Fairfax County Student Peace Awards

The Fairfax County Student Peace Awards (begun in 2006) has grown to sponsor students from 29 area high schools. The program began under sponsorship & coordination by Herndon Friends Meeting, and now has sponsors from 12 area diverse faith communities & congregations, including our Fairfax Christian Science church, plus 10 other sponsoring community charitable and educational nonprofit organizations and businesses/foundations.
 
The Fairfax County Student Peace Awards have attracted support and widespread recognition from both northern VA and statewide leaders. This year, representatives from Fairfax County Board of Supervisors, Fairfax County School Board,  once again presented certificates of recognition to the awardees; Delegate to VA House of Delegates Ken Plum presented a certificate; and VA Congressman Gerry Connolly once again this year cited on the House Floor the achievements of the students in this program and had it introduced as a resolution of recognition in the Congressional Record. And this year, VA Senator Tim Kaine also sent his recognition and support of the student awardees.
 
The keynote speaker this year, Suraya Sadeed, is founder of Help the Afghan Children and author of Forbidden Lessons in a Kabul Guesthouse. She spent over two decades delivering humanitarian aid to the women and children of war-torn Afghanistan, putting her own life on the line to bring them relief, education, and hope.

The 2017 recipients of the Student Peace Awards of Fairfax County

Jasmine Howard (Centreville HS) was honored for her initiative in developing a program to sell Yuda Bands (colorful wristbands crafted by Guatemalan artisans), with all monies raised going to support disadvantaged youth in Guatemala.
 
Jamie Hunstad (Lake Braddock HS) was honored for establishing a Special Olympics sports team at her school, as well as bringing Rachel’s Challenge to her school, (a peer program to educate about  compassion and how to resist bullying).
 
Naba Khan & ShafiaTalat (King Abdullah Academy, first-generation in their families to grow up in the US) were honored for founding WOW (Women of the World) to promote women’s rights and help with women’s education and economic support to overcome conditions of abuse or oppression. They opened a sewing school in India where women are gaining experience in the textile industry and work toward financial independence to open their own businesses.

Chris Johnson & Jasmine Howard, Centreville HS

Jamie Hunstad from Lake Braddock HS, with Franceska Wilde

Naba Khan & Shafia Talat (center) from King Abdullah Academy

 
In our branch church’s participation in this inspiring community program, that is highlighting bold young peacemakers  who are truly world-changers, we are grateful to witness what these young people are doing – basically, furthering  the mission of the Christian Science Monitor in action:
“To injure no man, but to bless all mankind.”

Below is the inspiring documentary film by two Fairfax County Virginia high school students who interviewed a Nobel Peace Prize nominee, currently in teaching residency at GMU. The young men received a Fairfax Student Peace Award for their work. The video shows the active power of patience & prayer and the all-encompassing Love in tumultuous and challenging world. The power that guards, guides, and delivers. Truth does indeed set free!

Categories: Church Activities, Community, Kids, Thinking Differently