SOMERVILLE, NJ - Seven students at Immaculata High School have been honored with Paul Robeson Youth Achievement Awards, which were established in 1990 at Raritan Valley Community College.
The awards honor outstanding high-achieving African-American students in the areas of scholarship, athletics, the arts and community service.
The National Council of Negro Women and RVCC initiated the Paul Robeson Youth Achievement Awards program to pay tribute to the outstanding attainments of students in Somerset and Hunterdon counties.
The awards are named in honor of Paul Robeson, a Princeton native who grew up in Somerville and graduated from Somerville High School and Rutgers University. Robeson was a world class athlete who went on to become an acclaimed Broadway actor, singer, lawyer and civil rights activist.
Robeson’s father was the minister at St. Thomas A.M.E. Zion Church on Davenport Street.
The awards, sponsored by the Paul Robeson Institute for Ethics, Leadership and Social Justice at RVCC, are given in four areas in which Robeson excelled: scholarship, the arts, community service and athletics.
Other honors include special “Renaissance Awards” given to students who excel in a number of disciplines, and the Paul Robeson Literary Award.
Immaculata award winners include: Xavier Powell, who received the prestigious Renaissance Award for excellence in: academics, the arts, community service, and athletics; Shahkyle Matthews, who received the award for athletic excellence, and Brian Santana, who received the Community Service award.
Others honored include Pelton Esannason, Jaden Honis, Austin Ralph-Charriez, and John Williams, who were recognized for excellence in academics and athletics.
The main campus of Raritan Valley Community College is located in Branchburg.