Christopher Butcher is a senior at the Academies at Englewood in Englewood, N.J. Chris serves as the president of both the Black Student Union of Englewood and the NAACP Youth and College Division in Englewood. According to Chris, "the campus of Dwight Morrow and the Academies at Englewood is undoubtedly one of the most diverse in Bergen County, however, the diversity of the school often masks the institutionalized and interpersonal racism that permeates throughout its campus." The blatant dichotomy between the two academic programs based at Dwight Morrow, the Academies and the comprehensive program, has continued to influence campus culture since the inception of the Academies in 2008. Chris has organized meetings with the Board of Education to discuss the implementation of policies and practices to unify both campuses and foster a more inclusive learning environment. He also hosts educational workshops to educate his campus on a multitude of racial justice issues. As president of the BSU, Chris is a mentor, tutor, college consultant and listening ear to all BSU members. He is currently working on implementing an African American Studies Course into the curriculum and is partnering with Students Demand Action Bergen County to run an implicit bias training on campus. As the president of the NAACP Youth and College Division, Chris helped provide Christmas gifts to children with incarcerated parents to reduce the psychological trauma of an absent parent, helped supply over 200 children with school supplies for the 2020-21 school year, and gave away Covid-19 supplies (500 reusable masks, 1000 n95 masks, 80 packs of antibacterial wipes and 80 bottles of hand sanitizer) to those in need in his community. He also serves as the co-president of a school spirit club in which he assisted in the desegregation of an event that once only included Academy students. Chris puts a tremendous amount of effort into improving the conditions of his school and community on a daily basis. He stays motivated to do so because of his innate desire to "establish a network of success and support" which he hopes will invigorate the youth of Englewood to improve the circumstances they were born into.
2021 - NEW JERSEY (NORTHERN NJ REGION)