Simone Gibson, a senior at Friends’ Central School, was named the Pennsylvania recipient of the $10,000 AXA Achievementsm Scholarship. One of just 41 exceptional students from around the United States to receive this award, Gibson will use this scholarship to attend the college of her choice in the fall. As a part of Gibson’s scholarship, Friends’ Central will also receive a $1,000 grant to be used for Professional Development activities in honor of its ongoing dedication to Gibson and to the local community.
Simone has worked tirelessly to promote issues of diversity at Friends’ Central and in the greater community. Each fall for the last two years, Simone planned and led the “Different Voices, Same Vision” Diversity Conference, bringing hundreds of students, faculty, staff, and administrators from local public, private, and parochial schools together to discuss topics in race relations and inspire people to take action and advocate for change in their schools and communities.
About receiving the AXA Achievementsm Scholarship, Gibson says, “I’m very excited to win this award. It opens up so many more opportunities for schools I’m able to attend the next four years. The scholarship awarded to me by AXA has given me even more motivation to keep the “Different Voices, Same Vision” Diversity Conference going, and to develop elementary and college-level courses that will empower even more voices.”
In order to receive the AXA Achievementsm Scholarship, students must possess the qualities of “ambition and drive, determination to set and reach goals, respect for self, family, and community, and ability to succeed in college,” per AXA. Through her leadership in the diversity conference, and as President of the Black Student Forum (BSF), President of the Students for Diversity, and member of World Affairs Council and Model United Nations at Friends’ Central, Simone has embodied these qualities and what it means to be a leader. Upper School Principal Art Hall shares, “Simone’s dedication and hard work are a testament to her talents as a student. The Friends’ Central community is proud of the scholarship she has earned and plans is to use the AXA grant to bolster the FCS diversity conference that is held each fall. It gives me tremendous joy to know that Simone’s legacy will continue to flourish at FCS even as she explores new horizons.”
Gibson shares, “I want to thank AXA for this opportunity given to me and to the other recipients. It is greatly appreciated.”