CHICAGO (May 2018) A school leader, teacher, and student from across the country have been named winners of the 2018 Robert F. Kennedy Urban Education Awards, announced by Schools That Can (STC) in partnership with Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights.
The 2018 awards honor a school leader, teacher, and student who demonstrate courage and commitment to freedom, decency, and justice. Finalists were nominated by peers and chosen as exemplars of the following quote by Robert F. Kennedy from his Day of Affirmation speech:
“Few will have the greatness to bend history; but each of us can work to change a small portion of events, and in the total of all those acts will be written the history of this generation.”
2018 Awardees were announced May 2nd during Schools That Can’s National Forum: Reimagining Education Through Real-World Learning. Awards were presented by Chris Kennedy.
Schools That Can is pleased to congratulate the following honorees on their outstanding dedication and work:
Richard Clark, School Leader RFK Award Winner, of Saint Martin de Porres High School in Cleveland, OH. Clark has been nominated for an RFK Award multiple times thanks to his enduring commitment to his school. Of winning the 2018 award just ahead of his retirement, says: “The RFK Urban Education Award means a lot to me. I grew up in the 50’s and 60’s and found myself working in urban Cleveland for the last 15 years, learning and working, with students of very modest means. To be referred to as a “ripple of hope” is humbling and inspiring at the same time. The spirit of RFK lives in our fight for equality and freedom for all of America’s people.”
Sylesha Brewer, Teacher RFK Award Winner, of LEARN-Campbell Campus in Chicago, IL. Brewer notes that winning an RFK Award isn’t just important to her–it represents something for her students. “Winning the RFK Award has brought a sense of pride and hope to the community I serve. It sits in the classroom not only as a reminder to me, but to my students that hard work pays off,” she says. “It is a reminder that every individual has a voice no matter their age. Most importantly, it proves that we have the power to change the world around us when we work as one.”
Jacquelyn Hernandez, a 12th grader at MESA Charter High School in New York, NY. “Jacky” is a leader of her school’s social justice advocacy club (JAMS), and has organized opportunities to create positive change both big and small. Jacky coordinated her school’s participation in the March For Our Lives, as well as donation drives and walks to raise awareness to the issue of teen dating violence.
All of the Awardees pose for a picture with Chris Kennedy and Casey Lamb (Schools That Can)
About Schools That Can
Schools That Can (STC) started with just a few schools from different sectors (charter, district, independent) and has grown into the country’s largest cross-sector network of urban schools serving low-income communities. The network currently reaches more than 180 schools across 15 cities, serving more than 70,000 students. STC works with students, teachers, and school leaders from its network to reimagine education through real-world learning that closes the opportunity and skills gap. Innovative approaches fill a much-needed void to better prepare students for a rapidly changing future. By connecting leaders to powerful practices and models, developing teachers and engaging students, STC is poised to make an important difference in the lives of American urban youth.