Student of the Year

Xander Van Horn

Student of the Year is our way of spotlighting one child whose actions embody the values of our organization above and beyond anyone else. Our panel of judges meets at the end of each academic school year to carefully select one standout Top 10 award winner for this very special honor.

We are extremely proud to announce that our “Candy Green Student of the Year” for 2014-2015 is Xander Van Horn of Abraham Lincoln School, from the Belleville School District 118!


Xander is a member of a church that offers the Upwards Basketball program for students. A student that attends the church has special needs and wanted to play basketball, so the ministry at the church was looking for an adult volunteer to assist the student. Xander heard this and asked if he could do it. The ministry considered a peer buddy and allowed Xander to give it a try. Whenever his buddy is on the court, so is Xander, guiding him, navigating him, and protecting him on the court. Xander has selflessly volunteered his time, continuing to be a peer buddy, and has also become a peer mentor and tutor to other students at his school. So today we are honoring Xander Van Horn for doing the right thing.

Thanks to his caring ways and compassion, he has helped another child fulfill his wish to play basketball. Ms. Kim Enriquez, who nominated him, stated, “Xander’s selfless act has had a profound impact on this child’s family, as well as the special needs ministry. He has inspired new volunteers and other families to join the ministry as well. Watching Xander, and the way he supported, mentored, and showed unconditional love to this special needs student brought tears to my eye and a great respect for Xander and how he volunteered to help another.” Xander, we are also so proud of you, and we are honored to name you the 2014-2015 Candy Green Student of the Year!