ADL National Youth Leadership Mission Allows High School Juniors to Dive into the Past, Connect it to Today and Plan for the Future

  • January 9, 2018


Ten high school juniors from Colorado were selected to be The Gerald M. Quiat Delegates to ADL’s 20th Annual Grosfeld Family National Youth Leadership Mission to Washington, D.C.   The students embarked on a journey with ADL to apply lessons learned from the Holocaust to their own lives and lead the fight against bigotry and hate in their respective communities. These ten student delegates joined over 75 other diverse students from around the country. The Colorado delegates were selected for their leadership qualities and demonstration of interest in issues of diversity and willingness to bring back lessons to their schools.

The Colorado students pictured in the photo above are:

Top row, L-R: Madison Hebrink, Rampart High School; Micaela Rodriguez, Alameda International Junior/Senior High School; Julia Pham, Westminster High School; Middle row, L-R: Emma Mason, East High School; Eliseo Vigil-Miller, West Early College-High School; Henry Waldstreicher, George Washington High School; Justin Kellum, Rampart High School; Donald Arredondo-Reyes, West Early College-High School; Chan Chintaluru, Rampart High School; Front row: Allyah Marlett, Grandview High School.

The centerpiece of the mission was an impactful visit to the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum. Students not only learned about the past, but applied the lessons learned to their present by engaging in in-depth discussions about how they can play a part in fighting prejudice. Over the course of their time in Washington, D.C., the delegates heard from several notable speaker, including Irene Weiss, a Holocaust survivor; Eugenie Mukeshimana, a Rwandan Genocide survivor; Lorella Praeli, Director of Immigration Policy and Campaigns for ACLU; and Michael Lieberman, Director of ADL’s Civil Rights Policy Planning Center.

Upon their return, the Gerald M. Quiat Delegates shared their personal and profound reflections about their experience on the mission before a full room of friends, family, ADL Board members and staff. The students created poems, spoken word flows, paintings, drawings, conducted interviews, created videos and one student even wrote and performed an original song in order to share the impact of their personal journeys.

Thanks to the generosity of the Quiat Family, this powerful program continues to be a life-changing experience for many students in the Mountain States Region. It provides a chance for these Colorado student leaders to connect with others students from around country that are committed to leading their peers and communities in imagining and creating a world without hate.

“It is critically important not only to equip young people with the ability to understand issues of bias, bigotry and racism, but to empower them to respond to them,” said Scott L. Levin, ADL Mountain States Regional Director. “Today, and over the years, students have become inspired to effect change in their own schools and communities upon returning from the trip. The mission gets them thinking about responding hate in a positive way. We are so grateful to the Quiat family for sponsoring our region’s outstanding delegates to the youth leadership mission so that a new generation of students can carry on ADL’s mission.”