San Diego student awarded Princeton Prize in Race Relations
Published - 04/28/17 - 01:09 PM | 2400 views | 0 0 comments | 27 27 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Yulvi Reyes
Yulvi Reyes
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The Princeton Prize in Race Relations Committee of San Diego recently announced the winner of its annual award, Yulvi Reyes, a senior at San Diego High School of International Studies. 

Three other local students, Erika Gutierrez, Olia Javidi, and Leslie Martinez, have been recognized with a Certificate of Accomplishment for their efforts.

All students will be honored in a ceremony beginning at 2 p.m. on May 7 at the San Diego Yacht Club. Kristina Medina, program officer at the Joan B. Kroc School of Peace Studies, will be the keynote speaker. 

In 2015, San Diego became the 25th region to grant the award, which is given to high school students across the country who have advanced the cause of positive race relations in their schools or communities. The winner in each region receives a cash award of $1,000 and is invited to Princeton University’s campus for an all-expense paid trip to attend the Princeton Prize Symposium on Race in April. This 2 1⁄2 day event includes conversations and workshops on race relations with other regional winners, local high school students, Princeton students, alumni and faculty. 

Yulvi created workshops in the city of Tijuana specifically designed for young people who are at risk of being exploited through human trafficking. Through the workshops, Haitian refugees of all ages-but mostly young people-benefited from the activities. The diverse set of workshops evolved around emphasizing their importance as individuals and boosting their self-esteem.

Yulvi networked around both cities, San Diego and Tijuana, and spread the word about her project. After creating a website, numerous emails, Facebook posts, flyers, and videos, she was able to get the help of a lot of people, especially other students. 

 In addition to being the founder of the organization, Yulvi oversaw collecting and delivering basic goods for the refugees down to Tijuana, Mexico. When crossing to Tijuana, she was stopped by Mexican officials as there are limits as to what you can take into the country of Mexico.

She had to create relationships with officials and directly approach Mexican government offices to ask for possible solutions. She was also in charge of executing the workshops and getting everything together for them. It took her about a month to plan the workshops after receiving numerous revisions and advice from an executive director of a non-profit and other teachers

The Princeton Prize in Race Relations Committee of San Diego believes Yulvi's involvement with the refugees in Tijuana promotes and improves race relations. We are all amazed with the work this young woman has been able to accomplish with her organization.

The Princeton Prize in Race Relations is an annual awards program for high school students sponsored by Princeton University. It was established to recognize, support, and encourage the young people of our country who have demonstrated a commitment to advancing the cause of positive race relations. Information about the program is at www.princeton.edu/pprize.
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