Blanchet Catholic School and Chemawa Indian School Youth Appreciation!

On April 4th, the Optimist Club of Salem met with students, faculty and guests from Blanchet Catholic School and Chemawa Indian School to present our Youth Appreciation awards to another group of very deserving students.  We enjoyed a delicious meal prepared by Culinary Arts students at the Salem Keizer Career Technical Education Center (CTEC) and got to meet these amazing students.

 Below are synopses of each student.

Chemawa Indian School

Mikayla Two Two

Achievement in the Arts

Mikayla is from Pine Ridge, South Dakota and is a Senior at Chemawa Indian School.  This past fall, Mikayla’s entry for the artwork that would go on the back of the sweatshirt presented to Chemawa students at their annual Christmas party was the unanimous first place choice on all the judge’s ballots.  Not only was her artwork on all the sweatshirts but she also decorated for the Christmas Party and did many of the displays.  She is recognized as someone that “has an uncanny talent for what makes things appealing to the eye”.  


After graduating from Chemawa, Mikayla would like to continue pursuing her interest and love of art with the goal of one day returning to teach the children on her reservation 

Celeste Crocker

Outstanding Leadership

Celeste is from Fort Apache, Arizona and is a Senior at Chemawa Indian School.  As a Chemawa Ambassador, Celeste is involved not only in the preparations for pow wows but also as a dancer where “she gets to share her love for dancing”.  Celeste is also very involved with sports at Chemawa and during her time there she has played volleyball, basketball and softball. 


After graduation, Celeste plans to join the Marines.

Kodee Chino

Achievement in Vocational Technology

Kodee came to Chemawa from New Mexico for what should have been the start of his sophomore year, but because of the need to do some catchup academically he was enrolled as a freshman.  Through a combination of hard work, determination and extra effort, Kodee has managed to make up that extra year so that he is scheduled to graduate on time after only three years at Chemawa.  


This past year, Kodee was awarded a Salem Electric Dorothy Patch/Nellie Thompson Scholarship which will help him achieve his goal of becoming an electrician.

Taylor Stone

Achievement in Mathematics

Taylor is from Sacaton, Arizona and is a senior at Chemawa Indian School and was nominated for this award by her math teacher.  She was unable to be at the luncheon to accept her award as she was traveling to visit Haskell Indian Nations University in Lawrence, Kansas

Blanchet Catholic School

Carter Mucken

STEM (Science Technology Engineering Mathematics)

Carter is a senior at Blanchet who is described as a “scientist amongst scientists!”.  He has excelled in all areas of curricula with a unique ability to research, hypothesize, experiment, do the math, and come up with unique and accurate solutions.  Carter has been involved in many organizations and activities at school including the school newspaper and DECA, where he went to the National Championships as a junior.  Carter was one of those responsible for bringing CEI (Caretakers of the Environment International) to Blanchet and he shares his love for the environment by working with elementary students on Earth Day activities.


Carter’s goal is to become a University Professor and Researcher in Biochemistry.


Paola Diaz Hermosillo

Socio-Cultural Impact

Paola is a senior at Blanchet who is constantly looking at the world around her and wanting to make it better.  As an advanced placement history student, she embraces the historical backgrounds of a variety of Americans.  Her passion to understand and serve others helped her win a state championship with Blanchet’s DECA chapter with the “Open Minded Project”, a project she created that focuses on the mental health of American minorities.  Paola’s desire to serve extends beyond school.  From the time she began singing in the choir at age 5, Paola has been very involved in the music program at her church.  She even formed her own choir!


Paola is a finalist for a Gates scholarship and plans to major in Bio-Medical Engineering.

Audrey Day


Audrey is a senior at Blanchet who is a great student, inspirational athlete, and a role model for younger students.  Having a relative who has had to deal with disabilities has inspired her to go to great lengths to understand the rights of disabled Americans including being proficient in the Americans With Disabilities Act, Title IX, Individual Education Plans and Section 504 of the ADA.  Her senior project included partnering with the Capital Football Club to provide soccer sessions for kids with disabilities giving lots of new kids their first opportunity to participate.  In addition, Audrey has worked at Camp Attitude which is a camp for kids with disabilities. The environment is another of Audrey’s passions and she is helping to promote a sustainable lifestyle through her involvement with CEI (Caretakers of the Environment International).  She also finds time to be a leader on Blanchet’s women’s basketball team.


Audrey plans to major in education with the goal of becoming a high school teacher.

Carson Wise

Intellectual Curiosity

Carson is a senior at Blanchet who has excelled in Social Studies.  As a Junior, Carson was recognized as the Social Studies Student of the Year.  He has excelled in classes ranging from advanced placement US history to advanced placement government and politics.  He has a unique ability to analyze our history, relating America’s past to contemporary government and political issues and current events.  As Carson described it, “he just likes learning about a variety of things”.  Outside of the classroom, Carson loves performing on stage.


Carson plans to major in psychology.

Award Photos

Chemawa Indian School Students

Blanchet Catholic School Students

Group Photo of all of our honored students