West Potomac Senior Receives 2023 Student Peace Award

Sara Salama, senior student lead of SEC, wins 2023 Student Peace Award

Margaret Rogers

Sara Salama, senior student lead of SEC, wins 2023 Student Peace Award

West Potomac senior Sarah Salama was honored as a recipient of the 2023 Student Peace Award on March 19, along with 27 other Fairfax County students. The Student Peace Awards of Fairfax County began in 2006 to recognize young people who work as peacemakers.

“Sarah is quick to see inequities and injustice. She is a problem solver and works to right wrongs when she is able. She is outspoken with her concerns and knows how to speak to the administration to enact change.” Teacher Jacqueline Fleming said.

As the Student Lead of West Potomac’s Student Equity Coalition (SEC), Salama has brought attention to issues such as gun violence and harassment, the need for equitable teaching practices in classrooms, and challenges that first-generation college applicants face by posting signs, distributing flyers, and holding meetings.

Under Salama’s leadership, the SEC had a Prep-Book Donation Drive which provided ACT/PSAT/SAT preparation books to several dozen students at West Potomac who had no access to them. Salama also worked to gather supplies such as food, toiletries, and toys from the larger Fairfax County community and to distribute them to centers that serve Afghan refugees. She estimates that they assisted about 150 local refugees and their families.

“I’m very honored to receive the award, but if it were up to me it would be my whole club [the SEC] and everyone involved with it receiving the award as well,” Salama said.