Michael Wattendorf

2012 - Washington D.C.

Michael worked tirelessly to raise awareness on diversity and race relations at Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology, one of the nation’s most selective public high schools, where black and Hispanic students make up less than four percent of the student population. He was the first white student to serve as president of the Black Student Union. He also created TJ Inspire, a countywide mentoring program to encourage Fairfax County African American elementary school students to pursue careers in math and science. His efforts sparked action on race and diversity issues among a more broad range of TJ students, and the Black Student Union saw increased diversity among its members as a result of Michael's groundbreaking leadership.