Koval receives George Washington’s Mount Vernon Student of the Year Award
For the Gazette
STEVENS POINT – Mount Vernon recently announced The Mount Vernon Prize for Excellence in Civics and History in Honor of Dr. Jennifer London. The prize is awarded to two projects each year recognizing outstanding middle and high school students who apply their understanding of Washington’s life to extend his legacy of public service and scholarship within their classrooms, schools, or communities.
SPASH’s Mariya Koval was named the high school recipient.
Koval is an exchange student from Chernihiv, Ukraine. She wrote a paper on how Washington’s words and his actions in the fight for democracy inspired her to use her own words and actions to help Ukraine’s fight from afar.
She has given presentations, speeches, and fundraisers all centered around helping people understand the importance of democracy in Ukraine and their history of fighting for personal rule, building those connections to the history and ideals of America’s founding.
Mariya was nominated by her teacher, Dan Hoppe.
“I believe that Mariya’s message has spread to our community, the state of Wisconsin, and to the United States, and is reflected in the words of George Washington when he said, ‘A primary object should be the education of our youth in the science of government. In a republic, what species of knowledge can be equally important? And what duty more pressing than communicating it to those who are to be the future guardians of the liberties of the country?’
“Mariya is a true guardian of the liberties of her country, Ukraine, and has urged me and other Americans to see the importance of teaching our youth to be guardians of our liberties for the protection of the United States of America.”
“(Mariya) used George Washington’s legacy as her own call to action and the paper showed how history can have personal influence and impact on our lives today. She made the historical relevancy personal where others tend to make it generic,” said Mount Vernon’s Manager of Student Learning Sadie Troy.
Koval will receive a $5,000 award.
Nominations for the 2023 Mount Vernon Prize for Excellence in Civics and History in Honor of Dr. Jennifer London are now open. Visit www.mountvernon.org/StudentAward to learn more.