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DB Students Win MLK Youth Social Justice Awards - Online news
By Darren Fishell

January 17, 2011

DB Students Win MLK Youth Social Justice Award
Gabriella Momah and Rachel Scott, both seniors at Diamond Bar High School, were among seven recipients of the Martin Luther King Jr. Youth Social Justice Award at a ceremony Sunday night.

Diamond Bar High School seniors Gabriella Momah and Rachel Scott hope to continue the legacy of Martin Luther King Jr. into their college years and beyond.  Both students were awarded the the Martin Luther King Jr. Youth Social Justice Award on Sunday night by the Pomona Inland Valley Martin Luther King Jr. Project at the Pilgrim Congregational Church in Pomona. 

The award, along with a monetary prize, is given to young people ages 15-19 who have "made a difference in their communities, neighborhoods and schools" and who have "demonstrated, by their daily actions, that the spirit of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. is alive."

Momah, who is at the top of her class at DBHS, said her work as the president of the Best Buddies club at Diamond Bar High School relates to King's vision of equality for all.

"Best Buddies helps people with educational disabilities," Momah said, "and I feel like I am fighting for the dream because I am fighting for social equality on all levels and not just skin color."
Momah said she plans to use some of the award money to help start a non-profit organization to benefit Nigeria's poor.

"I feel it is my obligation to help because since my parents moved out here and made a better life for me and my sister, it's my job to give back after college," Momah said. She will be attending Stanford University in the fall.

Scott, who is DBHS's student body vice president and vice president of the Black Student Union, said she hopes to give back to the generations before her through her work. She aspires to be a broadcast journalist and motivational speaker.

Rachel's mother, Gigi Scott, said it is an honor for her daughter to receive the award on the weekend of King's birthday and that she is pleased to see King's spirit is still alive and strong. "I saw it die in the 90s," Gigi said, "you just didn't see it as much and now the spirit is coming back alive again and I just love it."

Gabriella's mother, Arinola Lawson, said her daughter did not inform her that she won the award until two days before the ceremony.

"I was really surprised," Lawson said.

At home, Lawson said she and her husband try to instill King's spirit and hope in their children.

Martin Luther King Jr. Project president Gayle Claiborne said that both student's leadership showed in their applications.

"This is what we need and what Martin Luther King was talking about," Claiborne said. "These will be the leaders of tomorrow."

Seven students in total were presented with the award on Sunday night.

The mission of the Martin Luther King Jr. Project is to commemorate the life and work of Dr. martin Luther King Jr. and empower the community, families, and youth to promote social justice, unity, and outstanding service.


Gabriella Momah accepts her award from Pomona Inland Valley MLK Jr. Project treasurer Primo Castro.

Rachel Scott (center) accepts her MLK Jr. Youth Social Justice Award. Photos by:
Darren Fishell, Diamond Bar Patch.