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Sunday, August 23, 2009

National Liberty Museum's Young Heroes Award-2009

By Sojourner Ahebee

In the National Liberty Museum, there is this incredible piece of glass sculpture called The Flame of Liberty created by Dale Chihuly . It stands 20-feet tall and it soars, with its orange-red appendages ,through the museum seemingly spreading the important message of the National Liberty Museum-that liberty is beautiful and fragile and that people of all ages must work together to create and maintain something as gorgeous and affirming as peace and liberty.

Too few adults, organizations and businesses recognize the amazing work young people are doing to improve their communities. This cannot be said of the National Liberty Museum. For the past nine years, it has presented the Annual Heroes Award to young people who have according to the museum staff “reached beyond themselves with compassion, commitment and service. Qualifying achievements include volunteer work, civic involvement, promoting appreciation for diversity, conflict resolution, mentoring and other leadership roles.”

On Auguste 13, 2009, 26 young people, ages 11-18, were honored to receive the National Liberty Museum’s Young Heroes Award. This year I was included in this number because of what I seek to do with this blog; that is to inform young people about great opportunities and to share ideas. I was also honored for the greeting cards I make to inform my community about the accomplishments of other phenomenal people.

But that afternoon was amazing for me not because I was one of the honorees, selected from hundreds of applicants, but because I was in the company of so many young people striving to make their communities safer, healthier and more informed about various local and world issues.

Some of the honorees raised thousands of dollars for various health projects that support those challenged by breast cancer and epilepsy. Others raised awareness in their community about such issues as the genocide in Darfur. Others tutored, feed the hungry, did peer mediation to name a few things. Though we were all winners, one of the 26 honorees, Van Morn, was recognized for his exceptional work. To read more about him click on this link. He received a laptop computer and $1000.00

The award ceremony was sponsored by TD Bank. I would like to thank Nick Ospa, Gwen Borowsky, Kevin Orangers and all the staff of the National Liberty Museum. I thank Mona Washington extra for nominating me. But, my biggest applause goes to my fellow honorees. Here are their names:

Just Do It Committee Jeffrey Urbano
Kara McDonald Ashley Myers
Kelli Thompson Ayana Choeun
Mahir Shah and Sam Udotong
Mike Ruane and Erika Rech Atasha Jordan
Danzeill Martin Brianna Gibbs
Brionna Merritt Daniel J. Gaffney
Amanda O’Neil Betsaleel Severe
Iesha Moore TJ Lonergan
Dominic Mancuso Demetrius Terrell
Erica Marie Mendez Sadia Qureshi
Minyung Cheong Nick Hammond
E. Gunnar Burgin Van Morn

The National Liberty Museum
321 Chestnut Street
Philadelphia, PA 19109

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