Yes I Can Awards, Sponsored by Pearson, Honor Outstanding Young People at Council for Exceptional Children 2015 Convention

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Awards Program Recognizes Children and Youth Who Shine in Their Schools and Communities

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Twenty-one outstanding young people were honored this year at the Yes I Can Awards ceremony at the Council for Exceptional Children (CEC) 2015 Convention & Expo.

Traveling from across the U.S. and Canada to San Diego earlier this month, these remarkable award recipients were recognized for shining as scholars, artists, athletes, community volunteers, advocates, technology experts and students who are making the successful transition from school into adult life. The world’s leading learning company, Pearson, has sponsored this recognition program for more than 20 years.

“Our Yes I Can Award recipients exemplify how supportive families, dedicated special education professionals and individual determination have the power to transform lives,” said Alexander T. Graham, CEC executive director. “We are grateful to Pearson for its long-term sponsorship of this award program and to the families and thousands of special education teachers around the country who help improve outcomes for students with disabilities and/or gifts and talents.”

Honorees range in age from eight to 25 and represent a broad spectrum of accomplishments. This year’s Yes I Can recipients include 12-year-old Jake Sizemore from Burke, Virginia, who is recognized in the Arts category for his self-taught music contributions, and 17-year-old Abby Edwards from Vandalia, Ohio, honored in the Self-Advocacy category for excelling in her studies and life skills, including completing the rigorous qualification training required to receive a service dog.

Also recognized this year is 18-year-old Atti Miller from Millers, Maryland. Miller has gained independence, contributes to his community and was honored in the Athletic category for his achievements in track and field, bocce ball, bowling, and varsity football.

“Each year, we are inspired by the remarkable stories of the Yes I Can Award recipients. They are transforming their schools, communities and their own lives through their incredible accomplishments and their Yes I Can spirit,” said Aurelio Prifitera, managing director of Pearson’s clinical assessment group.

Nominated by their teachers, friends and family members, the Yes I Can Award recipients were honored at a special awards ceremony and celebration attended by more than 600 people at the CEC convention and participated in a field trip to the Birch Aquarium at Scripps Institution of Oceanography while in San Diego. In addition, they received a Yes I Can statue commemorating the honor and are featured on the CEC’s website.

“The 21 young people who are honored in the 2015 Yes I Can Awards exemplify the ways that exceptional learners push the boundaries and excel in school, their communities and life,” said Alfred Binford, managing director, assessment and direct delivery, Pearson North America. “Pearson is proud to recognize their success as well as the success of the talented, dedicated educators who have helped these students pursue their dreams and achieve their goals.”

About Pearson
Pearson is the world’s leading learning company, with 40,000 employees in more than 80 countries working to help people of all ages to make measurable progress in their lives through learning. For more information about Pearson, visit

Media Contact: Stacy Skelly,, or (800) 745-8489

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