In June 2023, graduating seniors Adaora Ugwueze, a global and regional studies major, and Alina Guyon, an international studies major with a minor in French, were selected for the flagship Jackson School Leadership Award, which comes with a $5,000 prize. The award, annually given during the Jackson School Spring Convocation ceremony, goes to a graduating student who has demonstrated outstanding skills in leadership, scholarship, and service.
In announcing the award, Jackson School Director Hoffman said they each distinguished themselves not only by maintaining an excellent academic record, but also by setting an example for fellow students through involvement in projects that help community and inspire peers.
With this annual honor, which began in 1986, the recipients also give a speech during Convocation. Ugwueze, who has received annual and quarterly Dean’s List recognition and whose support lower-income families and those who are marginalized has included as a legislative intern for the non-profit The Washington Bus and as a marketer for TeamChild and the East African Community Center, among others, told her fellow students:
“In your work and everyday lives, take a moment to see those who are unseen, and engage in purposeful seeing, even if it’s something as mundane as speaking up for the quiet person at your job. We all have the tools to see others who are unseen, so turn your gaze and see the unseen.”
She plans to attend the University of Washington’s School of Law this fall with the intention of practicing international environmental law.
Guyon, who has received a University of Washington Presidential Scholarship for her service to marginalized communities, among other awards, founded Libraries for All, an organization that send books to a place where children lacked access to education. To date, Libraries for All has sent over 20,000 books and opened libraries in India, Uganda, Zimbabwe, and Seattle, Washington.
“I believe that we can create impactful changes by uplifting people and the world around us,” said Guyon encouraged the crowd. “And while sometimes those changes start small, they still lead to influential and effective solutions.”