NEW ROCHELLE, N.Y. -- The New Rochelle School District and New Rochelle High School have announced that senior Ana Acevedo and teacher Camille Edwards-Thomas have been selected to the 2016 Bezos Scholars Program.
Founded by the Bezos Family Foundation in 2005, the BSP selects 30 top high school students and exceptional educators each year from across the U.S. and the African Leadership Academy to participate in a year-long leadership development program -- including an all-expenses-paid trip to the Aspen Ideas Festival.
After attending the Festival, the scholars return home to organize their own community change programs, known as Local Ideas Festivals, or LIFs.
"The week I spent in Aspen provided me with new views on difficult topics, a wonderful network of inspiring individuals, and 'big ideas,' so I feel extremely fortunate to have been part of it all," Acevedo said.
Scholars choose the theme of their LIF based on the intersection of their passion and a community need. Previous festivals have been organized around juvenile justice, STEAM education and civic engagement, and have drawn nearly 40,000 attendees since the program's inception.
"We are thrilled to welcome another exceptional group of young leaders into BSP," said Nicole Hanson, youth leadership manager at the Bezos Family Foundation. "This year we had an incredibly diverse applicant pool, with nearly every state represented. Students were selected based on their academic rigor, intellectual curiosity and demonstrated commitment to change."