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April 28, 2021

Central High School senior wins national award for community service, academic achievement

Sheyla Street will receive a $25,000 scholarship from the National Honor Society

Education Awards

Sheyla Street, a senior at Central High School in the Olney section of North Philadelphia, won a $25,000 scholarship from the National Honor Society, the top prize among 10,000 applicants across the United States.

A Philadelphia high school senior was selected by the National Honor Society as the recipient of a $25,000 scholarship recognizing her community activism and academic performance at Central High School.

Sheyla Street was selected from among 10,000 applicants across the United States who entered the program sponsored by the NHS’ parent organization, the National Association of Secondary School Principals (NASSP).

Street was the president of Central High's NHS chapter and was a national ambassador in 2020 for the My School Votes program, which aims to increase voter registration among high school students, faculty and staff. Her work on that initiative got more than 1,000 students and community members registered to vote last November, reaching more than 90% of her school's eligible students.

Street previously is a two-time recipient of the Governor’s Civic Engagement award for her work getting out the vote. She wrote about her experience as a poll worker for Vote That Jawn, a local youth civic engagement group where she interned.

Sheyla Street PhotoCourtesy/PhilaSD

Sheyla Street

At Central High, Street also organized an initiative to improve conditions for Black students at her school, including an anti-racism symposium that drew participation from 300 students and teachers. As founder of the Philly Black Students Alliance, she brought together students, teachers and alumni across the School District of Philadelphia to improve Black student representation on school boards.

“Sheyla truly embodies all that we want from our students. She’s hard-working, passionate and committed to doing her best and giving her all,” said school district Superintendent Dr. William R. Hite Jr. “We are extremely proud to hear that she has received this award and happy to know that people throughout the country can see the positive things happening within our district.”

Across the country, NHS is awarding $2 million in scholarships to 600 high school seniors whose work supports the organization's pillars of scholarship, service, leadership and character. In addition to Street's national $25,000 award — the top scholarship — 575 semifinalists will receive $3,200 scholarships and 24 semi-finalists will earn scholarships of $5,625.

"We’re thrilled to support Sheyla’s tremendous work and the remarkable initiatives that she’s spearheaded,” said NASSP CEO Ronn Nozoe. “With her commitment and dedication to service and the work she’s done on behalf of her community, Sheyla embodies the type of leader that NHS has celebrated and upheld for the past 100 years. Now, more than ever, we need bold, fearless, and passionate leaders like Sheyla who aren't afraid of standing up for what's right. We can’t wait to see what comes next for Sheyla and are thrilled to have been a small part of her journey.”