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RHS Student Wins Humanitarian Award

RHS Student Pearl Davis Receives Prestigious Humanitarian Award

Story by David Brighouse

Photos by David Brighouse and Susana Monteiro

Rahway High School (RHS) junior Pearl Davis just received the Joy Prescott Humanitarian Award for Student Leadership and Dedication, established by Kean University's Holocaust Resource Center and Diversity Council on Global Education and Citizenship. The entire Rahway Public Schools community congratulates her on this prestigious recognition.

According to Kean University, the Joy Prescott Humanitarian Award "was established by the Holocaust Resource Center and Council on Global Education and Citizenship to honor Joy Prescott, a beloved Kean University employee, upon her retirement. Ms. Prescott dedicated more than 30 years of service to students and educators through her passion for diversity training, community building, and Holocaust education." Those nominated for the award "have demonstrated evidence of leadership roles, community involvement, or activism."

Pearl was nominated by RHS ESL teacher and co-advisor of the Multi-Ethnic Cultural Club (MECC) Ms. Monteiro, who advises the club with English teacher and Holocaust educator Ms. Maller. 

Ms. Monteiro, first told us about Pearl’s accomplishment, noting that she "received this award because of what she has done in the past to help others. Last year, she was an ambassador representing the high school at the HOBY (Hugh O'Brian Youth Leadership) seminar. HOBY is an organization that trains tomorrow's young leaders. She is also a part of the Ethiopia Scout Association and has helped train several scouts, volunteers at orphanages, and helps clean up her community. Pearl is a member of MECC and maintains an A in all her classes, including AP."

Pearl Davis

Award winners were announced on Friday, November 19, during a virtual conference at Kean University during Periods 8 and 9 at the high school. Pearl was one of three recipients and the only winner from Rahway.

When we spoke with her, Davis expressed excitement about winning the award and appreciation for Ms. Monteiro for nominating her. At present, she is the co-vice president of MECC and has been involved with the club since her sophomore year. She is also a high school peer leader.

Another major feature of Davis's high school career, which no doubt played a role in the selection committee's decision to present her with this honor, has been her involvement with Holocaust/Genocide education, through programs run by Ms. Maller. Pearl has participated in virtual events involving cross-cultural exchanges with students in Israel, as well as tours and events at the Auschwitz-Birkenau Memorial and Museum in Poland. Additionally, Davis has been very involved with a recent MECC fundraising event, which is attempting to secure the necessary financial means to send a Rwandan student to school.

Pearl wished to thank Ms. Monteiro, Ms. Maller, and "everyone else who has helped me." She noted that receiving the award "was very motivational and made me happy. It's a reminder of why I work so hard."

Again,we congratulate Pearl Davis on receiving this honor, along with her teachers, mentors, family, and friends. The Rahway Public Schools and Rahway community in general are very proud.

Pearl Davis receiving award.