Scottsdale honors people with disabilities, organizations dedicated to their advancement

A Desert Mountain High School senior who lost most of his sight as a toddler has been named “High School Student of the Year” by the Mayor’s Committee on Employment of People with Disabilities.

Amit Sanghvi

Amit Sanghvi

Amit Sanghvi was diagnosed at 2 ½ with neuroblastoma, an adrenal cancer that usually affects infants or children younger than 10.

Amit never lets his disability stop him from experiencing an expansive scope of activities. He volunteers and participates with the Miracle League of Arizona, a baseball league for children living with disabilities.

He’s also organized fundraisers to help other children with neuroblastoma.

Nominator Jay Taska says Amit is a “strong student who mentors and motivates younger students with disabilities. We celebrate Amit for coming to school every day with his sleeves rolled up, ready to help and share his time with a pure but simple, wonderful and everyday magic.”

A ceremony honoring Amit and other winners will take place at 7 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 6, at The Scottsdale Museum of the West, 3803 N. Marshall Way. The ceremony is free and open to the public.

Other award recipients include:

  • Employer of the Year – Chris Gammel, Chick-fil-A
  • Employee of the Year – Elizabeth ‘Betsy’ Blankmeier, STARS
  • Entrepreneur of the Year – Matthew Cottle, Owner, Stuttering King Bakery
  • Exemplar Award – Deanna Zuppan, City of Scottsdale Adapted Services Program
  • Para-educator of the Year –  Lorri Olmstead, Scottsdale Unified School District
  • Student of the Year (College) – Michelle Forest, Scottsdale Community College
  • Teacher/Counselor of the Year – Lisa Sampson, Creative Arts Therapy Services

In addition, the following people will receive $1,000 scholarships:

  • Jacob Waterman, Scottsdale Unified School District /Scottsdale Community College
  • Adriana Otero Jimenez, Gateway Community College
  • Mattison Blackwell, Scottsdale Unified School District /SCORE Program
  • Kevin Groeger, Scottsdale Community College
  • Steve Schwartz, Scottsdale Community College
  • Dannon Matthews, Scottsdale Community College/NAU

Learn about programs and services for people with disabilities.

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