Mimi Vance returned to her elementary school alma mater to be honored with the first Citizen of the World Award.
Fresh off the heels of her graduation from Girls Preparatory School, Mimi Vance ’17 returned to her elementary school alma mater on Friday, May 26, to be honored with The Bright School’s first Citizen of the World Award.
“Becoming wise and compassionate citizens of the world is part of the educational experience at The Bright School,” according to a news release from the school’s administration. This year, the school honored young alumni with the award “to recognize leadership in service to others” in the broader community.
The Bright School Class of 2017 presented the inaugural award at their 5th grade graduation and honored others who were also nominated, including several GPS alumnae – Alizeh Ahmad ’10, now at Harvard University Divinity School; Meg Austin ’10, a student at University of Tennessee School of Law; and Tia Kemp ’17, who will be a freshman at the University of Southern California in the fall and who served as Senior Class President at GPS.
According to the elementary school, the Citizen of the World Award “recognizes young alumni who are fulfilling the school's mission: The Bright School builds a foundation upon which students become wise and compassionate citizens of the world. Its century of progress fosters the intellectual, artistic, physical, and moral growth of young boys and girls." To be eligible for the award, alumni had to be students in high school, college or graduate school.
After the nominations were received, fifth graders met with their Head of School to discuss the award criteria and review the qualifications of each nominee. “Our class reviewed each nomination during the selection process. We learned through the process that our alumni are doing very exciting and impressive acts of community service,” said fifth grader Alana Zavala during the presentation with classmates Weber Steele and Jenna Naik.
Vance’s nomination read in part: “Long involved in community service, Mimi Vance’s most important contribution has been through the GPS Partnerships in the Community organization which she serves as president. In her junior year, she started an after-school tutoring program at the Glenwood Community Center and organized what is now an annual school-wide community service fair. In the fall, she worked with Mission Remission, a joint project with the McCallie School, to raise over $25,000 a year for local and regional nonprofits working to end childhood cancer.
“In February, Mimi organized the GPS 'Have a Heart - Build a Home' Valentine's Day project, benefiting Habitat for Humanity. By selling roses for a Habitat donation, Mimi and her team provided $15,000 to the Habitat building fund and an additional $3,000 for the Chattanooga Women's Build. She also has volunteered at the Chambliss Children’s Home, and she was appointed the youth advisor on their Board of Directors. She traveled to Ghana to work with young women who were rescued from a sex-trafficking ring. She will work as an intern in Jinja, Uganda, this summer with HEAL Ministries, engaged in sustainability and family preservation programs to empower vulnerable, abandoned women and children.”