A&F Diversity Champion Award Winners 2016

Thursday, July 14, 2016

NSHSS is proud to announce the winners of the A&F Diversity Champion Awards 2016! This $2,500 scholarship is awarded to NSHSS members who have proven themselves as champions for diversity and inclusion in their schools and communities.

A&F Diversity Champion Award Winners 2016

Lillian Alonzo
Somerset, NJ, Hun School of Princeton
Haverford College

After becoming president of the Diversity Club, Lillian broadened the scope of her presidency. Instead of solely providing education and encouragement to those interested in other cultures and ways of life, Lillian expanded her responsibilities to include other organizations within her school. She consulted with club executives, and together they formed the Diversity and Affinity Executive Council. Lillian is an advocate for re-educating the world’s youth in order to diminish learned social prejudices. Lillian is the recipient of the Ida B. Wells Scholarship at Haverford College. She is a five-year youth advisory board member of The Angel Network of Bluegrass, Inc., a four-year youth leader for A Better Chance Mid-Atlantic Region, and she has served as a youth leader of the Somerset County Youth Leadership Program. She enjoys traveling, classical piano and tennis.

Rose Arbittier
York, PA, Dallastown Area High School
Princeton University


As a high school sophomore, Rose created an after-school program, Rosie’s Class, to increase socialization skills in students with special needs. Each student with special needs is paired with a student from the larger student body for one on one attention to work to recognize social cues and gain a better understanding of social etiquette and expectations. Rose looks forward to continuing to build bridges of compassion and understanding once she begins her undergraduate education at Princeton University in the fall of 2016. Rose is a tutor and a member of the Student Council, the Distinguished Young Women Scholarship Program and the National Honor Society. Rose will graduate as the class salutatorian.

Christian Boujaoude
Eatontown, NJ, Monmouth Regional High School
Columbia University


Christian takes pride in the diversity seen within his group of friends. He decided to attend his school district’s more ethnically diverse high school, and he describes his school as a “microcosm of what the world is like as a whole.” Christian views diversity as a strength and explains that diversity in the workplace creates an inclusive environment for customers of varying religions, sexual orientations, genders, socio-economic statuses and ethnicities. In 2014, Kean University named Christian the Outstanding Human Rights Student Activist of the Year. He has received the President’s Volunteer Service Award, and he is a member of the Spanish Honor Society, the National Honor Society, and YMCA Model United Nations. Christian is the founder of the R U Aware Club, and he will graduate as the class salutatorian.

Sophie Doldenburg
Warsaw, Poland
King’s College London


In an effort to include individuals of lower socio-economic statuses, Sophie promotes the assistance of underprivileged individuals—often negatively affected by addiction and parental abandonment—in building homes for Habitat for Humanity. These individuals are often the recipient of the home, but Sophie enjoys making others feel included in ensuring the success of their projects. Sophie is the founder of the first Habitat for Humanity school chapter in Eastern Europe. She founded the chapter at her high school in Warsaw, Poland. Sophie explains that many families exist within the margins of her Warsaw community due to their low socio-economic status. Sophie has assisted in organizing a Special Olympics Unified Volleyball Tournament, and she has volunteered at the Museum of Polish Jews, the International Charity Christmas Bazaar and Kindergarten Work at Minhang Technology in Shanghai. Sophie speaks Polish, English, Swedish, French and Mandarin.

Fatima Elfakahany
Marietta, GA, North Cobb High School
Emory University, Oxford Campus


Each year at open house, Fatima volunteers to create posters and signs for the school’s eleven language programs. She wants each student to feel as if they belong upon entering her school’s doors. Fatima created her school’s Film Club, which facilitates viewings of films from all around the world. In the last four years, Fatima has visited eight countries in an effort to better understand the world’s various cultures. She has given speeches in her school and her community to combat racism, sexism, homophobia and all social injustices. Fatima is a tutor. She volunteers at Petsmart’s Adoption Services, and she is a member of Model United Nations, Beta Club, the National Honor Society and the Magnet Advisory Council. Fatima is also the recipient of a United Planet Merit Scholarship enabling her to visit Costa Rica to participate in the Environmental Sustainability Program.

Jinjibadam Gankhuu
Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia
The American Business School of Paris


Jinjibadam aspires to free Mongolia of its current widespread discrimination against individuals of varying sexual orientations, ethnic backgrounds and socio-economic statuses. She organized a marathon that aimed to promote diversity and inclusion and raise awareness about human trafficking. Jinjibadam’s perspectives of diversity and inclusion are rooted in her view of her three younger siblings. Though their interests may differ, she wants them to follow their dreams and passions with the same tenacity in which she is pursuing her own. Jinjibadam placed highly in the Khan-Uul District’s English Language Olympiad, earning 2nd place her senior year, and she placed 2nd in the Orkhon Secondary School’s 6th City English Olympiad and 2nd in her school’s Oratory Competition as a junior. She has also coordinated a books and clothes donation drive at her school.

Xanthia Hargreaves
Oxford, England, University of Oxford


Xanthia has worked with Widening Participation, which is an internal department of the Oxford University Offices that is located within the Access to Education branch. She has worked with underprivileged 13-16 year olds as a mentor and as  a summer intern, and she has led residential programs. Widening Participation’s aim is to increase the resources available to underprivileged teens and encourage them to pursue higher education. Xanthia currently serves as a Research and Administrative Intern for the School of Human Rights Research, Utrecht. She has served as the College Officer of the Exeter College LGBT Society.

Andrae Holsey
Altoona, PA, Altoona Area Senior High School
Penn State University, Altoona Campus


Andrae is the son of two civil rights activists. He explains that his parents have struggled with the difficulties of raising multi-racial children, and he wants to help eradicate these trials. Andrae has spoken with state representatives, volunteered at his church, and partnered with mentoring programs to promote initiatives towards equality. He employed the assistance of his father, who participated in America’s Civil Rights Movement, and the president and vice president of the local NAACP chapter to speak about the importance of equality and inclusion in all aspects of life—especially education and the workplace. Andrae is a member of the track team and the mock trial team. He received the National Academic of Future Physicians and Medical Scientists Award of Excellence from Harvard University. Andrae is also the co-founder of the American Schools Anti-Bullying Movement and the Lagos, Nigeria, Anti-Terrorism Movement.

Tyler Lackland
Springfield, IL, Keystone National High School
Alderson-Broaddus University


Tyler explains that it is fear of those who differ in race, religion, culture, and sexual orientation that fuels discriminatory thought. She describes the inaccurate belief that immigrants pollute America’s workforce and taint the American way of life. Tyler is determined to decrease instances of ignorance and support perspectives that foster diversity and inclusion in children, adolescents, and adults. Tyler is a junior coach for Extreme Air Gymnastics Academic. She is also a tutor, a cheerleader, and a United States Tumbling and Trampoline National Team Member.

Maria Yiannakis
London, England
Richmond, The American International University in London


Maria explains that as a child, she reveled in the diversity of both her family and her international school. It wasn’t until she was no longer within such inclusion environments that she realized the importance of a genuine appreciation and promotion of diversity by all members of a community. At Richmond, The American International University in London, Maria became co-chair of the Melting Pot Club. She encourages her student body to move beyond to tolerance and towards the acceptance of others. Maria has recently began to raise awareness about the deaf community and culture, and she is currently teaching herself American Sign Language. Maria is a Psychology Laboratory Assistant. She is adept in the software Statistical Package for the Social Sciences (SPSS) and regularly aids students in gaining competency.