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Nominations being taken for achievement award

POSTED: January 16, 2014 2:31 p.m.

Shaw Wilkerson

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Nominations are being accepted for this year’s Shaw Wilkerson Outstanding Achievement Award.

The award, named for a Guyton man with autism, is given annually to a local high school student with a developmental and/or learning disability. The deadline for nominations is March 28.

“The heart of the Shaw Wilkerson Outstanding Achievement Award shows that a developmental disability is a small obstacle compared to a person’s ability and determination to achieve great things in life,” said Vicki Wilkerson, Shaw’s mother.

At just 17 years old, Shaw began My Father’s House, a ministry that hosts monthly socials for people with social, mental or emotional challenges who otherwise might not be able to enjoy social activities. The organization also donates household items such as toothpaste, shampoo and laundry detergent to clients of The Fillin’ Station, the food pantry in Guyton where Shaw volunteers.

This year’s award ceremony will be on April 11 at 7 p.m. at Guyton Christian Church. A meal and reception will follow the ceremony.

All nominees will receive a trophy and a gift card. Also, a scholarship will be awarded to a graduating senior with firm plans to attend a college, technical or vocational program of continuing education.

For a nomination form or more information, contact Vicki Wilkerson at (912) 661-1418 or

The award was established in 2008 by the men of GAP (God’s Apostles Providing) Ministries, after they learned of a request Shaw made. Shaw had never received a trophy of any kind, and hoped to receive one for his high school graduation.

GAP presented Shaw with a trophy at his graduation ceremony, and established the annual award for high school students with special needs. That show of support inspired Shaw to begin My Father’s House.

“For Shaw, a young adult with autism, receiving the very first SWOAA was an affirmation of his abilities, the gifts and talents he has to share,” Vicki said. “In 2008, I was struggling with doubts and fears for my son’s future. Would he be happy and successful? Would he be welcomed and accepted in his community? When the men of GAP Ministries established this award, it was nothing short of an answered prayer for this mom.”

Public, private or home-school high school students with developmental or learning disabilities can be nominated for the Shaw Wilkerson Outstanding Achievement Award. Nominations may be made by anyone, to include teachers, therapists, youth directors or parents.

Nominations should include the student’s name, grade and contact information, along with a brief bio explaining why the student is a good candidate for the SWOAA. Students’ achievements may be in any area, from academics to athletics, the arts or community service.


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