2019 Student Peace Awards of Fairfax County has been awarded to students from 22 Fairfax County public schools. The award is designed to acknowledge the efforts of young people who work as peacemakers. Their work as peacemakers includes resolving conflict, to sow the seeds of peace and promote understanding among the diverse people of Fairfax County, in their schools and in the community. Following are the recipients of the award.
- Annandale High School: Kora Corker
- Cedar Lane School: Nick Price
- Centreville High School: Deepika Joshi
- Chantilly High School: Annie Wang
- Edison High School: Reem Ali
- Fairfax High School: Lara Demir
- Hayfield Secondary School: Delina Kiflom
- Herndon High School: Lydia Goff
- Langley High School: Sumaiya Haque
- Lee High School: Oscar Manuel Lopez Hernandez,
- Madison High School: Hannan Mumtaz
- Marshall High School: Luka Gabitsinashvili
- McLean High School: Neha Rana
- Mount Vernon High School: Burhan Ahmed
- Mountain View High School: Romina Soleimani
- Quander Road School: Lauren Haymes
- South Lakes High School: Sophia Liao
- Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology: Angie Sohn
- West Potomac High School: Diana Argueta
- West Springfield High School: Laura Kirk
- Westfield High School: Makee Neves
- Woodson High School: Xuan Huyn
According to Oak Hill/Herndon Connection, “It’s not easy to be the peacemaker. Sometimes it is really hard, especially when you make those around you, even friends, angry when you speak out and stand up for what is right. And sometimes it can be dangerous. But in all instances, being the peacemaker “requires courage and commitment,” U.S. Rep. Gerry Connolly (D-11) told the crowd gathered at the Sherwood Community Center in Fairfax on Sunday, March 9”.
The Fairfax Student Peace Awards was launched in 2006. Initially, only one school, Herndon High School was part of this program with only one sponsor, the Herndon Friends Meeting. But now the program has 19 sponsors and is given to all the public schools of Fairfax County as well as two private schools. The aim of this program is to encourage young people to think more about maintaining peace in society.
As per Oak Hill/ Herndon connection, “The program is open to area high school juniors and seniors. In October, each school is invited to choose either an individual or a group recipient with the guidelines that the students have worked “specifically for peace or to identify and resolve conflicts … demonstrating a commitment to peace by engaging in activities that strive to end conflict … seeking to bridge language, ethnic, racial, religious, gender, sexual orientation, or class differences … and/or assist to resolve conflicts among students or members of the community who feel isolated or alienated.
The winning students received certificates of achievement, a monetary gift and an additional $100 to be donated to any nonprofit organization of the student’s choice that operates in a spirit that is in keeping with the Peace Awards and this year, an autographed copy of the book, “Sweet Fruits From The Bitter Tree” by Mark Andreas, stories of “creative and compassionate ways out of conflict.”