ROWAN COUNTY, NC (WBTV) - The second annual Purpose Prize ceremony was held on Tuesday night at South Rowan High School to honor six individuals who are making the community a better place.
Organized by SRHS principal Kelly Withers, the Purpose Prize event originated from the southern Rowan County schools desire to recognize individuals in the community who live with purpose and make an impact on the people around them.
Students and staff at each school were tasked with nominating the person who they believe lives each day with purpose. Each nominee exemplifies living with a purpose in their own way.
China Grove Elementary School nominated Libby Staton of the St. Mark’s Academy for her work to encourage reading through mentoring children and parents in southern Rowan.
Enochville Elementary School nominated Jason Hinson. Hinson is a Kannapolis police officer and founder of Aqua 14 ministry “with a vision for community and a heart for people, serving others through random acts of kindness, feeding the homeless, combating addiction, and serving free ice cream."
Anne Corriher was nominated by Landis Elementary School. Corriher is the retired director of Main Street Mission, and is “committed to bringing people together throughout the community and supporting neighbors in times of need.”
Michelle Patterson was nominated by Millbridge Elementary School. Patterson is the “director of fun” at Patterson Farm where she leads community events and educational tours, promoting agriculture in the community with and “I can, you can” attitude, and encouraging others to make a difference.
Corriher Lipe Middle School nominated Shane Roberts. Roberts is described as a positive force in the lives of students in southern Rowan County through his work with the YCI club, Food for Thought, and through tutoring programs at Corriher Lipe and SRHS.
Julian Barrett was nominated by South Rowan High where he works as a custodian and bus driver. Barrett is known for a constant smile and for “spreading positivity with an infectious smile and optimistic outlook as a friend to all.”
A panel of judges selected Hinson as the overall Purpose prize winner for 2019.
Best-selling writer Susan King provided the keynote address, speaking about her experiences with her autistic son Patrick, and encouraging others to find their purpose.