Return to Headlines

Seven CPS Student Named 17 under Seventeen Leader

Move over Forbes's “30 Under 30.” A new leadership recognition initiative has hit the Southwest Ohio area with six CPS students receiving recognition! 

The Greater Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky 17 under Seventeen Awards recognize seventeen students each year for their outstanding contributions to their community. 

Rico Grant launched The Greater Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky 17 under Seventeen Awards back in 2021 as a way to celebrate the next generation of leaders. 

The young leaders are nominated based on their merit of creating a difference and accomplishing great achievements in school, community and throughout our region. The selection also places a large emphasis on students’ leadership and potential leadership in the areas of acts of kindness, volunteering, community organizing & engaging and anti-bullying. 

Candidates must be Tri-State residents and under the age of seventeen. They are scored on a 35-point weighted scale considering leadership qualities such as academic achievements, random acts of kindness, entrepreneurship and community involvement.

Brian Talbert, College Readiness Coordinator at Grad Cincinnati, nominated De'montay Campbell and Shelby Connelly from Oyler School for their willingness to go above and beyond for their fellow classmates and teachers. 

“The students knew how much Shelby cared about them, but in true Shelby fashion she went above and beyond for them again,” said Talbert. “And De'montay wants to leave Oyler a better, stronger school than it was before he got there. He has overcome a lot of obstacles and adversity and he has used that to propel him on to great things.” 

Joyeuse Muhorakeye was nominated by Aaron Parker, Career Tech Teacher at Aiken High School, for her leadership skills and ability to inspire the next generation of students at Aiken.  

“My advice to other Aiken students is to work hard because it sets you up for your senior year, which in turn prepares you for college,”  Muhorakeye said. “ Make good decisions and try not to worry too much. Even though things might get overwhelming, it's not the end of the world. It's never too late for change!” 

In addition to meeting former Reds player, Chris Welsh, each awardee received a $5,000 scholarship from the University of Cincinnati.

Muhorakeye said the scholarship is a fantastic opportunity to help with her plans on majoring in pre-med with the intention of eventually becoming a kidney surgeon. 


Here are the six CPS students who received recognition at the award ceremony: 

  • Joyeuse Muhorakeye - Aiken High School 

  • De’Montay Campbell - Oyler School 

  • Shelby Connelly - Oyler School 

  • Joran Dean - SCPA

  • Makeda Byrd - SCPA 

  • Diabou Fall - Walnut Hills High School 

  • Tahmya Burton - Woodward High School