On March 11, 2018, Ricardo Avalos, a student attending Centreville High School, received the Student Peace Award for working with students from different backgrounds to help them break out of their shell and become more comfortable.
Ricardo came to the U.S. two years ago. He wanted to make sure that the language barrier would not be a problem when communicating. He decided to make it his mission to have other students feel like they could easily blend in with their fellow classmates. To do so, Ricardo became the first president of our school’s United International Students’ Association. Ricardo also worked with students in English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL). He noticed that immigrant students would be hesitant to talk to American-born students. His solution to this problem was to have the club members do exercises that would help the students communicate better. Students that are not in the club were also invited so that the club members would feel more included.
Regarding the progress of the club and its students, Ricardo said, “They learned that having different points of view need not hurt friendships, so long as people respect one another.” He also included how the club members feel more included, and they can now make friends with ease.
Ricardo is also apart of the LearnServe Fellows Program. This program unites high school students, so they can learn how to improve their community by making some social changes. Ricardo created workshops called “Restoring Our Ancestral Knowledge to Live Our Indigenous Identities Across Borders.” Ricardo also said, “We need leaders passionate about bringing people together and helping one another to make the world a better place to live.” Ricardo demonstrates all the qualities of a good leader working towards change.