On September 18, Monique Farrell, a first-year chemical engineering major at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, was presented with the second annual Ahadi Youth Award at a ceremony in the Michele & Donald D’Amour Museum of Fine Arts in Springfield, Massachusetts. Farrell is a 2010 graduate of the High School of Commerce. The Ahadi Youth Award is presented by the African Hall Subcommittee of the Springfield Museums to “an African-American young person who demonstrates strong character, leadership, academic achievement, and future potential.”
Farrell dedicated the last two years of her high school career to completing the rigorous International Baccalaureate Diploma program, in which students can earn two years of college credit. She was recognized for her excellence in math and science and was a member of the National Honor Society and the MassMutual Academic Achievers.
Farrell was nominated by her biology teacher, who taught a summer microbiology workshop through the Baystate Springfield Educational Partnership. He praised her optimism, her enthusiastic attitude toward learning science, and her ability to work as a member of a team. He said, “While other students were off at the beach, Monique was working on her aseptic technique and perfecting her lab skills. Monique is a focused individual and truly is one of the best students I have had the opportunity to teach in my career.”
She has also been an active member of her community and school, volunteering her time to tutor other students and leading an effort to promote health awareness at local community centers.
A Springfield Museums press release declared that Farrell “has the intellect and ambition to make the world a better place by assisting people in need and helping to solve global health issues.” (September 2010)