WATERVILLE, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- The organization Hardy Girls Healthy Women (HGHW) recognized six outstanding young women in Maine last week at the eighth annual Girls Rock Awards ceremony held at Colby College.
One of those winners was 16-year-old Alissah Paquette who took home the Against The Odds Advocate Award. The Waterville High School student tutors young kids at Mount Merici Academy in Waterville. She also is the assistant coach for the Waterville Junior High School swim team. A dedicated volunteer who was diagnosed at birth with Exostosis, a condition that affects her bone development and verbal skills.
"Basically my bones grow at different lengths and times. Like you can tell the most with my elbow. For me it's straight, but it really isn't," said Paquette. "It's tough to say what my mind is thinking at times."
Her ability to overcome physical obstacles to reach her goals is what made her stand out according to the president of HGHW, Kelli McCannell.
"We were reading about her diagnoses when she was born and some of the serious things that came along with that and what she's done with that is just incredible," said McCannell.
In addition to Paquette's recognition, there were five other award recipients during the Girls Rock ceremony. Kaitlyn Hutchins of Westbrook for Entrepreneurship, Olivia Boudreau from Waterville got the STEM-gineer Award, West Rockport's Hilary Merrifield earned the Title Nine Champion Award, Community Organizer went to Abbey Gifford from Farmingdale and Falmouth's Caroline Coxe won the Health Promoter Award.