On Thursday May 12, four Academy at Charlemont students were among 18 honorees acknowledged by the Franklin County Interfaith Council and Traprock Center for Peace and Justice. The Peacemaker Awards recognize youth in Franklin County engaged in projects that make positive contributions toward justice and peace within their communities and in the wider world.
Nominated by Academy Dean of Students Nora Bates Zale, 9th graders Amelia Chalfant (Conway), Sophia Corwin (Northampton), and Leni Sperry Fromm (Goshen) founded the school’s GSA, a Gender and Sexuality Alliance. The Academy at Charlemont’s GSA provides an official place at school where students can turn for advice and support around issues of sexual and gender identity, and also provides social awareness and activism, connecting all students as mutual allies. Launching the GSA in the spring of their eighth grade year and solidifying it as ninth graders, these girls mobilized students to participate in Northampton’s Pride Parade and they raised funds for a banner to use at this year’s event. Commenting on their impressive character traits and their commitment, Bates Zale says, “They are ensuring a strong foundation for their group that is sure to continue long after they graduate.”
Senior Allen Gabriel of Ashfield was nominated by Richard Pree and Sarah Pirtle (Academy P03) for his work with Citizens’ Climate Lobby. Allen attended an international conference in 2015, helped form a high school caucus, and continues to work in his school and home community to raise awareness for the need for action on climate change. As a magician, he uses his skills to draw attention to climate issues.
Please see this link for The Greenfield Recorder’s coverage of the event. Photo credit: Andy Castillo, Recorder staff