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.

2017.11.20 Naia Walter (Calderon, Ferreras, & Jefferson).jpg

Naia Walter, Grade 9 - Honored by Mr. Calderon, Ms. Ferreras, and Mr. Jefferson
"This is a scholar that when experiencing adversity, instead of giving up, perseveres toward academic as well as personal success. Teachers have reported that when frustrated and fatigued with challenges, this student pushes through not just with hard work but with the will to practice in order to master whatever skill she put her mind to. Because she has learned the valuable lesson early on that practice does make perfect. And even when presented with a seemingly endless workload, this leader demonstrates poise and simply tells herself, ‘Time to figure this out.’"

2017.11.17 Ayana Montalvo (Fontes & Kaplan).jpg

Ayanna Montalvo, Grade 8 - Honored by Ms. Fontes & Mr. Kaplan
"This student is a silent leader – never boisterous about doing the right thing, never bragging about her grades; rather she is humble, gracious, and curious in class. Her effort is top notch – always going beyond the requirement that was stated, always meeting deadlines, and always bringing positivity into our classroom."

2017.12.04 Lamar Hamilton (Shuman & Canto).jpg

Lamar Hamilton, Grade 11 - Honored by Ms. Shuman & Mr. Canto
"I love having this student in my classroom because of all the little things he chooses to do right. He chooses to ask questions when he doesn’t understand instead of sitting there and doing nothing. He chooses to ask those questions with patience and respect. He chooses to be calm and collected when he has reason to be upset and frustrated. He chooses to smile and work rather than complain. He faces challenges with grace and poise. At the time, all of those little decisions may seem insignificant. But they are not. Those are the decisions that lead to good grades, Du Bois Awards, cowbells, and later on, college degrees and job promotions. Those little decisions make us all who we are."

2017.12.11 Keyanna Bernard (Martin, Golafaie, & Peterson).jpg

Keyanna Bernard, Grade 6 - Honored by Ms. Golafaie, Mr. Martin, & Mr. Peterson
"One of the soccer coaches from this past season described this student as ‘a super positive person who is never down.  Whenever she messes up, she always responds with, ‘I’ll try harder next time.’ She is always driven to do better and is very coachable. The amount of effort put in this past season was definitely beneficial because her skills improved as the season progressed. She is very self-motivated and has true leadership qualities.’"

2018.01.08 Beshanna Vernet (Allen & O'Dell).jpg

Beshanna Vernet, Grade 7 - Honored by Ms. O'Dell & Mr. Allen
"She always goes out of her way to say hi in the halls and give a big smile.  But… don’t let the smile fool you.  When she gets work in front of her, she’s all business -- getting right to work; stopping every so often to check and see what’s going on around her; sharing insight on how to solve a problem; or asking questions that can help to clear up her own misconceptions, as well as those of her classmates."

2018.01.29 Amaka Kamalu (Lopez & Henry).jpg

Amaka Kamalu, Grade 7 - Honored by Ms. Lopez & Mr. Henry
"When I think about this week’s W.E.B. Du Bois Award winner, I think about a student that is a humble leader in the classroom. I also think of what makes her stand out among her peers. I’ll start by saying she has never been sent to the dean’s office. Already, I have separated her among many.  I didn’t learn her name until maybe 3 months after I started working because she had never been in the dean’s office.  Last year, as a new student to Boston Prep, she ended the year with a 95 GPA.  She currently still has a 95 GPA.  She doesn’t fail to make her presence known, especially in the classroom environment. Her relentless participation has demonstrated both patience and perseverance."

2018.02.15 Karla Rivas (Looney & Onwunaka).jpg

Karla Rivas, Grade 6 - Honored by Mr. Looney & Ms. Onwunaka
"A meek and gentle spirit they are
Always seeking for better, no matter how near or far
A soul that keeps on going and developing, being molded and shaped
No matter how brutally others behave
It is the strength in their heart to stand up for what’s right
It is the might in their hands to know and not be without sight"