Princeton Prize expands to 19 locations

Oct. 25, 2006 12:19 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 19 locations.

The program now will be offered in the greater metropolitan areas of Baltimore, Cincinnati, Dallas, Memphis, Nashville and Seattle, as well as in three areas of New Jersey: Princeton; the northwestern part of the state; and Essex and Hudson counties. These locations are in addition to last year's metropolitan areas of Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Houston, Los Angeles, Miami, Philadelphia, San Francisco, St. Louis and Washington, D.C. The program, created by alumni volunteers and sponsored by the University's Alumni Association, was launched in 2003 with two locations.

"The success of the first three 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 19 localities 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. While the Princeton Prize program is principally a volunteer, alumni-driven effort, we could not have achieved success without the full-fledged support of Princeton University."

Students can apply until Jan. 31, 2007, for prizes that will be awarded in the 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 Princeton Prize enjoyed a very successful year this past year," said Margaret Miller, director of the Alumni Association. "The students who applied for the prize were exceptional and really helped to reinforce the efforts of the dedicated group of alumni who work so hard to identify and reward these young people. We look forward to this year's applicants and seeing the kinds of meaningful ways they are contributing to their communities."

The awards program was developed and is administered by the Princeton Prize Committee, which consists of University alumni, administrators and students. The first-place honor for each location's winner is $1,000. In addition, award certificates will be given to projects that are worthy of honorable mention.

Last year's winners completed a variety of exceptional projects. One student, for example, saw a need for foreign language instruction among the elementary age students she tutored. She conceptualized, planned the curriculum and secured funding for a Spanish language program called "Viva Español."

Another student, serving as president of his school's diversity club, implemented an "Embracing Diversity Week" at his school, while yet another student started "Theater Against Violence," which encouraged students to act out their differences through theater rather than through violence. In addition, to help immigrant families in her community, a student organized a group of high school students to provide childcare so that their parents could attend a community program that would help them deal with the challenges and opportunities facing their children in 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 and submit a complete entry form. 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. All students submit their applications to the University's Alumni Association, which then submits them to the appropriate regional committee for review. Applications, which must be postmarked by Jan. 31, 2007, are available online at <>. Winners will be announced in spring 2007.

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.