Highlands Ranch teen named Carson Scholar

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A teen in Highlands Ranch has been named a 2019 Carson Scholar, a national award that recognizes the academic excellence, humanitarianism and community service of students in grades 4-11, according to a news release.

Cameron Connor, an eighth-grade student at Aspen Academy in Greenwood Village, was nominated by teachers and administrators. He has been on the honor roll for five years and is a member of the National Elementary and National Junior honor societies.

According to his nominators, integrity, hard work and conviction in Stephen Covey's 7 Habits has brought him consistent academic success and growth, securing his chief cultural officer role for Bears Student Enterprises, a student-run small business that includes seven divisions and operated by Aspen's seventh- and eighth-graders, the release said.

Earlier this school year, Connor participated in The World Peace Game, a semester-long class providing hands-on political simulation where students explore connectedness of the global community through the lens of economic, social, and environmental crises.

Peer nomination earned Connor the Human Rights Award for his impact as president of the World Bank and diplomacy with other organizations to create a safer world, the release said.

Carson Scholars Fund rewards students who have not only a theoretical desire to positively affect change, but those who “walk the walk.”

Connor first embraced community service in preschool, during a lull between several major surgeries at Children's Hospital Colorado, the release said. Two years earlier, prior to undergoing open heart surgery for multiple congenital heart defects, oxygen inefficiency had reduced Connor's physical and verbal abilities dramatically.

“I couldn't tell my parents if something was wrong. In fact, I hadn't realized my experiences were unusual,” he said in the release. “But I knew it was hard. Hard to do rigorous things like running, but also just to breathe. After my heart surgery, my body finally caught up with what I always knew I could do.”

Connor will receive a $1,000 college scholarship, with eligibility for successive annual recognition based on the scholars' continued demonstration of academic pursuits and community service.

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