Youth Appreciation Award: Inspiration to others

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Zamiyha Fischer

Photo by Greg Bezanis

Constitution High School’s Zamiyha Fischer, 18, has shown her strength and ability to overcome obstacles while excelling in both school and extracurricular activities.

Overcoming brain cancer at a young age, Fischer, of the 2000 block of Emily Street, has been left with little ability to hear, and is restricted to wearing a hearing aide for the rest of her life. But, this small bump has not even remotely put a dent in Fischer’s long road ahead.

Kathleen Melville, Fischer’s ninth-grade Spanish teacher, was happily surprised to see the youth’s enthusiasm and dedication to the Spanish language. Now a senior, she is a founder of the school’s Spanish Club and has been instrumental in raising more than $9,000 to fund a service trip to Puerto Rico this spring.

“[Fischer’s] passion for learning a new language and culture has inspired both her classmates and teachers,” Melville said.

Maintaining an exemplary attendance record throughout her middle and high school years, Fischer has proven her ability to progress outside of the classroom as well. As a ninth-grader, Fischer was selected to participate in the Ballard Spahr Mentorship Program, and during her junior year, she helped to organize events and fundraisers for her class as a member of the junior committee. Away from the world of academics, the student enjoys skating.

Melville describes Fischer as having “unrelenting positive energy.” Melville also highlights Fischer’s perseverance as one of her most salient attributes, including her ability to exceed above medical and personal challenges while shining academically.

“She has overcome tremendous obstacles in her life and shares her zeal for learning and living with everyone around her,” Melville said.

Fischer hopes to follow in the footsteps of her older brother Raldoph Holman, who is the first in Fischer’s family to graduate from college. Holman has been encouraging, motivating and mentoring her in throughout her pursuit to graduate from the college of her choice, Drexel University, with a journalism degree as she aims to become a writer or poet.

“[Fischer] is a resident of a neighborhood of South Philadelphia that is often in the news for negative reasons,” Melville said of the Point Breeze resident. “I hope this nomination represents an opportunity for [Fischer] and her neighborhood to be in the news for a positive reason.”

Zamiyha Fischer will receive a $50 Visa gift card from ShopRite of Snyder Plaza, 29 Snyder Ave. If you are a teacher or full-time educator and would like to nominate a student (first through 12th grades), call 215-336-2500 ext. 117 or e-mail

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Comments 1 - 8 of 8
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1. Tom Davidson, ConHigh Principal said... on Mar 5, 2013 at 11:07AM

“Zamiyah is an excellent student who is a joy to have in school. Her zeal will carry her far. We are very proud of her. Fine article!”

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2. Martha Holman ( grandmom ) said... on Mar 5, 2013 at 03:28PM

“All I can say at this time, May God contuine to Bless Zamiyha with good health. AMEN !”

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3. Tanya Wright said... on Mar 5, 2013 at 06:24PM

“Congratulations Zamiyah keep up the good work and enjoy Puerto Rico !

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4. Nadine Andrews said... on Mar 6, 2013 at 12:27AM

Dear Zamiyah,
I am so proud of you. Keep up the good works.
May the good lord be with you always.
God bless you and your family.

Ms. Nadine”

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5. Tyffani Smokes (aunt) said... on Mar 6, 2013 at 07:49AM

“Zamiyah keep up the great service work & continue to perservere towards all your goals..! The sky has no limit for you. I'm so PROUD of you & I know my mom would have been too! Love you..”

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6. Candyce Covin (family friend) said... on Mar 6, 2013 at 09:35AM

“We are very proud of Zamiyah, I have known her since she was just a little girl and have known about her medical challenges and her overcoming abilities. She is a beautiful bright young lady. Her family loves her very much, she is a blessed young lady. I admire her mother's strength and perserverence with and for her, she did a great job, Kudos, Vanessa. It wasn't easy for her mother but God puts on you no more than you can handle. Her grandmother, Martha has been a blessing as well. I pray that God blesses her and her family with continued success.”

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7. Dr. Pamela Young(Retired Principal) said... on Mar 6, 2013 at 01:46PM

“Congratulations Zamiyah!
I am so proud of you. Continue to let your light shine so that it can light the way for others to follow.
God Bless You!

Great job Martha and Vanessa!”

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8. Antionette Clark said... on Mar 7, 2013 at 01:47PM

“Congrats Lil Cousin. Truly proud of you. Keep up the good work. Love your cousin Nettie & Family”


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