Fort Bend Independent School District
** FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE **
Kempner High School Student selected as 2012 Bezos Scholar
FORT BEND ISD - Christopher Sabbagh, a junior at Kempner High School, was selected as a 2012 Bezos Scholar by the Bezos Scholars Program @ The Aspen Institute. This prestigious all-expense-paid scholarship brings together 12 of the nation’s top public high school juniors and 12 exceptional educators for a week of exploration, dialogue and debate at the acclaimed Aspen Ideas Festival, which will be held June 26 – July 2.
The Student Scholars are chosen through a rigorous application process that focuses on academic achievement, demonstrated leadership and community engagement. Upon selection of Student Scholars, an educator from each represented school is invited to participate, cultivating a unique leadership development opportunity. Naomi Brown, FBISD Gifted and Talented Mentorship instructor, is the 2012 Educator Scholar who will accompany Sabbagh to the Institute.
In Aspen, Bezos Scholars will connect with visionaries from around the globe – international leaders, thinkers, entrepreneurs and creative artists – and engage in lectures, presentations, debates and discussions that span a vast range of critical topics. This extraordinary leadership development experience is a journey that begins in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado and continues throughout the following school year as Scholars return home with inspiration, tools and resources to launch their own Local Ideas Festivals.
“The power of two is very evident on the Aspen Institute campus – it’s an Educator and Student Scholar team experience,” says Jackie Bezos, president of the Bezos Family Foundation. “When Scholars return home inspired by the Aspen Ideas Festival, they mobilize their community around big ideas in the form of a Local Ideas Festival. It’s about putting education into action – creating a ripple effect that is transformative for schools and communities.”
Following a week at the Aspen Ideas Festival, each team of Student and Educator Scholars will plan a Local Ideas Festival that focuses on a relevant issue in their hometowns. In addition to putting ideas into action that inspired them in Aspen, Scholars will continue to connect with their peers across continents and cultures to deepen the impact of their festivals. During the next school year, Scholar teams apply for $1,000 seed grants to launch sustainable Local Ideas Festivals. The Bezos Family Foundation also provides Continuation Grants to five alumni schools seeking to sustain festivals. The foundation has provided grants to 66 first-time festivals and 35 continuation festivals since the first Local Ideas Festivals were launched in 2006.
Photo: Pictured (from left to right) are: Dr. Anthony Indelicato, principal at Kempner High School; Christopher Sabbagh, 2012 Bezos Scholar; Naomi Brown, GT Mentorship instructor; and Jeannette Spain, Director of Gifted and Talented & Academy Programs.