VIDEO: Zaire Crockett, 20, Lazarious Williams, 15, Che’Paris Mobley, 17, Jada Nicks, 17, and Kristian Smith, 17, are the recipients of the 2019 iInspire Awards presented at Thursday’s meeting by the Minority Overrepresentation Committee of the Fourth Judicial District and the Educating Children of Color Summit.

At its regular meeting Thursday, the Board of El Paso County Commissioners approved a Proclamation recognizing Jan. 17, 2019 as iInspire Day to honor five youths who have overcome adversity and inspired others.

Commissioner Holly Williams read the proclamation into the record, later stating, “I’m truly amazed at all five of you.”

Fourth Judicial District Court Judge Timothy Schutz accepted the proclamation from the Commissioners. Schutz Co-Chairs the iInspire Awards Committee with Cara Nord, an attorney with the Office of the Child’s Representative.

When accepting the proclamation, Judge Schutz said, “In recognizing them, we reinforce their good work. All of us have been provided opportunities to succeed and all of us face opportunities to fail. Regardless of where we come from, all of us can point to an event or a person who has made a difference for us. At some point in our lives we have benefited from an expression of appreciation for what we have done and more importantly a statement of faith about who we can be. These events elevate our expectations of ourselves and of our future. Collective efforts have provided us an opportunity to give that gift to these kids.”

Each of the iInspire Award recipients will be paired with a leader from the community in a mentorship program. Those mentors include Colorado State Rep. Pete Lee, Colorado Springs City Councilman Richard Skorman, El Paso County Sheriff’s Cmdr. Cliff Northam, Officer Jessica Kuhn, and Fourth Judicial District Court Magistrate Francis Johnson.

The Commissioners all congratulated the recipients, acknowledging their inspirational achievements that include overcoming autism, juvenile trauma, terminal illness for close family members, and addiction.

Commissioner Stan VanderWerf said, “This is an inspiration to see you up here, working so hard to improve your own lives. When you’re a young person it can be tough. You’re not sure who you’re going to be. It’s never too late to believe in yourself and work to make your life better.”

“I am inspired to point of speechlessness by each and every one of you because of the adversities you’ve overcome,” said Commissioner Cami Bremer. “What I see is huge character being built through those. I look forward to see you continuing to contribute to our community or where ever you may be. We need all of you to build on that character that is becoming so strong and carry it forward.”

“This is a great example when you have people that are self motivated and then meet the right encouragement. When that comes together you become unstoppable,” stated Board Vice Chair Commissioner Longinos Gonzalez, Jr.

And Board Chair Mark Waller finished the ceremony, adding, “My message to you is three simple words, ‘Stay after it.” Take this positive experience that you have and stay after it to accomplish your dreams. That’s the best legacy you can leave moving forward.”