Newark, NJ – On August 10, 2018, The Gem Project, Inc. announced their inaugural Gem Project Fellows award recipient of $1,000.00, which was to be given this year to any graduating high school student or current college student who exemplified what it means to lead a life of service, while maintaining scholarly excellence.
On the forefront of social change, The Gem Project awards candidates who are passionate about public service, social justice and equity. Preference is given to those who have plans to continue service beyond graduation working in (but not limited) to fields like social work, public service, education, youth development, and criminal justice.
Asada Rashidi,17, is a graduate of Bard Early College High School and entering Spelman College as a second semester sophomore this year. Ranking #5 of her graduating class, Rashidi has left a lasting impression on the City of Newark, which extends beyond her scholarly achievements. Volunteering at local hospitals as early as age 14, Rashidi grew a passion to better understand issues within her community, while simultaneously getting involved in direct service work. Soon after that she worked alongside Commercial District Services to learn about the economic issues, which plagued her town. Rashidi was often seen cleaning the streets, while encouraging her peers to get involved and do the same. Through a religious-based organization Muslim Teens Connect where Rashidi is a member, she has continued to immerse herself in service from providing assistance to the homeless and organizing community clean-ups in her neighborhood.
Our interim Board Chair Mr. Hicks had the following comments to say regarding Asada Rashidi’s application, “Overall, I am very impressed with Asada’s essay. She demonstrates clear examples of community service and the role she has played toward advancing her goals. It’s clear she has what it takes to be a very strong leader. ” Our Board secretary Ms. Spann noted, “Asada is committed to excellence in her academics, whose investment in her community’s economic, social, and spiritual well-being is evident in her extracurricular activities and academic pursuits. I find her level of maturity and discipline admirable.”
We could not be more proud of Asada Rashidi and wish her continued success as she embarks on a new journey at Spelman College!