Junior Docent Elijah Washington Wins Milly Kibrick Youth Service Award

Hudson River Museum Junior Docent Elijah Washington, senior at Riverside High School in Yonkers, was awarded the Milly Kibrick Youth Service Award from the Westchester County Youth Board on October 17. The Milly Kibrick Youth Service Awards are given in memory of Milly Kibrick, a prominent county social worker and youth activist who dedicated her life to helping underprivileged children. Elijah was one of 10 graduating seniors from Westchester to win this award, given to those who actively demonstrate leadership in community service, particularly in community empowerment, STEM fields, and innovative thinking. Three of these 10 students, in addition to a teacher who was also honored, were from Yonkers Public Schools.

Araya Henry, Manager of Youth and Family Programs and leader of the Junior Docent Program, said about Elijah, “I truly admire Elijah’s professionalism, charisma, and intellect. He is one of the most responsible members of our team. He never hesitates to be a leader and as a member of the Junior Docent Advisory Board, of which he is Co-Chair, he plans and implements programs and events on behalf of all Junior Docents. Over three years as a JD he has dedicated over 350 hours as a volunteer, yet still takes time to offer advice and mentor younger members of the program.”

Elijah joined the Museum’s Junior Docent program as a freshman in 2014. Nominated for his leadership and engagement in various organizations on a local and national level, Elijah is Chair of Mayor Mike Spano’s Youth Advisory Council and founded Youth Giving Back, a club which fosters community involvement in youth. Elijah also participates in Annual Yonkers Childhood Hunger Summit, the Bully-Free Zone Club, and the Youth Philanthropy Leadership Team. In January, 2017 Elijah won a Martin Luther King Jr. Legacy Youth Award from the African American Men of Westchester (AAMW) and this summer traveled to Spain on a full Global Navigator scholarship from the Council on International Educational Exchange.

To meet an urgent need for after-school activities for teens, the Hudson River Museum began working with the Yonkers Public School District to launch the Museum’s Junior Docent Program in 1995. The program trains students to provide hands-on programs and tours for Museum visitors, and Junior Docents train each week with curators, artists, scientists, historians and other experts to further leadership and college readiness skills. Nearly 80 high school students, representing every high school in Yonkers, participate in the program and 100% of the students that have completed this program have been accepted into college. The JD Program has graduated over 400 young adults, who have gone on to colleges and universities including: Yale, Columbia, NYU, Brown, Cornell, Howard, Fordham, NY Institute of Technology, Marist, Pace, Mercy, Manhattan, City College, SUNY Binghamton, SUNY Albany, and SUNY Stony Brook.