OHS senior receives Rosemary Zander Award


Tiger Paw Yearbook

Najda Bosnic (12) doing her dentistry class at South Tech.

OHS senior Najda Bosnic has been named the winner of the Special School District’s Rosemary Zander Award for outstanding academic achievement and community service. She is set to receive the award on April 4 at the Commitment to Kids Banquet in Maryland Heights.

The award, named in honor of a late SSD teacher who dedicated her career to building students’ self-esteem, is given to students who show excellence in academics, arts, athletics, communications, vocational training, employment, independent living skills, community service or extracurricular activities. Bosnic, who will receive the community service award, was one of 20 students to be honored this year.

Bosnic has been attending South County Technical High School, widely known as South Tech, for the past two years to study dental sciences. Through the program, she has received many honors, including becoming a member of Technical Honors Society and being named a Lead Ambassador for her senior year.

Lead Ambassador is a very competitive position, requiring a high level of leadership skills as well as an affinity for community service. As an ambassador, Bosnic serves as a guide for 8th grade students who come to shadow and performs other service activities around the school.

Not only does Bosnic show her philanthropic side within South Tech, but she also volunteers outside of school. Bosnic said, “I usually find puppies and kittens homes… I also help people who don’t have enough money.”

Usually, Bosnic participates in community service when she goes overseas to visit her family in Bosnia and Croatia. She also gets to visit countries like Germany and Austria during the summer.

It is her foreign service combined with her in-school volunteer work that ultimately earned Bosnic the Rosemary Zander Award. This is the greatest honor a South Tech student can receive for community service.

It’s a lot of work, but Bosnic says that it is all worth it. “[It’s] the feeling when they know someone helped them,” she said, “…I feel good about myself, but I also know that they feel good about themselves.” According to Bosnic, it is that feeling that motivates her to keep volunteering for the betterment of her community.