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New Rochelle Student Scholar, Educator Attend Aspen Ideas Festival

New Rochelle student Ava Acevedo and teacher Camille Edwards-Thomas were two of 30 Bezos Scholars. Photo Credit: Bezos Scholars
Learn about the Bezos Scholars Program from Scholars themselves!
Learn about the Bezos Scholars Program from Scholars themselves! Video Credit: Bezos Scholars

NEW ROCHELLE, N.Y. - A student-teacher combination representing New Rochelle arrives in Aspen this week to join top high school scholars from around the country for a renowned “ideas festival.”

This week, student Ana Acevedo and New Rochelle High School House II Principal Camille Edwards-Thomas joined 22 of the nation’s top high school juniors and educators as well as six members of the African Leadership Academy in South Africa at the annual Ideas Festival hosted through the Bezos Scholars Program.

Each year, a total of 30 Bezos Scholars are selected to participate in the program, where they attend panels, participate in leadership training programs and enjoy meet-and-greets with famed Festival speakers. Previous attendees include Supreme Court justice Sandra Day O’Connor, Katie Couric and violinist Joshua Bell.

“We are thrilled to welcome another exceptional group of leaders into the BSP,” Bezos Family Foundation Youth Leadership Manager Nicole Hanson said. “This diverse group brings a rich array of experiences, passions and ideas to a program known for catalyzing big ideas.”

At the leadership development program, Acevedo and Edwards-Thomas will learn the skills needed to organize their own community change programs - also known as Local Ideas Festivals (LIFs) in the scholars program - that will benefit the entire community.

Before being accepted into the program, Acevedo was required to demonstrate a depth of ideas about creating positive changes in the community, showcasing leadership potential and an ambition to contribute solutions for pressing social challenges in the world.

According to Hanson, “scholars choose the theme of their LIF based on the intersection of their passion and a true community need.” Since its founding more than a decade ago, upwards of 40,000 people have attended LIFs in the country.

“The passion and creativity of these scholars is matched only by their dedication to making the world a better place,” she added. “We can’t wait to see how the conversations they share inspire them to explore opportunities to make positive change in their own communities.”

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