Olympia High School senior Ella Sherin has been awarded the prestigious Princeton Prize in Race Relations. The honor, sponsored by Princeton University, recognizes high school students who have undertaken significant efforts to advance racial equity in their schools or communities.
Ella is one of only 29 recipients chosen for the honor nationwide, and she represents the Seattle/Portland Region. She will receive a $1,000 cash award and is invited to participate this spring in a Symposium on Race. During the virtual symposium, Ella will have the opportunity to meet and learn from other Princeton Prize recipients from across the country engaged in racial justice work.
Shortly after arriving in Olympia from neighboring Lacey two years ago, Ella arranged a meeting with Principal Matt Grant to talk about expanding opportunities for Native students. She also invited other regional Native education leaders, including her former school district's Native student program specialist.
Not long after that meeting, Ella founded an after-school student group, "Olympia Native Students Union." The group provides a space for Native students to gather for up to two hours once a week.