Friends General Conference

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2020 Student Peace Awards of Fairfax County

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The 2020 Student Peace Awards of Fairfax County, held Sunday, March 1, recognized high school junior and senior students at 24 public and two private high schools in the county who made a positive contribution to their school or wider community by promoting mutual understanding and respect for all people.

Held at the Stacy C. Sherwood Community Center in Fairfax, sponsors, family and friends celebrated the accomplishments of the recipients at a public reception.

Supervisor Penny Gross (D-Mason District) shared a letter from Chair of the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors, Jeff McKay. She read: "I am always proud to see the level of commitment our students in Fairfax County put toward improving our community. It is this inspiring energy and action, combined with Fairfax County residents' diverse experiences that allow us to consistently strive toward creating a better community for all."

In her remarks, guest speaker Kendyl Crawford, Director of Virginia Interfaith Power & Light addressed the effect of climate change on peace. Crawford said she was amazed at the students' efforts to care not only for their neighbors but to repair relationships with Mother Earth.

The awardees received $250, plus another $100 to be given to any nonprofit organization of their choice that operated in the spirit of the Peace Awards. The students also received the book, Sweet Fruit from a Bitter Tree by Mark Andreas.

Dignitaries acknowledged the achievements of the recipients. U.S. Rep. Gerry Connelly (D-11) said, "I congratulate this year's recipients of the Student Peace Awards. Their leadership and commitment to being peacemakers and fostering mutual respect for our differences are bringing positive change and inclusivity to our community."

Margaret Fisher served as emcee, reading a summary profile of each student.  Margaret and some 35 other volunteers from the sponsoring organizations, including many from Herndon Friends, worked to help make the reception a success.