Local Students Honored with Annual Robeson Awards

Thursday, April 26, 2018
2016 robeson high school winners

Eighty-five middle and high school students from Somerset and Hunterdon counties were honored for their achievements at the 28th Annual Paul Robeson Youth Achievement Awards Reception, held April 11 at Raritan Valley Community College (RVCC) in Branchburg. The event is sponsored by the College’s Paul Robeson Institute for Ethics, Leadership and Social Justice.

The evening featured a keynote address by Nashad L. Warfield, a native of Plainfield, who has worked for such top organizations as Procter & Gamble and BLACK ENTERPRISE Magazine. A professional motivational speaker and trainer for over 15 years, Warfield has traveled the country teaching high school and college students about the principles of academic and life success.

The National Council of Negro Women and RVCC initiated the Paul Robeson Youth Achievement Awards program to pay tribute to the outstanding attainments of students in the two counties. The awards are named in honor of Paul Robeson, a Princeton native who grew up in Somerville and graduated from Somerville High School and Rutgers University. The awards were given in four areas in which Robeson excelled: Scholarship, the Arts, Community Service and Athletics. Other honors include special “Renaissance Awards” given to students who excel in a number of disciplines, and the Paul Robeson Literary Award.

The Mrs. Evelyn Field Visionary Award also was presented. The award pays tribute to the founding member of the RVCC Board of Trustees who was a dynamic and compassionate advocate for promoting diversity and equality on campus. In 1990 Mrs. Field established the Paul Robeson Youth Achievement Program to preserve Paul Robeson’s legacy as a role model for excellence.
The 85 students were nominated for awards by their guidance counselors, teachers and administrators. A special committee of RVCC faculty and administrators selected the award recipients. The following students received special honors:

Renaissance Award
Faizah Holmes
North Hunterdon High School

Xavier Powell
Immaculata High School

Madison Bishop
Bridgewater-Raritan Middle School

Christina Midgette
Franklin Middle School

Community Service Award
Brian Santana
Immaculata High School

Yadah Ampofo
Voorhees High School

Chloe Bynes
Hillsborough Middle School

Kaylin Davis
Green Brook Middle School

Scholarship Award
Daniel Duncan
North Plainfield High School

Emma Robinson
Voorhees High School

Tedros Abera
Franklin Middle School

Ntim Afriyie
Franklin Middle School

Athletics Award
Jalahn Dabney
Somerville High School

Shahkyle Matthews
Immaculata High School

Jordan Dabreo-Bird
North Plainfield Middle School

Jordan Honis
Bridgewater-Raritan Middle School

Arts Award
Taylor Barrera
Somerset County Vocational & Technical High School

Jordan Jarrett
Hunterdon Central Regional High School

Surayyah Fofana
Somerville Middle School

Nala King
North Plainfield Middle School

Evelyn Field Visionary Award
Christal Oji
Bridgewater-Raritan High School

Nala King
North Plainfield Middle School

The Paul Robeson Institute for Ethics, Leadership and Social Justice was founded in 1999 to preserve Paul Robeson’s legacy in the area where he came of age as an artist, athlete, orator, and scholar. The Institute envisions a global community of diverse cultures that embodies, through attitudes and behaviors, Paul Robeson’s ideals, beliefs, values and vision for a world of justice and peace.

The Paul Robeson Resource Room, located in RVCC’s Evelyn S. Field Library, is an information center for Robeson’s national and worldwide activities. Established in 2003, the Resource Room serves as a repository for educational materials, historical records and memorabilia of Robeson’s Somerville years and the worldwide accomplishments of people of African-American descent.

Raritan Valley Community College’s main campus is located at 118 Lamington Road in Branchburg, NJ. For further information, visit www.raritanval.edu.



April 26, 2018

Media contact: Donna Stolzer, 908-526-1200, ext. 8383

PR #149