Five Brooklyn high school students are spending their summer vacation making a difference in the fight against racism, bigotry and discrimination. They are among 15 student peer trainers chosen to participate in the Anti-Defamation League’s (ADL) A World Of Difference® Institute Summer Internship Program.
The five students — Bilal Alsubai, a 17 year-old Arab-American student from the School for International Studies; Monique Kerina Patterson, a 16 year-old born in St. Thomas, Jamaica and student Canarsie High School; Ashley Williams, a 16 year-old starting her junior year at Canarsie High School; Jennifer Vasquez, a 16 year-old Brooklynite born to parents from Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic, respectively; and Darren McBean, who attends Canarsie High School — were selected from a large pool of participants in the League’s Peer Training Program.
A World Of Difference® is an initiative that empowers students to work with their peers in standing up to hatred, prejudice and bigotry. “These students excelled as peer trainers after demonstrating strong leadership qualities and an ability to identify with their fellow students,” said Joel J. Levy, ADL New York regional director. “Building on the skills they developed as peer trainers, these capable teens are elevating their sights to positively impact their communities and everyone around them. They have dedicated their summers to that cause.”
For seven weeks, the interns take on various responsibilities throughout ADL. Once a week, they attend career building workshops and leadership seminars. In the fall, interns join other teens from around the country in our nation’s capital to share their experiences as peer leaders. In Washington, DC they attend a seminar at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum where they learn to apply the lessons of the Holocaust to today’s issues of prejudice and hate.