Senior Michael Wattendorf was recently recognized as one of the 24 regional recipients of the Princeton Prize in Race Relations in the Washington, D.C. metropolitan region. The award is granted to those who have had a significant and positive effect on the racial relations within their schools and community.
In the application for the award, Wattendorf detailed in his essay the experiences he has gone through at Jefferson’s Black Student Union (BSU) as well as starting TJinspire with the club.
Wattendorf and the members of BSU established TJinspire an outreach program where members of the club act as mentors to 4th and 5th grade students at elementary schools with high minority populations.
“I guess knowing the middle school I came from doesn’t get many students in [TJ], and also has a high minority population has always been frustrating to me. That’s what inspired me to start this program,” Wattendorf said.
Not only will he be receiving prize money of $1,000 but also an invitation to take part in the Princeton Prize Symposium on Race in late April where winners from every major city gather to give brief speeches on their projects.