Grade 11 student Hannah Watkins encourages eco-friendly changes in the Abu Dhabi community
19 May 2019, Abu Dhabi: During a ceremony at the American Community School of Abu Dhabi (ACS), Grade 11 student Hannah Watkins became the second recipient of the Haitham Zamzam Al Hammadi Medal of International Friendship, named in honor of 2002 ACS graduate and Board Trustee, the late Haitham Zamzam Al Hammadi.
During his young career, Haitham Zamzam Al Hammadi served his country with great skill, modesty and commitment. His strengths lay in his interest and ability to form productive and long-term friendships – locally, regionally and internationally – with people, entities and other governments.
Based on the school's core values of Curiosity, Courage, Compassion and Integrity, this Medal is awarded annually to one Junior ACS student for their contribution related to productive and positive global citizenry.
“I am very proud and honored to have someone winning an award in the name of Haitham,” said Dr. Abdullah Zamzam, Haitham's father who spoke at the ceremony. “This Medal, which recognizes young students who build bridges of dialogue and understanding, means so much to our family.”
2019 recipient Hannah Watkins has been an ACS student since KG1 and describes herself as “eco-friendly-obsessed”. In her winning essay, she wrote that she has “been sculpted by the values ACS holds. I owe the framework of my identity to this school.”
She goes on to state, “For all the years I spent in the care of the school's community, I was shown that I could make change. I believe that a difference can only be made if you do something different; if you go beyond what is simply provided to you.”
“This Medal is an outward recognition that our student International Friendship ambassador is truly living the values that have embodied who we are since 1972,” said Monique Flickinger, ACS Superintendent.
“This program builds on ACS' central belief that participation, collaboration and respect help build compassionate communities. And equally, it strives to develop young, global leaders, empowering them to shape their future.”
To be considered for the International Friendship Medal, ACS Junior students submit a 1,000-word essay discussing their role as leaders of positive change, and how they can help create a more tolerant and inclusive world. Shortlisted candidates are then interviewed by a Medal Review Committee, which includes the ACS Superintendent and members of the Al Hammadi family.
ACS student, Elif Narbay, was awarded the inaugural Medal in May 2018. Throughout her senior year, she fulfilled the role of ACS Ambassador of International Friendship, with specific responsibilities, including volunteering at the Special Olympics World Games Abu Dhabi 2019, attending behind-the-scenes briefings at key Abu Dhabi events, participating in conferences, leading ACS school assemblies, and being involved with an international delegation.