponsors youth sports teams, supports Boy and Girl Scouts, participates in the Rock Springs Celebration of Lights, Memorial Day Parade, and supports school activities such as poster contests and the elementary and middle school Students of the Month. The club is also a yearly sponsor of the 1st Responder Recognition Dinner. Its biggest activity is the bestowing of college or trade school scholarships to high school students each year.