A New York City high school senior has won a very prestigious award from Princeton University. Ayisha McHugh, from Poly Prep graduating class of 2012, won the Princeton Prize in Race Relations for her community service work in starting an organization that enables students to safely discuss race, gender, identity, and diversity issues. Her organization is called Listen, Educate, Approach, Different, or L.E.A.D.
As a winner of the prize, McHugh will participate in the “Princeton Prize in Race Relations Symposium” from April 26-28, which will be held at Princeton University.
The Princeton Prize was started in 2003 by Princeton University’s Alumni Association. The association honors high school students in 24 cities and regions. This year, McHugh is the only student in New York City to win the prize. She is the vice president of Poly Prep’s Upper School Student government.
McHugh started L.E.A.D. in October 2011, which gives students at Poly Prep a forum for discussing difficult issues related to race and identity. She calls it a “dynamic conversation.” Her stipulations for students were to speak in an “I” posture, listen to others, be open-minded, and “remember that L.E.A.D. offers a safe place for honest, confidential discussion.”
McHugh considers L.E.A.D. her official legacy at Poly Prep and feels that it has made her a better leader and left the school a better place.
Congratulations to Ms. McHugh and Poly Prep!