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.”
Our cutting-edge Professional Development Workshops give educators the tools and educational resources they need to succeed. Registration for the first workshop on Saturday, October 21 is now CLOSED. The second workshop, on Saturday, November 18, is still accepting registrations. Learn more and register today.
The National Liberty Museum is proud to launch the inaugural Healthcare Heroes Awards, presented by Teva Pharmaceuticals. This international awards program recognizes inspirational heroes in healthcare research and treatment whose accomplishments have profoundly benefited their patients, their field, and the global community. The program will present an award to an outstanding honoree in four categories. The nomination deadline is November 3. Learn more.
The Foreign Policy Research Institute (FPRI) is dedicated to providing the insights of scholarship on foreign policy and national security challenges facing the United States. The National Liberty Museum is hosting a series of FPRI lectures throughout the fall. The next lecture is on November 7. It is a Templeton Lecture on the role of the Orthodox Church in the conflict in Ukraine. Reservations are required. Learn more.