2nd Annual TKD Youth Awards Ceremony & Banquet


Imported From The Original Academy Blog 2011-2016
Re-Release 3 of 14 -- First Posted - December 6, 2012
"2nd Annual TKD Youth Awards Ceremony & Banquet"


Friday, November 2nd, 2012 marked the evening of another great milestone for our academy.  We proudly hosted our 2nd Annual TKD Youth Awards Ceremony and Banquet.  With over 80 in attendance, it was another great event for the kids.

For memory's sake I feel it is important to keep some record of these events, where all those in attendance may refer to in the future.  As our youth students mature into young men and women, it will be great for them to have access to records of their martial arts journey. 

“Thanks for putting together a perfect awards event. I can only imagine the countless hours you spent putting together such a brilliant evening. You made the kids feel special with the extremely thoughtful awards, and I also thought it was wonderful to recognize many of the kids for their academic achievements and improvements.” – Jan Schrieber

"Thank you, Jacob, for putting together such a wonderful event! Your heartfelt speeches really show how much you care about your students and how well you know each one." – Emilie Peck

Speech Tranascript:

Hello everyone and thank you for supporting this year’s event.  It’s appreciated and humbling to have you all here. 

“The function of education is to teach one to think intensively and to think critically. Intelligence plus character – that is the goal of true education.”  Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

As I shared at last year’s banquet, I have many goals for the academy, ultimately all supporting a broad stroke designed to have a hugely positive impact on our community; from which, our community may reach onward and upwards.  I also shared three big-picture drivers: one, to pass on the art form of Cho’s Traditional Tae Kwon Do as best I am capable; two, to help mold strong, moral, happy young men and women; and three, to produce at least one world champion martial artist.

Well, a year has passed and though I can quantify in many cases that we are progressing towards those goals, it’s clear to me there is much more work to be done.  Admittedly, some mistakes have been made along the way, but overall my experience has been positive and one of success.  I truly hope your experience has been the same. 

I believe in the process and power of the martial arts.  Through ups and downs, the practice has helped me continue on a forward path of self-improvement and achieving personal goals.

“Few will have the greatness to bend history itself; but each of us can work to change a small portion of events, and in the total; of all those acts will be written the history of this generation.”  Robert Kennedy

Moving forward, I have a vision for this event to grow into a fundraiser.  I will ask our teens to step up and take some ownership of the project.  I would like to see our young ones focusing action towards the fostering of worldwide peace, education, equality, and the elimination of corruption and suffering.  Cultivating an awareness of an individual’s ability to influence our world will prove powerful.

“Whether your team has talent to spare or is spare on talent, a leader’s goal remains the same; namely, you must bring forth the best from those with whom you work.”  John Wooden

This responsibility is one that I do not take lightly, and it is with great respect, care and again humility, that I put forth my best efforts to achieve.  I believe we have the leaders of our future sitting with us here right now. 

Choosing this year’s winners was tough (the kids are all winners in my book).

Kids, remember that receiving an award doesn’t make you better than someone who does not.  An award recognizes your achievements over this past year.  Receive your award, be happy, be proud but also be humble and respectful to others.  To those who did not win this year, remember that you can achieve just the same, if you put the time in… you can achieve anything you set your mind and actions to. 

Lets give all the kids a big round of applause.

Special Recognition: All Academy Member Families Since 2009 Academy Opening:

  • Sara Family (opening)
  • Jenson Family (Sept)
  • Corritori Family (Sept)
  • Mackay Family (Sept)
  • Silverman Family (Oct)
  • Jablon Family (Oct)
  • Kellenberg Family (Oct)
  • Drews Family (Nov)
  • Barlow Family (Dec)
  • Laptin Family (Dec)

Thank you to all these families for your continued support.
Congratulations to the kids for sticking with your commitment.

Everyone above is offered a $50 credit of appreciation to be used towards academy services… a $500 gift from the academy to you.  You are appreciated.

This Year’s Academic Achievers In Attendance (post kindergarten):

  • Shane Lawson (straight A’s)
  • Dolce Sara (straight A’s),
  • Shayne Corritori (straight A equivalent)
  • Brayden Jenson (straight A equivalent)
  • Conor Farley (4.0 middle school)
  • Quinn Schrieber (95%-100% on all exams)
  • Jean-Louis Vergara (significant improvement)

Everyone above awarded $20 Active Culture gift certificates.

Special Recognition: Martial Arts Teachers

Thank you to Andrew Kappas, Steve Chandler & Luke Adams… for helping me teach martial art classes at the academy… your contributions are helping to mold all of our young martial artists.

Special Recognition: Outstanding Contributions

Dana Sara – thank you for partnering with me, helping to open the school, offering a wonderful yoga program to our community and also working diligently in contribution to the academy’s sustenance.  I don’t always say it, but that doesn’t mean I don’t appreciate what you bring to the table.

Onto The Awards…

I design, write and put together all of the certificates myself.  I have several reasons for taking the time and making the effort to customize each one.  One of which, is that I believe the winners deserve individual recognition; another, is that I believe these awards may someday serve as a reminder of what can be achieved… perhaps even to serve as inspiration at an important personal crossroads.  If I can offer something empowering that will echo in the mind of even one student, ten, twenty, thirty years form now, it is well worth my effort.

  • Lucas Silverman, Runner-Up
    Prize: Free private lesson w/Mr. Cho
  • Mikey Ibrahim, Cho’s Academy’s Bruce Lee
    Prize: Thames & Kosmos Remote Control Machines (building kit for the young engineer)
  • William Michelson, Steady & Strong
    Prize: Eric Clapton and Led Zeppelin Guitar Books, and a Genuine Leather Guitar Strap
  • Nathan Houlas, Resolute in Action
    Prize: Rick Riordan Children’s Book Series (hardcover sets)
  • Christopher Drews, Strength to Persevere
    Prize: Thames & Kosmos Youth Chemistry Kit
  • Shayne Corritori, Meaningful Comeback
    Prize: Rick Riordan Children’s Book Series (hardcover sets)
  • Joe Laptin (2x winner), Valued Role Model
    Prize: Bear Grylls Survival Kit & JJPG Lightweight Jiujitsu Gi
  • Dolce Sara (2x winner), Valedictorian
    Prize: 3 Tickets to Cirque du Soleil, Iris – Hollywood, CA

I look forward to another great event in 2013!


Jacob Cho