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Port Chester Freshman Honored for Overcoming Odds

PORT CHESTER, N.Y. -- Port Chester High School Freshman Na-Keem Marks has been recognized by "Student Advocacy," an Elmsford-based advocacy group that aims to improve educational opportunities for unique students, as one of four "Overcoming the Odds" Award winners .

Marks will be honored alongside Mount Vernon High School Senior Sarita Colquitt, New Rochelle High School Senior Daniel Licht and Jacqueline Gaviria, a senior at Mahopac High School, on Thursday, May 10 at Abigial Kirsch in Tarrytown.

Student Advocacy is recognizing Marks for his ability to overcome emotional and learning impairments that negatively affected his academic performance. Marks, through the support of special education teachers and programs, has learned to control his emotional outbursts to become the student president of Port Chester High School's NAACP.

Port Chester Middle School Psychologist Valerie Henigson spoke about why she nominated Marks for the award.

“Having known Na-Keem for seven years, his amazing progress inspired me to nominate him," Henigson said. "His wry sense of humor, indomitable efforts and good nature despite enduring many hardships have made him a favorite among Port Chester staff and students.”

Student Advocacy said that while the primary goal of the awards is to recognize students for their achievement the group also strives to bring greater awareness to the community regarding special needs students.

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