Moorestown Friends School senior Adam Mohsen-Breen has been awarded a certificate of accomplishment for the Princeton Prize in Race Relations, a national awards program that recognizes students whose efforts have had a significant positive impact on race relations in their communities.
Adam’s entry to the program highlighted three children’s books he authored about Islam in order to challenge Muslim stereotypes and discourage bullying: Grandfather’s Promise, Laila and Gabe, and Tarek’s Lesson. Each book addresses a different type of bullying against Muslims and stresses community responsibility. As a Muslim, and the son of a Cuban father and an Egyptian mother, Adam saw a need for picture books that would make children think critically about religion and race.
“I think what inspired me to write the books was seeing how members of my family and community have been targets of bullying, solely because they were Muslim,” said Adam. “Another thing that motivated me to write them was the almost exclusively negative portrayal of Muslims in the news. I wanted to use my books as a way to raise awareness for problems facing the Muslim community, and to get kids to connect with Muslims on a personal level.”
This was the first time a Moorestown Friends School student applied for the Princeton Prize.
Adam will be attending Harvard University this fall. He has played varsity tennis at Moorestown Friends for four years, and his doubles play contributed to the team’s NJSIAA Non-Public B South title last season.
The Princeton Prize in Race Relations was established by Princeton University in 2003 identify and commend high school students who are working to increase understanding and mutual respect among all races. The competition is managed by a national board consisting primarily of Princeton alumni, as well as university professors and undergraduate students.
Adam and his family are invited to a reception held in honor of the award winners on Tuesday, April 15 on Princeton’s campus.
In the News
Muslim Moorestown Friends School Student Honored, Courier-Post, April 2, 2015
Moorestown Teen Gets Kudos for Race-Relations Work, Courier-Post, March 31, 2015