March 19, 2012 — Coral Gables — Two University of Miami School of Education graduate students from the Community and Social Change Master’s program were honored by the MCCJ (founded as the Miami Coalition of Christians and Jews) as humanitarians who have contributed to programs that will serve their communities.
Joseph Zolobczuk is the first recipient of the MCCJ Silver Medallion Student Award established for an outstanding and deserving student for his work with the YES Institute, an organization that prevents suicide and ensures the healthy development of all youth through communication and education on gender and orientation.
Zolobczuck, who graduates in May, was recognized as a new young humanitarian who promises to be a leader in social change. He has served as director of education for the YES Institute for the past 15 years, promoting productive dialogue where people are divided by conflicting opinions and fears.
Lauren Book received a certificate in Recognition of Excellence in Community Leadership. Book, a victim of sexual abuse as a child, created an organization called Lauren’s Kids to raise awareness about sexual abuse. Her group educates adults and children about sexual abuse topics through an in-school curriculum, a 24-hour crisis hotline, and speaking engagements around the United States.
This was the first time the MCCJ created a special Silver Medallion for an outstanding and deserving student in the graduate program of Community and Social Change. The award provided an opportunity to honor a new young humanitarian expected to become one of the inclusive leaders the organization values.
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