Roanoke’s Local Hero Award

Each year, Community School recognizes people and organizations who have been influential in the community, demonstrated kindness,  social consciousness, and are active in making Roanoke a great community to live in. These people embody the characteristics that Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. exemplified. Known as the Local Hero Award, the program began in 1996 as a way to honor the legacy of Dr. King. The award has been presented continuously over the past 18 years.

The Local Hero Award selection committee is comprised of a group of Community School middle school students who spend several weeks studying the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. as well as the history of civil rights in the United States.

For more information on Local Hero contact Katrina Hill at

Past Winners

2020 Xavier Duckett, The Humble Hustle
2019 Jordan Bell
2018 Dorothy Owsley
2017 Diane Kelly and Frank House
2016 Monique Ingram
2015 Roanoke City Police Officer Travis Akins
2014  Susan Bentley
2013  St. Francis Service Dogs 
2012  Angels of Assisi
2011  Big Brothers, Big Sisters of SWVA
2010 Betsy Bursey
2009 Judi Jackson
2008  Student Recipients, including Jameel McMillan, Datrea Muse and Seth Jordan
2007  Vivian Sanchez Jones
2006  Pearl Fu
2005  Diane Elliot
2004  Mike Hudson
2003  Susan Chapman
2002  Orrin Clifton
1996  Evelyn Bethel