GRIFFIN BENOIT IS LAKE ARTHUR JR. HIGH SCHOOL 2009 'STUDENT OF THE YEAR'

By MIKE RIZZUTO

Sun Times Editor

Overcoming severe obstacles in life can be a daunting task for a person of any age to accomplish.

Such problems can be even tougher for children to conquer in order to lead a normal existence.

For that reason, along with a multitude of successes in the classroom and on the playing field, it comes as no surprise that Griffin Benoit has earned “Student of the Year” at Lake Arthur Jr. High School.

The son of Renee Benoit of Gueydan, the youngster makes his home in Lake Arthur with his parents, Pam and Whitney Duplantis. His maternal grandparents are Burnie and Loretta Benoit of Gueydan, while his paternal grandparents are Wilbert Duplantis and the late Jane Duplantis of Lake Arthur.

Benoit’s dossier is indeed impressive, to say the least. Some of his many accomplishments include:

--Leadership Team Member, Lake Arthur Elementary School, sixth grade;

--Class Favorite, Lake Arthur Jr. High, seventh grade;

--Saxophone player, Lake Arthur High School Band, 2006-2009;

--Junior Beta Club, Lake Arthur Jr. High, 2008-2009;

--Quiz Bowl Team, Lake Arthur Jr. High, 2008-2009;

--Football participant, Lake Arthur Jr. High, 2008-2009;

--Basketball participant, Lake Arthur Jr. High, 2008-2009;

--Musicians Awards, Lake Arthur High School Band, 2006-2007;

--D.A.R.E. Graduate, Lake Arthur Elementary School, sixth grade, 2006-2007;

--Outstanding Musician, sixth and seventh grade, 2006-2008;

--Reading Award, Lake Arthur Jr. High, seventh grade, 2007-2008;

--American History Award, Lake Arthur Jr. High, seventh grade, 2007-2008;

--Band Award, Lake Arthur Jr. High, seventh grade, 2007-2008;

--Woodman of the World Award, Lake Arthur Jr. High, seventh grade, 2007-2008;

--Reading Achievement Award, Lake Arthur Jr. High, seventh grade, 2007-2008;

--Superior Ensemble, Lake Arthur High School Band, 2006-2007;

--Outstanding Academic Excellence, Lake Arthur Jr. High, 2007;

--President’s Education Awards Program, 2007.

As per requirement of being chosen as Lake Arthur Jr. High School’s “Student of the Year,” Benoit penned this autobiography:

BORN TO LEARN

Everyone is unique in their own way. Some people are artistic and some are strong. I am unique because of my intelligence and athleticism.

I was born July 2, 1995 in the American Legion Hospital in Crowley. When I was younger, I used to live in Gueydan, but I moved to Lake Arthur to live with my godparents. I went to Lake Arthur Elementary School for all of my childhood and moved on to junior high. At these places and many others, I learned many valuable things that impacted me a lot.

My real mom’s name is Renee Benoit. My mom has a disease called Friderick’s ataxia, which makes her live with my grandparents. For my sister and me to have a better life, we went to live with my godparents. That experience taught me to be strong when everybody else can’t. It also reveals to me to be appreciative for what I can do and to help those that are not capable.

My parents are Pam and Whitney Duplantis. My dad is a supervisor at an oil company called Hilcorp Energy. He lived all his life in Lake Arthur.

My mom was born and raised in Gueydan, but went to school in Lake Arthur. My mom is a secretary at the high school that I go to. My dad taught me that you don’t have to be perfect to succeed in life. You just have to be the best that you can be. My mom instills in me how to be honest and respectful to others. Also, she told me to treat people the way you want to be treated. I also have three brothers and one sister. My three brothers are Ben, Trent, and Eric. My sister’s name is Sabrina.

My grandparents, family, and relatives helped me through a lot of things. They help me see things I can’t see. They have given me strength and courage to get where I am now. My faith in God has also given me strength to face today’s society. I am a proud member of the Immaculate Conception Church in Jennings. My family, friends, and God have helped me to become the person I am now. I have worked very hard to get to where I am now.

I think it will be worth it. I plan on going to an awesome college and to get a great job that I like and then have a happy family. That is why I work so hard. I don’t want to be a bum sitting on a couch unemployed. I want to be a marine biologist exploring the oceans or a doctor from Harvard University.

It’s about time to tell you about my hobbies. I like to play sports like football and basketball. I am currently on my school’s basketball and football team. I also play in the Pride and Spirit Band. I play an alto saxophone and I am third chair. I received the Outstanding Musician Award ever since I was in band. I am trying to make the All-District Band right now. I am learning how to play the piano, and my grandpa gave me a violin to learn how to play. Music is a huge part of my life that I truly enjoy. I also enjoy reading to learn new knowledge. Fishing would have to be my favorite hobby. I love the fresh air and the moment when the fish takes the bait.

I have some pets, too. I have a dog named Bowser and five cats. I also have three goats named Twinkie, Spike, and Princess. I also have some chickens and ducks. They are hard work to take care of, but it is really fun to have them.

In the future, I hope to be successful and happy with whatever I am doing. I have a little house of success right now, but soon, it will be an empire of excellence.

Griffin Benoit

Best of luck, Mr. Benoit, in achieving your dreams. And congratulations on being chosen as Lake Arthur Jr. High School’s “Student of the Year” for 2009!

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