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Zachary Chambers Earns Award

by Randy Pierce

Collinsville High School student Zachary Chambers is one of 60 recipients of an award from the Center for Racial Harmony which was presented to him at the organization’s 30th annual “gathering” program held on Sunday, February 25, in Belleville.

Nominated by teachers and administrators at CHS, Zachary was named for this honor because, they said, he “embodies the value of empathy, respect and understanding.”

Described as one who seeks out opportunities to support and uplift others, regardless of their background, Zachary devotes much time to creating “a sense of belonging for everyone.”

  Factoring into his efforts in accomplishing this, the nomination continued, Zachary has an “ability to listen to different perspectives and engage with students from diverse backgrounds,” thusly making the atmosphere at CHS more welcoming for everyone there.

Through promoting tolerance and understanding, Zachary, school representatives continued, in celebration of diversity, he is widely known and positively thought of on the CHS campus as a result.

In the summer of 2023, Zachary acted as host of the National Student Council Convention held at CHS, putting in many hours organizing and planning the event, bringing different groups from throughout the United States together to take part in workshops and activities that foster harmony.

Concluding the nomination statement were the words citing how Zachary’s “efforts in the classroom, in student council and on the basketball court align perfectly with the spirit of this award.”

The gathering where Zachary was presented with his award has been defined by representatives of the Center for Racial Harmony as “a community event which celebrates the diversity among us and honors outstanding students and community leaders.”

The Center for Racial Harmony, from its office in Belleville, sent nomination forms to schools in the area and received in return the summaries about the students chosen for the awards. Specifically, the honorees recognized have shown outstanding character traits and strength in their actions that have been taken to help one or more of their fellow students or to help solve problems or issues at their schools.

The members of the Center for Racial Harmony describe the group as a “third-party neutral not-for-profit community organization dedicated to making a difference through promoting understanding, cooperation and communication among all races, religious and ethnic groups” by the utilization of community dialogues, training and education, a speakers’ bureau, mediation, youth-to-youth activities and the annual awards gathering.

Supported by contributions from local businesses, organizations and individuals, the Center for Racial Harmony partners with community groups that share similar missions, visions and goals along with sponsoring a variety of youth-oriented programs.

Zachary Chambers

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