Staff Writer

JEFFERSON -- While he is away undergoing 13 weeks of the most intense military training in Parris Island, S.C., Jonathan Rohm was honored by Ashtabula County Children Services with the 2006 Rising Up, Moving On award.

The program honors young people in the county who have been part of the child protective system over the years for overcoming difficult challenges and formidable odds to be successful in their lives. The standards for the award are high. Award winners have succeeded in overcoming obstacles or barriers which most children would never face. They must also demonstrate a dream or vision, which they are working towards.

The goals of the program are to reinforce young people, especially the importance of their positive attitude, energy and belief in themselves; to raise public awareness of the efforts of these children and to recognize the staff involved, for their contributions.

Delores Rohm, Jon's mother, presented the award at a luncheon last week. Sgt. Andres Burgos, Jon's Marine Corps recruiter, accepted the award on his behalf.

Delores and her husband have been foster parents for 15 years, giving a home to 35 children over the years. Jon was 4 years old when the Rohms fostered him and his two siblings. The Rohms later adopted the three children.

Jon, a senior at Edgewood Senior High School, always did well in school and had plans to attend college after graduation. His decision to join the Marines came as a shock to his parents, but they were supportive of him, Delores said.

"His reasons simply followed his goals," she said. "He wanted hands-on experience and to learn while doing it."

Rohm received a $100 gift certificate to the Ashtabula Mall and is now entered at the state level with young people from other counties for a $500 scholarship award.

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