Junior Ian Coon Wins Quasar Award
Waukee High School (WHS) junior Ian Coon was named the recipient of Register Media’s 2015 Iowa Quasar Award on April 9. The ceremony was held at the Greater Des Moines Botanical Gardens in Des Moines. Dowling senior Kathleen Foley and Bergman Academy seventh grader Fez Zafar were also finalists.
“I am still in shock and cannot believe that I won this award! It all happened so quickly. One week I was nominated, the next I became a finalist, had to choose who to bring and film a part in a video, and the next week was the ceremony,” Coon said.
The Quasar Award recognizes an Iowa middle or high school student for leadership, giving back to the community and balancing academics, extracurricular activities and public service. Coon, who is a member of the student council, was nominated by WHS counselor Christian Grandgenett.
“The best advice I have for anyone who would like to become more involved in their community is to find what they love to do, follow it and never turn down an opportunity to help someone else,” Coon said.
As the co-founder of the Iowa Student Learning Institute, a group focused on enhancing the voice of K-12 students, his community outreach extends beyond Waukee and can be seen throughout the state. He is also an advocate for diversity, having pioneered a team of ESL students that share stories across Iowa.
“I am most proud of being able to empower those I assist in reaching their goals, whether I assist them with technology, networking or sharing. It is the best feeling when someone you know has a dream or has found their passion and I can help or push them to do more,” Coon said.