Addison Trail names November recipient of 88’s Best recognition

Malik Hopkins (pictured at right, with Addison Trail Principal Jack Andrews) has been named as Addison Trail’s November recipient of 88’s Best recognition for his highly improved performance.

Hopkins, a senior, was recognized during the Nov. 14 District 88 Board of Education meeting. To watch Hopkins' 88’s Best presentation, click on the video above.

Throughout his time at Addison Trail, Hopkins has proven to be a positive role model for his peers and has spent his high school career balancing all of it with a positive attitude and a contagious Blazer spirit that has had a lasting impact on his teachers and classmates.

Hopkins grew up in a few areas, including Bellwood, Broadview, Maywood and the West Side of Chicago. He attended Irving Middle School and Proviso East High School before moving to Addison and coming to Addison Trail his junior year. When asked what advice he would give to incoming freshmen, Hopkins said they should be true to themselves and believe in their dreams. He added that a bad moment should never dictate your day, and you should always push through every single struggle.

Involvement at Addison Trail:

  • Founding member of Addison Trail’s BEYOND club, which provides mentorship and academic support for black students to enable them to thrive holistically in high school and BEYOND

  • Member of Addison Trail’s student-led news channel, AT News

  • Member of Addison Trail’s Link Crew, which welcomes freshmen and helps them feel comfortable throughout their first year of high school and guides them to discover what it takes to be successful in the transition to high school

Future plans:

  • Hopkins plans to obtain a commercial driver's license (CDL) and a real estate license and possibly earn certification in heating and air conditioning. He aspires to become a successful entrepreneur.

Staff member comments:
“Hopkins is truly one of a kind. Once you meet him, you will understand. He is the kind of person who will always put a smile on your face. He will lift you up when you are down. No matter what is going on in his life, he will come to school with a positive attitude. Hopkins never makes excuses. He is a doer. He is extremely hardworking and passionate about his future. He is the type of person who will go out of his way to make someone feel special or included. He is kind, selfless, motivated, genuine, true, dedicated, determined, resilient and ambitious. I have never met anyone like him in all my years of counseling. He will be whatever he chooses to be – he will be an entrepreneur. On top of his incredible personality and academic achievements, Hopkins has incredible style and musical talent. He is just a positive presence in our building. He creates motivational videos and spreads them through social media, inspiring students to be better and to do better. He has become a true leader here at Addison Trail. What is so surprising is he just transferred to Addison Trail at the beginning of his junior year, and he has had such an incredible impact on his peers and the staff. It has been an honor to be his counselor and a part of his journey.”

- Addison Trail counselor Tina Gatses

“From our very first conversation, I could tell Hopkins had ambition and wanted to create alliances in pursuit of creating a path forward for success. If he faced a setback, he always kept his eyes on the big picture and was relentless in his goal of becoming a better version of himself than the day before. Above all else, I will always remember Hopkins’ magnetic personality. He has a zest for life, is generous and is always smiling from ear to ear. I genuinely miss having him in class, but I am happy to see him thriving in all facets of the Blazer Nation.”

- Addison Trail social studies teacher Daniel Styler

“I haven't officially had Hopkins as a student, but we worked together frequently last year during ATR (resource period), so I could help him with physics. Hopkins is such a driven, hardworking, unique young man – I am not surprised he is winning this award. His positive attitude is contagious, and I am excited to see everything he will accomplish this school year and beyond.”

- Addison Trail science teacher Kira Bonk

“Hopkins is a beam of sunshine whenever you come across him. No matter what he's going through, if you ask him how he is doing, he will respond with, ‘Good, but trying to be better.’ This alone shows who Hopkins is. He is always striving to do better than yesterday, and he always sports a smile while doing it.”

- Addison Trail counselor Gia Kish