Recently, IEL and the American Youth Policy Forum (AYPF) teamed up to host the inaugural Samuel Halperin Lecture and Youth Public Service Award. The lecture and youth award serve as an ongoing tribute to Halperin, who dedicated his career to advancing education, workforce, and youth policy. Halperin was a former president of IEL and founder of AYPF.
This year, Hilary Pennington, vice president of the Ford Foundation’s Education, Creativity and Free Expression program was the keynote lecturer. She spoke on the "Forgotten Half," then and now, a reference to one of Halperin's seminal works on non-college youth in America.
The inaugural youth award winner is 24-year-old Efrem Ayalew, an AmeriCorps teacher’s assistant for the Latin American Youth Center's (LAYC) Maryland Multicultural Youth Center at Buck Lodge Middle School. Ayalew’s award-winning essay demonstrates his strong commitment to education, volunteering, and public service. His essay spoke to his struggles and experiences as a middle school student immigrating from Ethiopia to the U.S. and the role his family and LAYC played in his pursuit of education and dedication to helping young people much like himself.