By Jeff Harris
The Bezos Scholars Program @ the Aspen Institute is proud to introduce the 2013 Bezos Scholars. This leadership development program—a collaboration between the Aspen Institute and the Bezos Family Foundation—brings together 12 of the nation’s top public high school juniors and 12 exceptional educators. For the third consecutive year, in the spirit of global citizenship and collective action, the Bezos Scholars Program will include five outstanding students and an educator from the African Leadership Academy in South Africa.
Above photo is of 2012 Bezos Scholars.
The scholars will engage in lectures, plenary sessions, debates, and discussions around critical issues. They will share meals and Scholars-only roundtable discussions with leaders previously known only in headlines. Past Scholars have met with retired Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor, Admiral Mike Mullen, musician Moby and New York Times columnist David Brooks, among many others. Scholars will also spend time each day in leadership training sessions that prepare them for the challenge ahead: replicating the spirit of the Aspen Ideas Festival in their own backyards—and beyond—by creating sustainable, Local Ideas Festivals.
"The Aspen Ideas Festival is electrifying. Young people and educators are uniquely poised to act upon what they learn there," says Jackie Bezos, president of the Bezos Family Foundation. "Bezos Scholar Teams return home to co-create Local Ideas Festivals that transform schools and communities across the US and South Africa."
Since 2005, Bezos Scholars have launched more than 100 Local Ideas Festivals across the US and in South Africa to tackle a range of issues—from encouraging civic engagement, to fighting poverty, to increasing digital literacy, to highlighting the importance of the DREAM Act and more.
2013 Bezos Scholars
- Anna Katz and Educator Lauren Keener, Shaker Heights High School, Shaker Heights, OH
- Carlos Flores and Educator Nico Loeff, Whittier High School, Whittier, CA
- Courtney Hauck and Educator Jill O’Neill, International School of Beaverton, Beaverton, OR
- Damani Eubanks and Educator Lisza Morton, Charles Herbert Flowers High School, Mitchellville, MD
- Eleanor Fadely and Educator Pattie Sloan, West Salem High School, Salem, OR
- Elizabeth Chung and Educator Janice Morton, Cleveland High School, Seattle, WA
- Jessica Garda and Educator Lisa Hartman, Benjamin Franklin High School, New Orleans, LA
- Joseph Dobson and Educator Corey Alderdice, Arkansas School for Mathematics, Sciences, and the Arts, Hot Springs, AR
- Marshal Landrum and Educator Kathryn Kahn, Como Park Senior High School, St. Paul, MN
- Montita Sowapark and Educator Stefanie Gross, Boca Raton High School, Boca Raton, FL
- Natali Espitia and Educator Elyse Catoe, Atascocita High School, Humble, TX
- Oscar Lee and Educator Adam Gold, Highland Park High School, Highland Park, NJ
Bezos Scholars from the African Leadership Academy
- Gift Pola Kiti, Kenya
- Ntemena Kapula, Zambia
- Omolemo Josephine Matloga, Nigeria
- Oumar Ba, Senegal
- Solomon Nii Martey, Ghana
- Educator Scholar, Josh Adler, South Africa