Loudoun County, Va. (February 18, 2015) – Ama Youna “Golda” Houndoh, a senior at Heritage High School, has been awarded the Harry F. Byrd, Jr. Leadership Award.
A recognized leader at Heritage, Houndoh takes on rigorous classes, stars in drama productions, works, is an active member of clubs and honors societies and volunteers at the local hospital and retirement home.
Houndoh has held an office in every school organization of which she is a member. She is involved in the VASTS program and SCA. Houndoh also will represent Heritage as a student representative on the Loudoun County School Board in April.
Houndoh will receive her Leadership Award, along with the other 10 recipients, at a ceremony to be held on Thursday, February 12, in the courtroom of the Supreme Court of Virginia in Richmond.
In 1994, the late U.S. Sen. Harry F. Byrd, Jr. established the Harry F. Byrd, Jr. Leadership Award Program. Byrd established this leadership award program because of his deep conviction that a strong system of public education is essential to democratic government and that cultivating leadership among young citizens advances both education and government. It was Byrd’s hope this award will accomplish the following:
- Create a desire for excellence among students;
- Enhance student self-assurance by the selection committee’s vote of confidence;
- and provide recognition and financial assistance to students with outstanding leadership qualities.
The first awards were made in 1995. Each award winner – one from each of Virginia’s 11 congressional districts – receives $10,000.