“Not all heroes wear capes” was the message behind El Paso County’s first ever iInspire awards. 

The ceremony was organized by the Minority Overrepresation Committee and the Educating Children of Color Summit, in hopes of recognizing local teens who have inspired others. 

“The way that these children have turned these lemons into lemonade is absolutely unbelievable,” co-chair Cara Nord said. 

The ceremony honored six teens who have made the most out of life’s challenges while earning their right to be in the spotlight. 

Rampart High School student Afeworki Zeru was an unaccompanied refugee minor at 11 years old. 

“I lived in a refugee camp for about four years before I had a chance to come to the United States,” Zeru said.

Brian Armijo, 17, worked two part-time jobs and made the difficult choice of leaving home at a young age. 

“I did that because I saw my home life as unhealthy for me,” Armijo said. 

Both teens, along with Alannah Garze, Kellen Fortune, Annette Fresquez, and Anya Nelsetuen, were honored during Thursday’s El Paso County Board of County Commissioners meeting.  

At the end of the ceremony, the commissioners declared January 11 as iInspire Day in the teens’ honor. 

“It would be great to give them scholarships or something like that (in the future),” Nord said. “Who knows. The sky is the limit.”