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10/24/2013 10:57:00 AM
SMA clubs honored for service
St. Mary's Academy photo
Julia McCarthy, Clare Collins, Kylie Morana and Monet Tyler.
St. Mary's Academy photo
Julia McCarthy, Clare Collins, Kylie Morana and Monet Tyler.

In recognition of commitment to service and social justice, St. Mary's Academy's Poverty Awareness Day Committee and Human Rights Club will receive 2013 Harold Schnitzer Spirit of Unity Awards. A $500 grant will be split between the two groups.

"Poverty Awareness Day and the Human Rights Club are extraordinary efforts by young women responding actively to suffering and injustice," said St. Mary's Academy religion teachers Maria Fleming and Daniel Hemmen.

Student representatives from the two groups will accept  the honor as part of a summit on peace education at held in West Linn on Oct. 9. As part of the event, students will have the opportunity to meet Silvia Kofler, senior diplomat at the European Union Delegation. The European Union won the 2012 Nobel Peace Prize.

"Before I came to St. Mary's Academy, I didn't really know a lot about poverty," says senior Julia McCarthy of Lake Oswego, co-chair of this year's committee along with Monet Tyler. "Or rather, I didn't realize how important it is to learn about poverty right in our own community."

Human Rights Club members plan to use their portion of the $500 grant to host a dance on Valentine's Day 2014 as part of the global One Billion Rising for Justice movement, aimed at raising awareness about and ultimately ending violence against women.

"This award will allow us to spread the word of female empowerment to many other kids our age," said junior Clare Collins of Cornelius, who leads the club along with fellow junior Kylie Morana, a Northeast Portland resident.

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