Thirteen former Colonial Forge students earn National Purpose Award
Thirteen 2020 graduates from Colonial Forge High School earned a National Purpose Award from PR Week for their work on Changing Stafford’s Roads. The students, led by Rebecca Chung, earned the award for Best Student Campaign. The students submitted a video detailing their work on Changing Stafford’s Roads and its impact on creating Helen’s Law.
“We were on a group face time watching the award ceremony as we are now all at different schools,” said Chung. “We were in shock – it was amazing to be recognized and see our video played nationwide. It is inspiring to know that people from a small county can do anything, you can reach people on a national level.” After the untimely death of classmate Helen Wang due to an auto accident in May 2019, these students banded together to create Helen’s Law. The students presented and advocated for legislation beginning with the Board of Supervisors through the Virginia Senate floor in Richmond. Passed on July 1, 2020, the law allows for localities to be in control of mowing overgrown vegetation instead of relying on the Virginia Department of Transportation. Localities in the Commonwealth are now able to use a private contractor to remove overgrown trees that pose a danger to drivers.
“This group of students is a remarkable example of activism, drive, and passion for change,” said Stafford School Superintendent Dr. Scott Kizner. “As teenagers, they represent the positive power of change.”
PRWeek launched the Purpose Awards to recognize activations that use creative ideas to genuinely further positive causes and also acknowledge the organizations and individuals behind them. Other finalists in the Best Student Campaign category were IntegrateNYC: Retire Segregation; PRLab at Boston University: PRoBono 2019; and The Carolina Agency: Count Smiling Faces in Beautiful Places.