Louisville, Kentucky High School Senior is Among 12 Winners of ACLU College Scholarship for Youth Activism

Affiliate: ACLU of Kentucky
May 23, 2001 12:00 am

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LOUISVILLE, KY – – The American Civil Liberties Union of Kentucky today announced that Jamie Snow of Ballard High School is one of 12 seniors nationwide to be awarded a $4,000 college scholarship in recognition of her exceptional contributions to the struggle to defend civil liberties.

Kentucky. “As a young leader, Jamie is already shaping the future of Kentucky, and we are honored that we can play a part in helping her continue her education.”

Jamie has confronted and overcome obstacles in establishing herself as a youth leader and in furthering civil liberties. She views each obstacle as an opportunity to teach others.

While earning top grades at her school, Jamie served on her school’s Student Council every year, participated in B’nai Brith youth organization throughout high school, and demonstrated leadership skills throughout various youth organizations. With all that is on her plate, Jamie still makes time to volunteer for community service projects like Habitat for Humanity and tutoring programs for autistic children.

“It is our duty, as citizens, to ensure that the individual rights guaranteed in the Constitution and the Bill of Rights are protected,” said Jamie, who will be attending Indiana University in the Fall. “”We must advocate, educate and fight for our rights.””

Jamie began her career as a youth activist when she was in the fifth grade. She noticed that the custodial staff at her school always asked the boys in her class for help moving large objects. Although many of the girls in her class volunteered to help, none of them were ever selected. With the help of her father, Jamie started a petition. Eventually Jamie presented her position with the backing of signatures to the principal and secured the right for the girls in class to be treated fairly.

Jamie’s inspiration to stand up for what she believes in has not dwindled since her first petition drive. Through her many extracurricular activities, Jamie has found ways in which to educate others about civil rights and every day injustices.

As a participant in Kentucky Youth Club — a youth-led mock government club — Jamie has worked to end the secular devotionals that were given at the opening of the club’s assemblies. Being Jewish, Jamie felt excluded by the Christian-oriented devotion to Jesus. She politely raised this issue with the speaker and pointed out that Kentucky Youth Club is associated with the local public school system.

“”Our Constitution guards against government endorsement of religion,”” said Jamie. “”I felt that this was an excellent opportunity to educate people that Christianity is only one of many religions in this country.””

Jamie’s willingness to educate the speaker made an impact. The remainder of the devotions were about having mutual respect for others and their beliefs.

In addition to Ms. Snow, this year’s other recipients hail from California, Florida, Illinois, Maine, Michigan, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Oklahoma, and Tennessee.

Many of the students selected stood up for the rights of their peers by challenging the injustices inflicted upon them by school officials; created an ACLU chapter at their school; or interned at the ACLU affiliate office in their state. In 2000, the first year of the program, the ACLU awarded scholarships to eight high school seniors.

“”The ACLU’s College Scholarship for Youth Activism Award gives us an opportunity to recognize the courage of students like Ms. Brown and the example they set for their peers,”” said Nadine Strossen, President of the National ACLU. “”It truly is an honor to be able to provide these intelligent, resourceful and committed young people with support for their education.””

To learn about the other winners, please visit our web feature at http://archive.aclu.org/features/f052301a.html.

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