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Hatboro-Horsham Junior Recognized for Diversity Efforts

Simal Ali, of Hatboro, is one of 134 students from Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Delaware selected as part of Widener University's third annual high school leadership awards.

Simal Ali, of Hatboro, is one of 134 students from Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Delaware selected as part of Widener University's third annual high school leadership awards. Photo credit: Patch
Simal Ali, of Hatboro, is one of 134 students from Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Delaware selected as part of Widener University's third annual high school leadership awards. Photo credit: Patch

A Hatboro-Horsham High School junior is one of 134 students selected as part of Widener University's third annual high school leadership awards.

Simal Ali, of Hatboro, will be recognized for working to make Hatboro-Horsham a more inclusive place in which diversity of all sorts is appreciated. Ali is also an active member of No Place for Hate, the school's anti-bias club, and founded the new Muslim Student Cultural Association.

The program recognized 134 students from high schools in Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Delaware who demonstrate courage and leadership within their communities, according to a press release issued by the university.

Students were selected for their abilities to stand up for what is right, address a wrong and make a difference in their communities or schools. Among the winners selected, the Widener University High School Leadership Awards recognized students who:

• Coordinated fundraising efforts to benefit a horse farm that provides a day program to adults with developmental disabilities

• Founded a group that promotes safe teen driving and raises awareness about the dangers of distracted driving

• Traveled to Haiti to live with local families and help construct schools for small Haitian towns

• Raised and trained guide dogs to serve the blind

"The turnout of nominations this year was remarkable and the level of civic engagement among the winners is truly inspiring," Widener University President James T. Harris III said in the release. "Our mission at Widener is deeply rooted in service, leadership and community, making this program extremely special to the university. The winners are the next generation of leaders in our area and I look forward to personally meeting all of them at the awards ceremony."

Winners are invited to a celebratory breakfast at the National Constitution Center on March 20, as well as a leadership conference at Widener University in fall 2014. Most notably, winners will receive a scholarship of $20,000 over four years should they enroll at Widener University for undergraduate studies.

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