At the annual Martin Luther King, Jr. Coalition event held on January 16 at Manchester Memorial High School, Sarah Naje ‘23 was presented with the Vanessa Johnson Youth Award, in honor of her advocacy efforts. The extensive program also featured panel discussions, music, and a reading from Dr. King’s work.
At Derryfield, Naje is a leading member of the Multicultural Student Union (MSU), which seeks to be a space to welcome minority students at Derryfield by bringing an awareness to different cultures and minority issues within the Derryfield Community. In her statement to the awards committee, Naje explained:
“Currently, I am mainly working towards making MSU a stronger club by hosting more club meetings and planning our Multicultural Day for all students and their families. Even though I have other commitments, including being class president and an English language tutor for elementary schoolers, my co-leader and I are really striving to keep these spaces that we created alive for years and years to come.”
Naje also donates her energies to the Manchester chapter of the NAACP. This summer she was an intern at the organization, and sat on the Freedom Fund Dinner Committee.
“I acted somewhat as the mouthpiece of the event, soliciting emails, spreading the word on the event, and convincing friends and family to donate to the organization. It was such an eye opening experience that I would encourage every high schooler to take on.”
Naje is continuing her work with the NAACP by reaching out to high school students throughout Manchester, making them aware of events such as the Martin Luther King celebration.
When asked about her plans for the future, Naje replied:
“After high school, I am planning on majoring in biology on the pre-med track or joining a nursing program. Ultimately, I hope to use my knowledge in medicine to take care of underfunded families and communities.”