American Heritage Academy student Moriah Costa, 17, has been selected as the Verde Pride Student of the Year. The award is given by the selection committee of the Cottonwood Chamber of Commerce.
AHA Principal Leonard Miller nominated Moriah.
He said that Moriah is one of those rare students that, "in spite of modest means, has the dreams of the privileged." He said she is dedicated, hard-working, focused and, at the same time, compassionate, wise and caring.
"At American Heritage we work to develop students' sense of citizenship, community and service to others," Miller said. "Moriah has demonstrated these traits very well."
Miller said Moriah demonstrates refined skills in relating to others, creating clear vision, and working diligently to achieve her goals.
"When Moriah meets challenges, her first question is 'What can I do to solve this?'" Miller said. "She does not seek to blame others. Moriah is an inspiration to others, both adult and student. We are proud of her."
Moriah is student council president and Graduate Committee president. She has been recognized as an Outstanding Writer 2007, and as most improved guitarist in 2007. She took third place in a science fair, and she took first place in Ballroom Dance competition.
She won an Excellence in Art award in 2009 during the Verde Valley Art Fair, and she was recognized by the ladies auxiliary of the VFW for Outstanding Achievement. Moriah also earned the Girl Scout Silver Award, and she earned the Spirit of Arlene Award.
"At American Heritage, our best mission is 'preparing tomorrow's leaders today,'" Miller said. "Moriah is one of those amazing, inspirational young people who exemplify the best we can hope for from our future leaders."