BA senior wins national leadership, volunteer award

Published 9:00 am Thursday, March 25, 2021

Brookhaven Academy senior Allison Covington has been named Mississippi’s winner of the 2021 Billy Michal Student Leadership Award.

Given to only one student per state, the award is presented by the National WWII Museum in New Orleans to students who have maintained a strong record of volunteering, demonstrated school and community activism and helped implement creative solutions to recognized problems.

Covington and other states’ winners will be recognized during the museum’s American Spirit Awards virtual program June 18.

The award was first presented in 2017, and was created in honor of Billy Michal, a child living in Louisiana during World War II. At age 6, Michal helped his one-room school win a statewide scrap metal collection contest, proving every citizen could contribute to victory. His achievement demonstrated the positive impact people could have and continues to inspire American students.

Nominated for the honor by BA school counselor Brandi Barrett, Covington has earned more than 740 community service hours since ninth grade. She has volunteered as statistician for basketball games for four years, and has helped in such community groups as Crown Club and Junior Auxiliary.

“It’s extremely gratifying to recognize students throughout the nation for the wonderful contributions they make to their local communities,” National WWII Museum CEO and President Stephen J. Watson said. “Our student honorees prove that their positive actions, no matter how big or small, can make a difference in their communities.”

Covington has also worked with her church on mission trips, including a trip to Ohio to help organize a school and a trip to Texas to help organize a home for the abused.

“The mission work has had a big impact on me,” the senior said. “It’s where my love for children really started. I got close with the children during that time.”

She plans to attend Copiah-Lincoln Community College in the fall to study elementary education and is looking forward to a career in teaching. She also plans to keep going on mission trips with her church and hopes to keep working as a statistician for basketball at BA and possibly Co-Lin.

Covington said being chosen as the Billy Michal award recipient is a great honor.

“It’s just an honor to be chosen to represent Mississippi,” she said.