Addie Coleman, NCEA Youth Virtues, Valor and Vision Award Winner


Nina Coleman
Grade: 12
Age: 17
St. Vincent’s Academy, Savannah, GA
Diocese of Savannah

Nina founded a special needs cheerleading squad. She organized and ran a special needs cheer summer camp, and within a month of its inception, the Super Sharks cheer team was born. Nina says that these beautiful and differently-abled cheerleaders always inspire a standing ovation when they perform. Nina has been recognized by the American Red Cross as a teen hero. This amazing team made up of girls with Down syndrome, blindness, deafness and autism are, Nina says, the real heroes.

Nina “Addie” Coleman was honored by NCEA as one of 10 top students across the nation that have shown service that will change and enrich the world, embodying the virtue, valor and vision exemplified by the many students in our Catholic elementary and secondary schools who are changing the world.

Addie Coleman, a student at St. Vincent’s Academy, was nominated by SVA’s assistant principal for the creation of her special needs competitive cheer squad that she started and runs through the Savannah Sharks Gym.

Everybody can make a difference. Addie didn’t start out with this award in mind. She really wanted to help differently abled young people to do something that they would enjoy. That would bring standing ovations and tears of joy to them and their families, and she did it to help others, said David Dennis, Executive Committee Board of Directors, NCEA.

The 10 students chosen for the award are among two million students across the country who attend Catholic schools. “When talking about the benchmark by which all of us measure ourselves,” said NCEA President/CEO Thomas Burnford, D. Min., “these students set the bar very high. They are the next generation of students who will make a difference in the world. The very title of the award, Youth Virtues, Valor and Vision, tells us a lot about these young people. Each one is a witness to the risen Christ and the importance of Catholic schools.”

To view a complete list of the awardees, please click here.