Home > Shady Side Academy Senior Wins Princeton Prize in Race Relations

Bookmark and Share

Shady Side Academy Senior Wins Princeton Prize in Race Relations


FOX CHAPEL – Shady Side Academy senior Caroline Benec of Penn Hills has been selected as the regional winner of the 2017 Princeton Prize in Race Relations, awarded by the Princeton Alumni Association of Western Pennsylvania (PAAWP). As a regional winner, Benec will receive a cash prize of $1,000 and an all-expenses-paid weekend trip to a national symposium on race at Princeton University on April 28-29, 2017. She will receive her award and speak at the PAAWP Annual Dinner on Tuesday, April 25, at the Allegheny HYP Club.


The Princeton Prize in Race Relations recognizes and rewards high school students who have had a significant positive effect on race relations in their schools or communities through their volunteer efforts. There are 27 regional committees across the country, each of which chooses one prize winner per year. Learn more athttp://pprize.princeton.edu/.


At Shady Side, Benec has been a member of the Senior School Diversity Leadership Council (DLC) for two years, helping the group to become more active in campus life than ever before. Together with 10 students and two faculty mentors, Benec helped to conceptualize, create and deliver a series of presentations for freshmen and sophomores on cultural identity, micro-aggressions, effective ways to communicate about race, and recognizing the impact of language and seemingly harmless jokes. As a follow-up to the presentations, she helped to lead smaller group workshops on race and identity. She also created and taught a lesson plan to three sophomore health classes on white privilege and being an ally. In addition, she contributed to institutional change by voicing the DLC’s desire for the Academy to establish an administrative position for diversity and inclusion, meeting with the Senior School head and speaking at a meeting of the Board of Trustees’ Community Life Committee. Due in part to her advocacy, the Board approved the creation of a new Director of Equity, Inclusion and Community Relations position at the Academy for 2017-2018.


Benec’s application for the Princeton Prize included a supporting recommendation from Senior School history teacher Pam Boehm, who serves as a faculty advisor to the Diversity Leadership Council.


“I am so thrilled and very humbled to receive this recognition,” said Benec. “I believe that I have contributed to long-term, sustainable change that will trickle down to the everyday interactions and culture of the student body. I believe that this award is also a testament to all of the positive work that the DLC has done in our school's community.”

Other PUM Stories
Gateway Engineers along with past President establish funds to help women engineering students at Pitt
Gateway Engineers along with past President establish funds to...

Read More »

Neighborhood Allies Outlines it's Priority Geographies
Neighborhood Allies Priority Geographies Neighborhood Allies is a...

Read More »

ACLU-PA Files Suit to Block State’s “Silencing Act”
ACLU-PA Files Suit to Block State’s “Silencing Act”...

Read More »

Turnovers kill bid for 7th title -PACKERS 31, STEELERS 25
  Turnovers kill bid for 7th title - PACKERS 31, STEELERS 25...

Read More »


Pittsburgh Urban Media