NEW ORLEANS, LA - The National World War II Museum has named Kent Place School senior Sophie Schmitz a 2020 Billy Michal Student Leadership Award recipient. The honor is bestowed on one student from each state who has maintained a strong record of volunteerism, demonstrates school and community activism, and helps implement creative solutions to recognized problems.

Schmitz, from New Vernon, will be recognized at the museum’s American Spirit Awards event.

“It’s extremely gratifying to recognize students throughout the nation for the wonderful contributions they make to their local communities,” said Stephen J. Watson, president and CEO of the National WWII Museum. “Our student honorees prove that their positive actions, no matter how big or small, can make a difference. We’re proud to honor their accomplishments.”

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Schmitz is an active member of the Kent Place School community. While in Middle School, she founded the division’s Mock Trial team and has participated ever since. This year, as captain, she led the Upper School team to its first-ever County win. In addition, Schmitz is a member of the four-time State Champion Ethics Bowl team and, along with her sister, won an award for their National History Day research project at last year’s competition. She is also a member of Junior State of America (JSA), which brought her to Washington, D.C., this year to participate in the annual convention to learn more about laws and government. 

Committed to community service, both off-campus and on. Schmitz volunteers with Bridges Outreach and chairs the 'International Day of the Girl' Committee, whose aim is to raise awareness for girls education. Day to day, she helps students with their writing assignments and at on-campus events such as the Morning of Fun and Games, Literacy Night, and Math Nights.