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Six Columbus City Schools Students Selected and Recognized for This Year’s Columbus Department of Neighborhoods 20 Under 20 Award


December 02, 2023 – Columbus City Schools (CCS) students ranging from second graders to recent high school graduates were selected for this year’s Columbus Department of Neighborhoods 20 Under 20 Award. 

This award honors outstanding young people who contribute to their communities through exemplary acts of volunteerism and advocacy.

Columbus Alternative High School senior Magnolia (Lia) McMillan is one of the six CCS students chosen, and she, along with the others, is making a big splash in her community. 

At the age of 10, McMillan became the youngest Certified Tourism Ambassador in the world. Since then, she has pursued work with the local non-profit Form5 to create an individualized 3D-printed prosthetic at no cost for children and adults with limb differences. For this particular 20 Under 20 Award, a mentor nominated her last year when she interned at PAST Innovation Lab.

“I'm honored to have been selected and recognized for my work in the community,” McMillan said. “I feel as though a lot of neighborhoods and really important community activities and organizations who are doing really great things aren't having as much attention brought to them as they should be. And I really hope that receiving this award aids in my ability to help bring attention to important organizations and causes.”

McMillan is the real deal and knows the true meaning of community involvement. In less than four years, she’s already volunteered more than 1,500 hours, equivalent to 40 weeks of full-time work! While volunteering, she hopes that her passion empowers others and inspires them to reach their goals. 

“The time and energy she invests in community service through various volunteer endeavors sometimes seems impossible for just one person, particularly on top of an already rigorous academic schedule at Columbus Alternative High School,” said McMillan’s biggest fan – her mother, Michelle Ross-McMillan.

McMillan will be receiving her award with other amazing and talented individuals. The Columbus Department of Neighborhoods recently recognized the following CCS students at Columbus Community College: 

  • Desmond Hunter, South High School, 2023 Graduate

  • Michelle Morrison, Linden-McKinley STEM Academy, 8th Grade

  • Sedric Irasubiza, East Linden Elementary School, 2nd Grade 

  • Magnolia (Lia) McMillan, Columbus Alternative High School, 11th Grade

  • Tia Ward, Centennial High School, 12th Grade

  • Khadijia Yasin, Columbus Alternative High School, 11th Grade

These students are being applauded for their commitment to making a long-term positive impact in their communities. Columbus City Schools is incredibly proud of all our students' hard work to make our community a better place.

Click here for more information about the event and those honored as 20 Under 20 Award recipients.