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State Honoree

Kevin Koo

New Hampshire

Kevin Koo, 17, of Nashua, N.H., a senior at Nashua Senior High School, founded “Citizens of the World” (COW), a cultural awareness advocacy organization designed to build diversity appreciation through a variety of school programs and service projects. “I knew that my school needed some kind of awareness organization due to a growing minority student population and increasing tensions between ethnic groups, especially after the September 11 tragedies,” Kevin said. After obtaining permission from school officials, Kevin recruited teen volunteers and started planning events to educate the public and benefit needy people around the world. “Service is the hallmark of the organization,” he said. COW volunteers produced a school Festival of Cultures, encouraging students and community members to share their cultural heritage through art, dance, and music. Profits from the festival helped establish a permanent flag collection to represent the nationalities of everyone attending Nashua Senior High. Other activities include efforts to establish cultural media collections in school libraries and a book drive to benefit Taiwanese schools devastated by a 1999 earthquake. Locally, COW sponsored an anti-drug rally, a remembrance assembly honoring victims of 9/11, and formed the Diversity Education Alliance (a coalition of students working for gender and racial harmony).