A member of KOSD’s First Generation youth group, Eh De Gray, was given the Latino Youth Council’s Innovation Award. The Innovation award recognizes youth who have overcome difficult situations in their lives by making positive changes and by exhibiting strength and determination in the face of adversity. A few months ago, KOSD received the following announcement from the Latino Youth Council:
“We are pleased to announce that Eh De Gray will be receiving the 2013 City Heights Innovation Award and Scholarship. The award ceremony will be held at the XI Annual Cinco de Mayo con Orgullo Festival on May 3rd, 2013 at the Urban Village Park located on 3795 Fairmount Ave., San Diego, CA from 5:00pm to 5:30pm.”
The Karen Youth of San Diego Club (KYSDC) at Crawford High School has continued to be successful thanks to De Gray’s leadership. Originally formed in 2010, the group elected De Gray as president in 2012. Now, over 35 students are part of the club, whose mission is “to improve the quality of life for Karen youths, in terms of getting involved in the community.” De Gray’s leadership of the Karen Youth of San Diego Club at Crawford since his election as president inspired his nomination. He is a phenomenal young man and displays integrity in the choices he makes as the group’s leader.
After arriving in the U.S. as a refugee in 2010, he has demonstrated commitment to the Karen community in San Diego through his encouragement of fellow newcomer students. He makes a conscious effort to keep KYSDC on track by leading weekly club meetings, and helps organize the group’s service, fundraising, and awareness-building activities. Adjusting to a new culture is difficult in and of itself; however, leading a group of peers in efforts to make a difference in an unfamiliar culture presents an entirely new set of challenges for newcomers, which De Gray has met head-on.