Princeton Prize expanded to 10 cities

Oct. 26, 2005, 1:35 p.m.

The Princeton Prize in Race Relations, an awards program for high school students who are doing exceptional work in their schools or communities to advance the cause of race relations, has expanded to include 10 cities.

After a very successful second year, the program will now be offered in Los Angeles, Philadelphia, Miami, Chicago and San Francisco, in addition to last year's cities of Atlanta, Boston, St Louis, Houston and Washington, D.C. The program was created by alumni volunteers and is sponsored by Princeton University's Alumni Council.

"The success of the first two years of the Princeton Prize has been most gratifying," said Henry Von Kohorn, chair of the Princeton Prize Committee and a 1966 graduate of the University. This year's expansion to a total of 10 cities puts us well on the way to achieving our ultimate objective -- a Prize program to which any high school age student in the country can apply."

Applications are being accepted through January for prizes that will be awarded this spring. The objective of the program is not only to award student initiative with cash prizes, but also to support and encourage young people who are working hard to foster respect and understanding among people of different backgrounds.

"The expansion of the Princeton Prize to 10 cities across the country shows what a remarkable alumni body we have." said Margaret Miller, director of the Alumni Council. "These are people who are devoted to making sure that the efforts of high school students who make meaningful contributions to their communities in the area of race relations get recognized and rewarded."

The awards program was developed and is administered by the Princeton Prize Committee, which consists of University alumni, administrators and students. Project entries will be eligible for various prizes, including cash awards. The first-place honor for each city’s winner is $1,000.

Outstanding projects submitted by high school students last year included: the formation of a 500-member organization that has been credited with helping to reduce gang activity and with increasing the number of Hispanic students involved in athletics, community service and literacy programs; a "Student Speak Out Assembly" to raise awareness of racial and ethnic discrimination in one student's effort to eliminate prejudice and hate; and a political group that was formed for the 2004 presidential election that redirected its energy to focus on a diversity campaign to bring together members of the school and the local community.

Students enrolled in grades 9 through 12 are eligible to participate in the awards program. Applicants must have been engaged in their volunteer project in the past 12 months.

The application has two parts, one for the student and another to be completed by an adult supporter (who is not related to the candidate) such as a teacher, guidance counselor, religious leader or neighbor. Applications are available online at Applications must be postmarked by Jan. 31, 2006. Winners will be announced in spring 2006.

Princeton is strongly committed to advancing the cause of race relations on its campus. Among other efforts in recent years, Princeton has increased the diversity of its faculty, staff, and student body; significantly enhanced its strengths in the field of African-American Studies; adopted the most progressive undergraduate financial aid program in the country; and launched a program of "sustained dialogue" on the subject of race relations among students, faculty, and staff. With the Princeton Prize, the University intends to reach beyond its own campus to recognize the efforts of America’s next generation of leaders.