The District of Columbia United Way honored 25 Washington teen-agers last week for scholastic achievement or volunteer work with community organizations. A number of the winners overcame serious personal setbacks.

The morning ceremony honoring the 10 top winners, 10 runners-up and five honorable mentions was held at the Hubert H. Humphrey Building, 200 Independence Ave. SW. Mayor Marion Barry spoke to the gathering and Marilyn Tyler-Brown, D.C. public schools assistant superintendent for student services, presented the awards.

Each of the 10 top winners was sponsored by a community organization and received a $200 U.S. Savings Bond, a plaque and a red satin jacket bearing their name and the legend "Teenagers are Terrific."

The 10 runners-up received $100 savings bonds while the five honorable mentions received certificates and T-shirts with "Teenagers are Terrific" emblems.

All 25 received a letter and autographed photograph of boxer Sugar Ray Leonard.

The 10 top winners:

Tyrone Allen, 15, an eighth grader at Douglass Junior High School and a four-year member of Boy Scout Troop 1705 who overcame a reading impairment and mastered reading skills even though he lost the sight in one eye as a child.

Dawn Marie Henderson, 16, a freshman at Duke Ellington School of the Arts who, with the help of tutoring and physical therapy at the Boys and Girls Club's Jelleff Branch, completed the eighth grade despite two knee operations. Henderson also overcame childhood allergy and eye problems that kept her in and out of hospitals.

Marcia Humphrey, 15, a sophomore at Banneker High School who is a volunteer at the Anthony Bowen YMCA.

Derrick Tyrone Johnson, 15, sponsored by the Center City Community Corp., a junior at Dunbar High School who graduated from Shaw Junior High School with a 3.5 grade point average.

Danita J. King, 15, a sophomore at Cardozo High School and a member of the Metropolitan Police Boys and Girls Clubs of D.C. King is a teen-age mother who has stayed in school.

Michael Makinde, 18, of Ballou High School, sponsored by the Sasha Bruce Youthwork, who holds two part-time jobs.

Denise Ramson, 16, a senior at Dunbar High School and an aide and peer counselor at the Center City Community Corp. who took over as cook, adviser and housekeeper for her 13 siblings after her father lost both legs in 1985 and her mother suffered a heart attack in 1986.

Tyrone Thompson, 17, sponsored by Sasha Bruce Youthwork, who completed work at the Armstrong Education Center.

Phillip Walker, 15, a junior at Coolidge High School who maintains a 3.0 grade point average and assists in seminars, fund raisers and other community programs for the Mayor's Youth Leadership Institute in Ward 4.

Joseph Washington, 19, sponsored by the Southeast Vicariate Cluster, who earned his GED and found employment through the Youth Employment Program.