Local Student Honored with Max Warburg Courage Award

May 16, 2013
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Gardner Pilot Academy student and Charlestown resident Yumin Lisa Wei, right, accepts her award from Mayor Menino and Gardner intern Sandy Simeon.

Gardner Pilot Academy student and Charlestown resident Yumin Lisa Wei, right, accepts her award from Mayor Menino and Gardner intern Sandy Simeon.

Gardner Pilot Academy student and Charlestown resident Yumin Lisa Wei, was among the more than 325 guests gathered in the Imperial Ballroom at the Boston Park Plaza Hotel to celebrate The Max Warburg Courage Curriculum’s 22nd annual Awards Luncheon on May 3 for the exceptional courage of 41 sixth-grade students from Boston and surrounding communities.  The students honored as 2013 Max Warburg Fellows at this special event were chosen to have their essays published in the 22nd volume of The Courage of Boston’s Children, the organization’s annual publication.  Over 100 volunteer judges selected the winning essays from the thousands submitted from 33 middle and K-8 schools in Boston and surrounding communities.

The students, joined by their teachers, principals and families, each received a medal from Boston Mayor Thomas Menino, The Max Warburg Courage Curriculum’s Founder and President Stephanie Warburg, and Fred Warburg. Each guest in attendance received a copy of The Courage of Boston’s Children, Volume XXI, which was dedicated this year to Mayor Menino and his outstanding team, who have steadfastly supported “The Max” and the children of Boston during his remarkable tenure as Mayor of Boston.  The 22nd volume of The Courage of Boston’s Children includes a special supplement featuring 11 essays written by middle school students from across the United States and abroad participating in the organization’s national and international programs.

Master of Ceremonies Jennifer Donaldson introduced several guest speakers, including Mayor Menino and program alumna, Heather Quigley.  Mayor Menino, who has presided over the ceremony every year of his mayoral tenure, reflected the courageous actions of first responders, law enforcement officials and civilians during the tragedy at the Boston Marathon.

The Max Warburg Courage Curriculum is a language arts and character development curriculum that honors the life of Max Warburg, an eleven-year-old Boston student who lost his courageous battle with leukemia in 1991. This year-long program empowers sixth and ninth-grade students to realize that their actions and decisions can be powerful agents of change, both in their lives and the lives of others.

Through reading, writing and discussion, students discover and recognize the role of courage in the lives of the characters they read about, in the lives of those around them, and in their own lives. Since 1991, the Max Warburg Courage Curriculum has served more than 150,000 young people and supported their teachers in promoting literacy and value-based education.