Fourth FUHSD School Adds Kindness Award


CUPERTINO — A fourth school in the Fremont Union High School District (FUHSD) is offering the Sandlot Award, a unique award that recognizes graduating seniors for their kindness and altruism.

“I personally love this award because it recognizes our students who wouldn’t normally be recognized,” said Homestead High School College Advisor Kellee Markos.

She said the Sandlot Award, “embodies a lot of what Homestead prides itself on,” things like the “kindness factor” and an “appreciation for diverse backgrounds.”

Some of the school’s high achieving students in academics, athletics, and extracurricular activities, tend to get recognized over and over again, because so many awards have similar criteria, Markos said. The Sandlot Award, however, is for the students who often go unnoticed for their acts of kindness toward their peers and the community.

Homestead now joins Monta Vista, Cupertino and Lynbrook high schools in offering the Sandlot Award. The deadline for Homestead students to apply is April 25.

Even though the award was only added at Homestead recently, the school’s administration and staff are enthusiastically embracing it, Markos said. Teachers are actively nominating students who they think display kindness to others. She said she hopes the award continues into future school years.

The word “sandlot” in the name harkens back to the days of youth coming together on a sandlot field, with no agenda other than to play and imagine together. A place where kindness is extended for the sake of kindness, and not because it will be rewarded.

The award originated at Monta Vista High School in 2009, as a memorial to an inspirational young alumnus, Justin Perkins, who died of cancer in 2008.

Judging for the Sandlot Award is based upon the initiative and self-motivation shown by the student, community service, participation in sports (if any), interest in continued self-learning, and the ability to relate to a wide variety of groups of people.

The award application is online.  For information, or to nominate a student, contact Markos at 408-522-2521, or email at (Homestead is on spring break until April 23). General information is also available from the Sandlot Award’s coordinator, Cathy Gatley, at




  1. […] This is the fourth year for the Justin Perkins Sandlot Award, which was named for the inspirational student who passed away from cancer in 2008. It was specifically designed to single out students who display kindness to their peers and the world. The award is also offered at Cupertino High School, and recently two other Fremont Union High School District schools began offering similar versions of the… […]

  2. […] to honor the memory of Perkins, an inspirational young alumnus who died of cancer in 2008. It’s now offered at four of the five Fremont Union High School District campuses, and could encompass all five schools by next spring. It specifically recognizes students, and in […]