The ceremony kicked off with a spectacular red carpet welcome for the students, who were accompanied by their family members and their adult sponsors who guided them throughout the contest.
As the students entered the Museum, former Pennsylvania Senator Harris Wofford rang the NLM Liberty Bell to start the ceremony. Senator Wofford was an original Selma marcher and adviser to Martin Luther King, Jr.
NLM CEO Gwen Borowsky then welcomed the Girard College Cavalier Band & Choir (directed by former Teacher as Hero winner, Paul Eaton). The students set an inspirational tone for the day with their moving rendition of “Glory.” Next, guests watched special remarks from SELMA actor David Oyelowo and director Ava DuVernay.
The ceremony was hosted by KYW news reporter Cherri Gregg, who welcomed Senator Wofford to speak about his experience in Selma, as well as his work with Dr. King. Senator Wofford went on to tell the students what an inspiration they are: “Mr. Armas, Mr. Lehmann, and Miss White-Thorpe, you have used your voices to speak about individual freedom and self-determination in a way that would have made Dr. King proud.”
Cherri Gregg explained to the audience that while the students knew they were in the top three, none of them knew what place they had actually won. Ms. Gregg then invited each student to the stage, where they shared their inspiration and gave their speeches. Before making the big announcement, the students were surprised with recorded messages of support and congratulations from their schools. Then, it was finally time to learn who would be taking home the grand prize of $5,000. Edan Armas was named the third place winner, and then came the biggest surprise of the day – Gwen Borowsky announced that Evan and Ifeoma tied for first place! Each student scored identically to one hundredth of a point!
After each student received their prize, Deputy City Representative Elka Battle read a proclamation from Mayor Nutter proclaiming April 21, 2015 “Voices of Liberty Day.”
The National Liberty Museum features many exhibits specifically relating to our nation’s leaders, including a collection of original White House China, a Medals of Honor Exhibit, and several beautiful oil paintings. We're offering discounted admission on Saturday and Sunday, Feb. 18 & 19, and Pay-What-You-Wish on Presidents' Day Monday, February 20. Click here for more information.
Indie Lens Pop-Up is a neighborhood series that brings people together for FREE film screenings and community-driven conversations. Four films are scheduled for the coming months. After each FREE screening, we will host a thought-provoking panel discussion. Learn more and RSVP Today!
The National Liberty Museum co-sponsors and hosts a series of lectures on important foreign policy issues. Click here to learn about the upcoming event on March 14.
Nominations for our 2017 Teacher as Hero Awards sponsored by State Farm are now open. TEN awards will be presented in THREE categories of achievement. Learn more and submit your nomination today!
Nominations for our 2017 TD Bank Young Heroes Award are now open. Each year, we look for young people who have championed liberty through civic engagement, resolving conflicts respectfully, promoting diversity, and demonstrating leadership in their school or community. Learn more and submit your nomination today!
NLM's Professional Development Workshops feature expert presenters who offer a fresh perspective on successful teaching practices. The upcoming workshop is “Understanding and Supporting Anxious Students.” It is a full-day, 15 Act 48 hour course to be held on Saturday, March 4, from 9am – 3:30pm at the Museum. Click here to learn more.
Join the NLM on an arts-filled tour of parts of Wisconsin, Sept. 6-11, 2017. From Milwaukee’s art museums, to private collections, to a stop in beautiful Door County, which juts directly into Lake Michigan, you’ll follow host Arlene Silvers for a one-of-a-kind experience. Click here for more information.