Students Honored with Annual Robeson Achievement Awards
Middle and high school students from Somerset and Hunterdon counties were honored for their achievements at the 32nd Annual Paul Robeson Youth Achievement Awards, held May 18 at Raritan Valley Community College in Branchburg. The event was sponsored by the College’s Paul Robeson Institute for Ethics, Leadership and Social Justice.
The evening featured a keynote address by Monique Tawiah, owner of “The Monique Boutique,” a full-service public relations agency. Based in the New York metropolitan area, “The Monique Boutique” offers public relations and digital engagement services to business owners, influencers, and entertainers. Ms. Tawiah is also a motivational speaker and has been seen at TEDx Greensboro. This summer she will be featured providing her science expertise in a documentary series, “Prime Suspect Earth,” on the Weather Channel.
Ms. Tawiah earned a Master's Degree in Applied Meteorology from Mississippi State University and a Bachelor of Science in Atmospheric & Oceanic Science and a Bachelor of Arts in Broadcast Journalism from the University of Maryland, College Park.
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 Somerset and Hunterdon 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 are given in four areas in which Robeson excelled: Scholarship, the Arts, Community Service and Athletics, as well as special “Renaissance Awards” given to students who excel in a number of disciplines.
The Evelyn Field Visionary Award also was presented at the ceremony. 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.
More than 70 students were nominated for awards by their school counselors, teachers, and administrators. A special committee of RVCC faculty and staff members selected the award recipients.
The following middle school students received special honors:
Paul Robeson Youth Middle School Art Achievement Award
Zoe Wilson: Franklin Middle School – Hamilton Street Campus
Henry Sandy: Franklin Middle School – SGS Campus
Paul Robeson Youth Middle School Athletic Achievement Award
Paige Sheppard: Hillsborough Middle School
Nazir Sanchez: Franklin Middle School – SGS Campus
Paul Robeson Youth Middle School Community Service Achievement Award
Kennedy Price: Franklin Middle School – Hamilton Street Campus
Quinnton Battiste: North Plainfield Middle School
Paul Robeson Youth Middle School Scholarship Achievement Award
Kenza Kpamegan: Franklin Middle School – SGS Campus
Zachary Battiste: North Plainfield Middle School
Paul Robeson Youth Middle School Renaissance Award
Haleigha Jones: Franklin Middle School – SGS Campus
Evelyn Field Visionary Award – Middle School
Natalia Owusu: Franklin Middle School – SGS Campus
The following high school students received special honors:
Paul Robeson Youth High School Art Achievement Award
Ava Clarke: Hillsborough High School
Antonia Barrera: Somerset County Vocational & Technical High School
Paul Robeson Youth High School Athletic Achievement Award
Ameer Mason: Immaculata High School
Martin Wantong: Immaculata High School
Paul Robeson Youth High School Community Service Achievement Award
Ivy Aiyegbo: Immaculata High School
Joshua Williams: Immaculata High School
Paul Robeson Youth High School Scholarship Achievement Award
Maya Mathews: Immaculata High School
Alexander Kudiabor: Immaculata High School
Paul Robeson Youth High School Renaissance Award
Alexander Metz: Voorhees High School
Evelyn Field Visionary Award – High School
Nicolas Stokes: Immaculata High 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.
RVCC is located at 118 Lamington Road in Branchburg, NJ. For further information, visit www.raritanval.edu.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 12, 2023
Media contact: Donna Stolzer, 908-526-1200, ext. 8383