Du Bois Award Winners: Meet Our Remarkable Students

The Du Bois Award is one of the highest honors at Boston Prep, awarded each week to one deserving student in front of the entire school community.  Named after W. E. B. Du Bois, the award recognizes a student who embodies the core virtues of Boston Prep -- courage, compassion, integrity, perseverance, and respect.  The award is an opportunity to highlight students who have shown high levels of academic achievement or growth along with a high level of character development.  In essence, Du Bois Award winners are students who embody the mission of Boston Prep.

Every Boston Prep teacher has the privilege of presenting the Du Bois Award one time each year.  As such, the selection of a student to honor is not taken lightly. Meet our recent Du Bois winners through excerpts of the speeches teachers gave while honoring them in front of the school community.

Anthony Llenas, Grade 7 - Honored by Mr. Dobberfuhl
"He does not go out of his way to garner attention, but he does encourage his peers, take academic risks, and show enthusiasm for learning on a daily basis. He also does not dwell on the past; instead he is focused on moving forward and pushing himself to be the best version of himself."


Stanley Guillaume, Grade 12 - Honored by Ms. Crowley & Ms. Bernhard
"This is a student who in 7th and 8th grade bragged about being the demerit leader of the whole school, even naming himself ‘the Demerit King.’  Faced with repeating 8th grade for a second time, he turned his performance around and got himself into high school. Since then, four years ago, he has become more patient, humble, and communicative. He has been learning how to lead teammates, realizing the importance of leading with actions and not just words. He smiles and greets people with respect, he works hard, and he has his eyes set on his future.   Today’s Du Bois Award winner is living proof that you can be whatever you aspire to be."

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Jailena Almonte, Grade 11 - Honored by Mr. Lester
"As a person, she is humble, sometimes to a fault, and will sacrifice playing time for other teammates. She is always smiling and positive, such as when she sees a rookie player who is struggling in the drills and pulls her aside to work one on one.  She owns her actions, admits when she may have made a mistake, will tell you she shouldn't play for a rule she thinks she broke, even when she actually didn't. She will smile through losses, not because she is happy, but because she knows the team will try harder and do better next time."

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Derrick Obanor, Grade 11 - Honored by Mr. Frier
"This student is by no means a finished product, but rather a work in progress who strives every day to become better than he was the day before.  He shows excellent insight and consistent dedication, always with his hand in the air, waving in excitement to share his ideas. He is enthusiastic and intellectually curious. He always wants to understand. Understand people. Understand concepts in class. Understand the rationale and reasoning behind everything. This will make him into the caring, reasoned, and bright leader that he is working to become."

Jeffrey Berganza, Grade 9 - Honored by Mr. Jefferson & Ms. Tomlinson
The 9th grade mantra Know More, Do Better is what we think about when we think of this student. He never makes the same mistake twice because he takes feedback to heart and works to do better than he did the first time. Even though the road for this student has not been easy, he owns his struggle in a way that is uncommon. Every day that this student steps into the building, he leaves the things that he cannot control outside and gives Boston Prep his best.  He gains more wisdom, kindness, and compassion through his adversity and continues to push forward with a positive attitude despite these obstacles."

Yamilett Lopez, Grade 8 - Honored by Ms. Duran
"She doesn’t take feedback personally.  Instead, she uses feedback as an opportunity to grow.  She might not have the highest marks but is ready to improve because she understands that learning is a process and that to get better, you have to make mistakes.  It is because of this that her peers see her as a role model. When her friends make mistakes or ever doubt themselves, they look to her for advice. It is no wonder that she was voted to be the President of the Middle School’s House of Representatives."

Mohammed Dayib, Grade 10 - Honored by Mr. Ouellette
"Day after day, week after week, month after month, the builder works to create a well-built house, one floor resting on the completion of the others.  Our education, too, functions this way.  We need to learn our multiplication tables to perform well in algebra.  We need to learn the basics of Latin I, so we can comprehend our new material in Latin II.  Today’s Du Bois Award winner is a person who consistently strives to be his best, every class, every day, throughout the entire school year."  

Camilla Bautista, Grade 7 - Honored by Mr. Foran & Ms. Cheney
"In class, this student tries her hardest to get all of her work done quickly and efficiently.  If someone tries to get her off task, she ignores them.  As a result, she gets other students on task.  She always does her homework and classwork to the best of her abilities.  When she makes a mistake, she does not fuss or get upset because she has to do it again; she just does it.  This is true perseverance.  She is also not afraid to ask questions, showing her courage.  When she speaks, she is respectful to students and teachers alike." 

NDRE Thomas, Grade 10 - Honored by Mr. Kapteyn & Ms. Gregory
"When I first met this student, she was in the seventh grade. She had a ghastly attitude and was not ethically motivated. Now, this student is tireless in her effort to succeed. She is a true definition of what it means to be a scholar.  She no longer seeks grades as a measurement for success. She appreciates the value of learning.  She works diligently towards her academic desires.  She gives no excuses.We anticipate the day when she is conflicted about which college to attend due to the many acceptance letters she will receive." 

Alissa Prinston, Grade 7 - Honored by Ms. Dorman & Mr. Black
"While today’s Du Bois winner is talented in many ways, it is not her talent that defines her. This student’s academic achievement is always accompanied by her consistent and conscientious effort. The level of effort this student displays in her academics is not the kind you see all of the time in middle school. Her unique determination for excellence is what leads me to think of this student as ‘hungry.’  She works knowing that the fruits of education are sweet, that one day she will be sitting in 12th grade with so many doors open to her."

Nyanja Haney, Grade 10 - Honored by Ms. Dillmann & Ms. Wright
"Today’s Du Bois recipient decided to be the best version of herself the second she became a student at Boston Prep as a freshmen. However, she came in a bit shy, somewhat unsure of herself, lacking in confidence, trying to figure out who her friends would be, what her interests were, and where she stood academically in her class. Through the uncertainty, there was one constant - hard work.  She doesn’t shy away from a struggle. She is humble and gracious, focused and driven, constantly pursuing excellence."

Kemi Adebagbo, Grade 10 - Honored by Ms. Shiu & Ms. Chen
"This week’s Du Bois award goes to someone who has demonstrated consistency and strong work-ethic year-after year.  This student radiates positive energy both inside and outside the classroom, in both academics and extracurricular activities.  She has a natural leadership, coming from the fact that she has practiced the right behavior and habits so much that she now exudes confidence. The habits of excellence have become part of who she is."