82 students honored during 39th Human Relations Student Awards Banquet

Nikeya Dargon, a student at Carver High School, accepts her award during the 39th annual Human Relations Student Awards Banquet on Thursday, Feb. 28.

82 students honored during 39th Human Relations Student Awards Banquet
March 07
00:00 2019

For nearly 40 years the city’s Human Relations Department has partnered with the Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools system to host the Human Relations Student Awards Banquet and this year the event was bigger than ever.

The banquet, held annually at the Embassy Suites hotel, is designed to honor students who exemplify positive human relations in their dealing with others on such issues as race, religion, and cultural differences. This years event honored 82 students from every school in the district and several private schools as well.

While speaking with The Chronicle before the start of the banquet on Thursday, Feb. 28, Wanda Allen-Abraha, director of the city’s human relations department, said she was excited to have the opportunity to continue the tradition of honoring young people in our community who are sometimes overlooked because they don’t play sports or get straight “As”.

“We are really excited to be able to continue to focus on students who don’t always get recognized and that don’t always get rewarded, but they are salt-of-the-earth-cream-of-the-crop students who do excellent things for the community,” continued Allen-Abraha. “…They do things for the elderly, they helped victims of the hurricanes, they do things for other students who are bullied. One child even learned sign language to be able to communicate with a child who was deaf in her classroom.

“Those are the type of kids we’re celebrating today. So its always exciting and an honor to be able to do this every year.”

While enjoying dinner, the student honorees and their more than 600  guests listened to the keynote address delivered by Alfreda Smith, the principal at Northwest Middle School and the 2018 Principal of the Year.

Mayor Allen Joines was also on hand to thank the honorees for their willingness to help others and make Winston-Salem a better place for everyone. He also presented Allen-Abraha with a proclamation marking the event and the work the Human Relations Department does to bring students together.

“…I want to offer my sincere congratulations to each and every one of you. Thank you for what you’re doing not only in your school, but in our community as well,” said Joines. “It’s been said before, but we are here tonight honoring students that exemplify good human relation skills. Reaching out to others wheather it be on race issues, cultural issues or whatever it might be to say we can work together, go to school together and have a very meaningful life together.”

After dinner and the keynote address, the students made their way across the stage to receive their awards. With giant smiles each student accepted their awards as they were congratulated by several community leaders including Interim Superintendent Dr. Kenneth Simington, and Police Chief Catrina Thompson.

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Tevin Stinson

Tevin Stinson

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