Calling All High School Students Interested in Learning About Human Rights, Leadership Skills

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Provided by Prince William County

The Prince William County Human Rights Commission is accepting applications for its Human Rights Student Leadership Council (HRSLC) 2019-2020 school year cohort. The council helps develop young leaders and promotes dialogues on diversity, understanding and appreciation of the differences among students.


Cheryl Wilfred, a rising senior at Patriot High School, said that her term as president of the council strengthened her interest in human rights and gave her the confidence to talk more about the subject. “Serving on the HRSLC encouraged me to engage in more conversations about diversity. I’ve learned that talking about diversity doesn’t have to be a confrontational experience, but that it can be open and educational for everyone involved in the conversation.”

Wilfred stated that her term on the council might have cemented her career choice. “I joined this council because I wanted to make a positive difference in the world, and that is still my goal. I believe everyone is equal, and they should be treated that way. I hope to have a career where I can help make sure people are truly treated equally.”

Fysah Islam, a 2019 Colgan High School graduate, said her favorite activity with the HRSLC was meeting the speakers who made presentations to the council members. “It’s one thing to read about them, but meeting them is so much better.”

Who is Eligible

Students who are sophomores, juniors, and seniors in public, private and home schools within Prince William County are eligible to serve on the council. The application period is open from Aug. 30 – Sept. 30, 2019.  Applications are available online at Completed applications must be received by Sept. 30, 2019.

What to Expect

Denise McPhail, Outreach and Education Coordinator of the Human Rights Office, said that students would have a variety of experiences while serving on the council. “In five sessions, students will have opportunities to network with Human Rights professionals, government and community leaders within our region, and learn more about human and civil rights.  These sessions will include employment and housing anti-discrimination laws. They will also interact with students from various cultures and social groups, which increases cultural competence and promotes empathy that ultimately reduces prejudice. They will also have an opportunity to serve in leadership roles and focus on various leadership skills.”

Call 703-792-4680 or visit for more information about the Human Rights Commission and the HRSLC.


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