Three Kent Place Upper School Students Awarded Prestigious Princeton Prize in Race Relations
Madison Hobbs ’19, Sofia Kwon ’19, and Tyler Newman ’20 received this honor on April 9.
“Receiving this award was an incredible honor, but what I loved most about the ceremony was hearing the stories of other teens, including my friends from Kent Place, and talk about their own diversity work,” said Sofia. “I'm privileged to be a part of a community where so many girls are passionate about social justice and care about achieving justice and equity.”
According to the Princeton Prize website, the award “honors high school students who have demonstrated notable work in advancing the cause of race relations.” The Prize’s mission is “to promote harmony, respect, and understanding among people of different races by identifying and recognizing high school age students whose efforts have had a significant, positive effect on race relations in their schools or communities.”
“With the support of the Anti-Racism Committee of the Summit Interfaith Council, The Racial Non-Bias Facilitator Training Program I created for teens, was funded, incubated, and successfully launched in the state of New Jersey,” said Madison. “I’m hopeful for the future because, as a result of my training program, teens now have the skills, resources, and confidence to initiate and facilitate difficult conversations about race among people with different points-of-view and experiences, in an effort to seek common ground, promote understanding and respect, and equally important, to change the world, one conversation at a time.
The Princeton Prize honors students in 27 districts across the United States. Out of the six students from the Northern New Jersey district who received the award, three were from Kent Place.
“I believe this is a testament to the effectiveness of Kent Place as an institution that cultivates the world's next female leaders,” said Tyler. Kent Place provides an environment where the sky is the limit. You can be interested in STEM, art, social justice, and athletics and no one will bat an eye, because it's just the nature of the types of girls we have in our community; everyone is multi-faceted. No one here puts limits on who you can be. In addition, Kent Place girls are active participants in the world around them.”
Kent Place School is committed to its mission to educate its students for respectful and responsible participation in a global community. Kent Place School strives to promote justice and equity to create a school and working environment that is affirming and inclusive, where each member feels safe and valued. Kent Place School respects and honors diversity, which includes (but is not limited to) age, ethnicity, family structure, gender identity, national origin, physical ability, race, religion, sexual orientation, and socioeconomic background.
That's our mantra in robotics. Try crazy things, be free with your ideas, and see what happens. If you're going to build the future, you'll need to be a pioneer. –Emma, seventh grade
LEAN INTO DIFFICULTY.
When it comes to academics, it pays to challenge yourself. I'm in the Bioethics Symposium, presenting research on the ethics of genetically-enhanced intelligence. At times it's daunting—research, deadlines, time management—but it's also a whole new way of thinking. Very independent and "you-driven." –Isabella, sophomore
OWN YOUR OWN EXPERIENCE
It's one of the "conversation norms" we have at Kent Place, and it's always resonated with me. Everyone has a different and equally valid perspective to bring to the table—so put yourself out there. –Mary, senior
DON’T THINK YOU’RE GOING TO GET A LABEL.
There are no jocks here at Kent Place, no science geeks, no theater nerds. Last month a varsity athlete went to sing at the Vatican. Everyone here has some unique quality — and they’re amazing at what they do. –Claire, senior
MATH COMES FROM YOU
When you've computed something for yourself, the story is different. The girls here feel like the math is coming from them, rather than from a textbook. You won't hear a Kent Place girl ask, "What answer are they looking for?" The girls are looking for their own answers, and they're on their own path. –Dr. Ralph Pantozzi, Mathematics Department Chair
GET READY FOR RIGOROUS WORK.
And multiple extracurricular activities. Busy days, and a few late nights. But through it all, don’t lose your sense of fun. –Alessandra, junior
KPS alumnae are amazing. I met one alumna after a math and science panel who works in retail architecture. That made me think about a cool way to combine two of my interests — math and fashion. –Amber, junior
YOUR TIME AT KPS IS GOING TO OPEN UP OPTIONS YOU HADN'T EVEN THOUGHT ABOUT.
And when it's time to choose, you're going to know yourself so well, you'll pick the college that's the best fit for you—academically, socially, personally. So don't get tunnel vision. This is your process. Just know that you'll be ready! –Jennifer Simpson, Director of College Advising
SOLVING PROBLEMS IS A JOURNEY, ENJOY THE RIDE!
In the Middle School we do a Science Expo—either two or four people work on a science project for a couple of months and then present it to the entire class. We go into some in-depth projects and it’s incredible what we learn along the way, and how willing our teachers are to help us through the tough parts. –Toni Ann, eighth grade
SPEAK YOUR MIND.
Every girl here learns from an early age how to speak up and speak to adults. You never feel silly raising your hand, and you’re given lots of opportunities to speak publicly. I’m never shy about saying what’s on my mind. –Vittoria, fourth grade
ETHICS WILL CHANGE YOUR ENTIRE OUTLOOK.
Right away, we tackled questions of "right versus right." We're learning to look at every issue from both sides, which helps with everything from homework to friendships. –Elizabeth, eighth grade