Nine Township Students Win RVCC Robeson Achievement Awards

Three Franklin High School students were among the winners of Paul Robeson Youth Achievement Awards, and were honored at a special reception at Raritan Valley Community College. Photos: Raritan Valley Community College.

BRANCHBURG – Nine Franklin Township students were among 57 from Somerset and Hunterdon counties recently honored at the 27th annual Paul Robeson Youth Achievement Awards reception at Raritan Valley Community College.

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, sponsored by the Paul Robeson Institute for Ethics, Leadership and Social Justice at RVCC, 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.

Honorees from the township were:

  • Community Service Award: Giovanni Stewart, Franklin High School
  • Scholarship Award: Alyssa Wells-Lewis, Franklin High School and Aliya Kpamegan, Franklin Middle School
  • Arts Award: Jadon Melecio, Franklin High School and Brooke Owens and Bryce Gray, Franklin Middle School
  • Athletics Award: Tyson Murray, Franklin Middle School
  • Renaissance Award: Gabrielle Davis and Ashley Bangura, Franklin Middle School

The evening’s reception featured a keynote address by Dr. Gloria Boseman, PhD, RN, who has been delivering healthcare services to the underserved and underrepresented urban communities for more than 30 years. Her work has focused on urban health and lifestyle behaviors.

Six Franklin Middle School students were also award winners.

The 57 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 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.


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