Becoming wise and compassionate citizens of the world is part of the educational experience at The Bright School. This year, the school is honoring young alumni for the first time with an award to recognize leadership in service to others.

The Class of 2017 presented the inaugural Citizen of the World Award today at graduation to Mimi Vance ’10, who graduated from Girls Preparatory School last week and served as president of the school’s Partnerships in the Community organization.

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 must be current students in high school, college or graduate school. Winning alumni demonstrate leadership in service to others in the broader community. 

After the nominations were received, fifth graders met with Head of School O.J. Morgan 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.” 

The other nominees were: 

Alizeh Ahmad ’03, Harvard University Divinity School
Meg Austin ’03, University of Tennessee School of Law
Sultan Humayun ’11, McCallie
A.J. Johnson ’10, Baylor
Tia Kemp ’10, GPS
Allen Liu ’11, McCallie
Grace McKenney ’11, Baylor 
Robert Treadway III ’11, McCallie
Ben Workinger ’10, Baylor