St. Paul, Minn. - The American Civil Liberties Union of Minnesota is pleased to announce that Angelina Momanyi, a high school senior at The Blake School in Minneapolis was one of the recipients of 2008 ACLU Youth Activist Scholarship. She along with fourteen other high school seniors from across the country will each receive a $5,000 college scholarship in recognition of their outstanding work to protect civil liberties.
Since 2000, the ACLU has awarded scholarships annually to honor the efforts of graduating seniors who have demonstrated a strong commitment to civil liberties and civil rights through student activism.
"It's heartening to know that in a time when our civil liberties are under constant attack, so many young people across the nation are stepping up to defend their rights as students and as Americans," said ACLU Executive Director Anthony D. Romero. "We are pleased to award the ACLU Youth Scholarship to recognize the courage of these young men and women who are future leaders in the fight for civil liberties."
"Angelina Momanyi is a passionate thinker and leader at The Blake School, and is truly committed to effecting change through her pursuit of social justice and equality," said Dean Jim Mahoney of The Blake School. "She is an inspired and inspiring student and educator, and her efforts here and in the larger community have helped us to become a more pluralistic and forward-thinking school. We are proud of Angelina, and we congratulate her for her outstanding accomplishments."
Ms. Momanyi has been instrumental in planning the upcoming youth lobby day for responsible sex education on April 8 at the capitol. The lobby day is sponsored by Minnesota Organization on Adolescent Pregnancy Prevention and Parenting and is expected to draw between 50 - 75 youth.
"We are very excited for Angelina, who is the first scholarship winner from Minnesota," said Executive Director Charles Samuelson. "We are confident that she will make a positive impact on civil liberties in whatever she does in the future."
Below is the highlight of the accomplishments of Ms. Momanyi and a quote from her personal essays.
Angelina Momanyi passionately gives her time to educating her fellow students about their reproductive rights. As a peer educator in the Planned Parenthood of Minneapolis, MN, Angelina trains high school students to be reproductive health educators and provides them with opportunities to teach in area schools, churches, and community centers. Angelina is deeply devoted to expanding reproductive freedoms, volunteering 230 hours during the 2006-07 school year, leading the peer educator council to honor her as "Outstanding Advocate." Angelina participated in the 2007 Minnesota Youth Lobby Day to speak with state representatives about comprehensive sexual education in the public schools. The experience was so meaningful to her that she volunteered to organize the reproductive freedom efforts for the Youth Lobby Day in 2008. Angelina also participates in "Get Out the Vote" efforts at colleges in the Minneapolis area.
"Being a civil liberties activist isn't about the big events for me anymore. It's about the harder conversations I have with someone who doesn't share my views or having the courage to put friendships on the line for my beliefs in what is right."
A complete list of all the winners nationwide can be found here.