Brooklyn Center High School traveled in some lofty circles last week, sharing a spotlight for community service and volunteerism with the likes of a U.S. Supreme Court justice, the owner of two big league sports franchises and others.
The school was one of 103 recipients of this year's Jefferson Awards, and was represented by three students at a dinner in Washington, D.C., for its efforts in the Students in Action category.
Students in Action is a program in which student leadership teams are created at a school with the goal of getting others involved and expanding volunteer activities in the community. This was the first year for the program in Minnesota, although more than 300 schools are involved nationwide.
Brooklyn Center was the Minnesota Recipient for Outstanding Service by a High School, one of 13 schools from different regions that were honored. A school from Illinois was the national award winner.
Representing Brooklyn Center in Washington were students Larsa Yang, Funttine Xiong and Fuechi Vang.
Among the efforts undertaken at the school during the 2010-11 year was a project on water health. The leadership team taught fellow students about the importance of water to human health, said Tom Basquill, regional director for the Jefferson Awards. Students also did presentations to the community and are working toward replacing some of the water fountains at the school.
There were 18 winners of national Jefferson Awards, including Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg, Chicago White Sox and Chicago Bulls owner Jerry Reinsdorf, and Brittany and Robbie Bergquist, the brother and sister co-founders of Cell Phones for Soldiers.