Although she’s never had to take English as a Second Language courses, Kyana Lemons was inspired to help struggling students after attending classes with her mom, a bilingual teacher.

Lemons, a Shoemaker High School senior, tutors and mentors ESL students at the high school in addition to initiating other community service projects.

“I understand that there’s a need for a little extra help in the bilingual community in our school system,” Lemons said. “Since I have done well in my classes, I have the ability to help others be successful in those classes and beyond.”

She was recognized as Youth of the Year by the Exchange Club of Killeen during a ceremony Monday at Yank Sing Chinese Restaurant.

Ellison High School senior Nathan Diederich also was recognized as Youth of the Year.

Diederich is a member of the National Honor Society, co-led a soccer camp for under-privileged kids in Port Arthur and often participates in reading events at local elementary schools.

This summer, he plans to counsel at a camp for kids who are hematology cancer patients.

Harker Heights High School senior Chase Lalouette received the Accepting the Challenge of Excellence award from the Exchange Club.

Larry Holly, president of the Exchange Club of Killeen, said he was happy to acknowledge the students for their hard work.

“Our youth program consists of things like recognizing youth in the community,” he said.

Lemons was thankful for the award.

“It was an honor that brought me to tears of joy because I volunteer constantly,” Lemons said. “Volunteerism is my spirit and to be recognized for doing something very well that comes naturally was an a honor that keeps me humble.”

Contact Sarah Rafique at or (254) 501-7553. Follow her on Twitter at SarahRafique.

I'm the education reporter at the Killeen Daily Herald. Follow me on Twitter at

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