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The Mount Vernon Prize for Excellence in Civics and History in Honor of Dr. Jennifer London will be awarded to two projects each year recognizing outstanding middle and high school students who apply their understanding of Washington’s life to extend his legacy of public service and scholarship within their classrooms, schools, or communities. 

This award allows us to do something entirely new. It positions us to hear from students about why they think Washington’s biography is important and relevant to their lives today.

On September 17, 2021, Mount Vernon was pleased to announce the inaugural award recipients.

2021 High School Winner - Eden Fisher

Eden is a high school student from Nevada High School in Nevada, Missouri. Inspired by Washington’s dedication to public service, Eden spent her much of her junior and senior years advocating for educational reform within her state legislature. She testified on behalf of two different bills submitted to the House Committee of Elementary and Secondary Education that will benefit student physical and mental health all across her state. One bill was to change education for teachers regarding stress management so they can identify and assist struggling students while another bill was to require education for students regarding the dangers of vaping. 

Eden touched on so many great facets of Washington’s legacy, including numerous times he stepped out of his comfort zone and took risks to make changes that he believed in. We here at Mount Vernon are so happy that George Washington was able to inspire her ability to take risks to improve her community, and we know that work will continue his legacy and inspire many students to take their own risks for the service of others.

2021 Middle School Winner - Sepehr Agah

Sepehr is being honored for an essay he wrote as an 8th grader, entitled Washington's Farewell Address: The Letter that Shaped the Nation. Through his paper and research, Sepehr was not only able to share information about Washington’s impact on our country, but also extend Washington’s legacy of supporting classroom education.

Through his paper, Sepehr demonstrated multiple connections between Washington’s words and the inspiration they provided many presidents that followed him. We at Mount Vernon were inspired by how he showed Washington’s influence on the different generations throughout the two centuries after his death, and how his guiding words still ring true today. We know his analysis will continue to inspire other students to look to Washington’s words as models and guidance when facing their own decisions in life.