Elida teenager ‘always lends a helping hand’

First Posted: 2/6/2015

ELIDA — Zackery Holycross has no problem to get down and dirty.

The attribute serves him well when on the job and training to be a carpenter at Apollo Career Center.

The 18-year-old senior from Elida likes the way homes are built and appreciates having the ability to fix things around the house when needed to.

His helpful attitude is what got Holycross nominated for the Charles M. Hankish Jr. Student Citizen of the Year award, which he received at the All Area Boards meeting Thursday.

“They’re always asking him to lift things,” said Charlene Holycross, Holycross’ mother. “If there’s a person in need, he always goes out of his way to help them.”

Holycross has been on the honor roll since enrolling at the career center, is the Student Council treasurer and has earned two varsity letters as part of the wrestling team, in which he placed fourth at state. He’s also a Skills USA Parliamentarian, the president of Apollo Carpentry and a Fellowship of Christian Athletes member. The senior has had perfect attendance at school for two years and has also won the Statesman award.

In his free time, Holycross also has a job at Rossilli’s and is a volunteer baseball coach.

When he graduates in the spring, he hopes to get a job in construction or join the Marines.

But it wasn’t always smooth sailing for Holycross. During his brief experience in public school, his grades continued to slip. Hoping for a change, he convinced his parents, Charlene and Jim Holycross, to transfer to Apollo.

He liked the fact that he could learn skills that would help him move forward in life and pursue a lifelong career.

“I have the chance to be a part of something bigger now,” Holycross said.

With a family of nine in a three-bedroom home, Charlene Holycross said the transition wasn’t an easy one but it’s proved to be the best decision they could’ve ever made. In fact, they’re trying to convince Holycross’ younger brother to consider the technical school.

“I’m so proud of him,” she said. “There’s a lot to like about Apollo.”

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