Two Belfast high school seniors receive Peace Activist Awards

May 23, 2014

Two outstanding graduating Seniors from Belfast Area High School, Emma Moesswilde and Ethan Merrifield, will receive Waldo County Peace Activist Awards for 2014. Each will receive an award of $2,000.

Emma Moesswilde's last four years have been packed with travel, performing arts, and volunteer, service and religious activities. She spent a year in Germany as a Rotary Club exchange student, performed in numerous plays, sang in a swing chorus and in a number of choirs, served as a peer leader, was on the student senate and Science Olympiad, is a member of the National Honor Society and traveled to Guatemala and New Orleans for community service projects sponsored by the Unitarian Universalist church. You'd think she'd be tired, but she isn't; she faces the challenges to come with infectious enthusiasm. Emma will be attending Bowdoin College in the fall. She has not decided on a major, but plans to explore her interests in gender studies, environmental issues and international relations.

Ethan Merrifield served for four years on Belfast Area High School's civil rights team, serving as treasurer for a year, and then as president. He also served as a peer leader. This experience brought him profound insights into effective communication, and the importance of respect for every person's human dignity. Ethan is a quietly self-possessed young man, who finds a key to building a more peaceful world in providing each person with space in which to discover identity, values and passions. In the fall, he will enter St. Thomas University in New Brunswick, where he plans to study international relations.

Both of this year's Peace Activist scholars have a strong interest in travel, foreign languages and international relations. Both served on Belfast Area High School's Liberian Education Fund, which helps high-school age students to attend school in that country. Each stressed how valuable it had been for them to encounter other cultures and begin to master other languages.

The Waldo County Peace Activist Award was founded in 2005 by David Demere, a well-loved local activist for peace, who wanted to offer a counterpoint to the military scholarships that are prominently awarded every year. David passed away in 2010 after a long struggle with cancer. At that point the Belfast Area Friends Meeting took over administration of the award. This year's candidates were interviewed by a committee of local residents from the Friends Meeting and the Unitarian Universalist congregation, Interested community members are invited to participate and to donate to the Award fund. Donations to the Waldo County Peace Activist Award are tax deductible. For more information or to donate please contact Leslie Umans at 74 Church Street, Belfast, Maine, 04915.

Comments (1)
Posted by: Roxanna Morse | May 23, 2014 16:24

Ethan was one of the last students I encountered this afternoon, the Friday of Memorial Day weekend.  He was putting up posters for the formation of a Lacrosse Club, even though he graduates in two weeks.  Emma is so brilliant, she lights up a room.  This award is an excellent recognition of their achievements and their potential.



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