Students from Conard and Hall, as well as town supporters, were honored Monday at the Hello! West Hartford Fifth Year in ‘Revue’ Celebration.
A wonderful celebration was held at West Hartford Town Hall Monday night with hundreds of people embracing culture through dance, song, delicacies and artifacts. This annual event lets the grand diversity of West Hartford shine through a welcoming celebration.
Two high school students were honored with the Karen L. List Global Ambassador Award for showing how they promote and embrace the West Hartford global community through service, action or demonstration. The award is named in honor of Dr. Karen List who was instrumental in West Hartford’s enormous strides toward awareness, inclusiveness and celebration of our diverse community. Hello! West Hartford recognizes the future depends on students continuing to welcome other cultures and embrace the global community we live in. Two students both exemplify what the ideal we strive for and help make our town so wonderful.
Madeleine Olsen, honoree from Hall High School said she believes, “The more understanding people have of one another, the less people will fear each other.” Through her work as a school Model UN president for three years, and finally a Model UN officer for the World Affairs Council of Connecticut (WACCT), she tries to engage in changing the world not by violence, by but peace, negotiation, and understanding of one another. Madeline plans on going as a youth delegate to the PCUSA General Assembly Convention for the Presbyterian Church this summer. She hopes to make a difference in the lives of many as she discusses unconscious prejudices and how in understanding of differences, it creates diverse lives that take steps toward understanding each other.
Romaine Sassou of Conard High School is the Conard Multicultural Club President. She believes that West Hartford’s biggest cultural asset is the West Hartford School system, but she wishes there were more chances for students to learn or to share their cultures and their backgrounds. She says, “The diversity of the students is like a painting without a story. When I look around my classroom, I see the diversity but I don’t know my classmates backgrounds or cultures.” It is important to learn about others cultures and backgrounds in order to embrace it.
In honor of the five year anniversary, three individuals were recognized for five years of continued support of Hello! West Hartford in celebrating diversity in our town.
Scott Slifka, Mayor of West Hartford, shares the Hello! mission on the webpage and has supported Hello! in various ways throughout town, even relaying his own family’s immigration story and also inviting us onto his WHCTV show.
Andrey Kaplun of Delicacy Market has supported Hello! West Hartford from the start. He created a video on Russia, went on the Mayor’s show with us and been a sponsor for the Hello! booth at Celebrate West Hartford.
Lena Tan from East Culture Arts was honored for her tireless participation in many West Hartford vents. Lena and her troupe have marched in the Park Road parade, Lena presented her story at the Noah Webster House and danced in the streets of West Hartford with Mardi Gras.
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