Monday, May 16, 2016

Three students receive the 2016 Daniel S. Hall Social Justice Awards

Three local high school students --  Daniel Brassloff, Victor Espidol and Melanie Camejo Coffigny -- have been selected by the Palm Beach County Human Rights Council to receive this year's Daniel S. Hall Social Justice Award 

Daniel Brassloff, a senior at Atlantic Community High School in Delray Beach, is founder and president of We the People, an equality club on Atlantic High School campus. Under Daniel's leadership, the organization created a website to help transgender people.  He also led the club's participation in the American Foundation For Suicide Prevention's Out of the Darkness Walk.  Daniel will be attending Babson College to study social entrepreneurship.

PBCHRC Treasurer Dan Hall and Daniel Brassloff
Victor Espidol, a senior at Boynton Beach Community High School, is the founder of the Boynton Beach High School Gay Straight Alliance (GSA) and has been an active participant in the Compass LGBT Community Center's youth program. In 2014, Victor traveled to Tallahassee to urge legislators to defeat a bill that would have banned transgender individuals from using their self-identified genders bathroom. He is an advocate for comprehensive sexual education in the public schools and has spoken out about the need for more HIV prevention programs in Palm Beach County. Victor will be attending the University of Florida to study biology.

PBCHRC Treasuer Dan Hall and Victor Espidol

Melanie Camejo Coffigny, a senior at Lake Worth Community High School, is founder and president of her high school's GSA, which is one of the largest organizations at her school. In conjunction with 2016 PrideFest of the Palm Beaches, Melanie and other GSA members from throughout the county joined the parade contingent of policemen and women employed by the School District of Palm Beach County. Marching together, the group showed support for LGBTQ students. Melanie will be attending Duke University in the fall to study neuroscience. 

PBCHRC Board Member Carly Cass and Melanie Camejo Coffigny

The Social Justice Award is named after Daniel S. Hall, a local attorney who manages a financial counseling company. Hall has served as the Treasurer of the Palm Beach County Human Rights Council since 1990 and is its longest serving board member. As a father of three, an activist and a mentor of gay youth, Hall always has had a strong interest in education. The Palm Beach County Human Rights Council, a local nonprofit organization dedicated to ending discrimination based on sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression, awards the annual scholarship to local college-bound high school seniors who have demonstrated  an interest in advocacy on behalf of the LGBTQ community.

"These three students exemplify the new generation of LGBTQ activists, who will help bring our nation together on our issues, which, unfortunately, divide America today," said Hall. "The Palm Beach County Human Rights Council is proud to be able to help them further their educations in college."

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