Bishop Kenny High School freshman Jessica Golden (’18), and former San Jose Catholic School student has been selected as one of the High School level recipients of the Tomorrow’s Leaders Award. Jessica’s MLK Essay was chosen from among 130 entries submitted to the annual writing competition sponsored by the City of Jacksonville in observance of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day.

Arisa Nakamichi, also a Bishop Kenny freshman, was the overall winner and Jean Ribault Sr. High had the second place recipient. Arisa and Jessica will attend the 32nd Annual Martin Luther King, Jr. Breakfast that will be held at the Prime F. Osborne Convention Center on January 18. The award recipients will receive recognition at the event which is presented by Florida Blue.

Jessica’s central theme was based on the quote from Martin Luther King Jr., “Faith is taking the first step even when you don’t see the whole staircase.” Jessica felt personally connected to this topic because she has a close family member who has struggled with substance addiction. Ultimately it has brought her family closer together, but it also encompassed a lot of pain and made her realize the importance of everyday decisions that affect your life.

Jessica, a 9th grade student at BK, has a solid academic schedule and carries a 4.0 GPA. She is active in the Latin club, Interact club, and the Red and White Girls. She has been dancing since she was 3 years old and dances fifteen hours a week after school. She currently has 32 service hours working with young dance students. Jessica said, “There will always be temptations in life, and because of my personal experiences, I always try to make conscience decisions regarding my future. I am so thankful that I have found strength through struggle and that my family has stayed strong together and found a path out of the darkness.”