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​Please join us as we celebrate this year's amazing scholarship recipients, who each in their own way uphold Anne Frank's humanitarian ideals. Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, this year's Spirit of Anne Frank Awards will be presented virtually.


Many thanks to Les and Sybil Rosenberg for sponsoring the 2020 Spirit of Anne Frank Awards scholarships.


Caragan Olles

2020 SAFA Scholarship - $5000

Green Bay, Wisconsin
Through "Bright Young Dyslexics," Caragan recognized that there can be a better way of communicating, improving education, and working to overturn a demoralizing stereotype that affects thousands of students. Next year, she brings her talents and dedication to the University of Miami with plans to study entrepreneurship.

Yousuf Khan

2020 SAFA Scholarship - $2500

Glendale Heights, Illinois

Yousuf Khan will pursue marketing and pre-medicine next year at Northern Illinois University and aspires to be a psychiatrist. He has been heavily involved in creating interfaith and inter-cultural dialogue within his high school, Glenbard West. As a freshman he worked to host a Q and A session about Islam, and as co-president of the Muslim Student Association at his high school, he has worked with leaders of the Black Student Association, Glenbard Latino Organization, and Asian Club to host a number of collaboration events where students have the opportunity to express their identities and learn about the identities of others. Yousuf has presented to the Glenbard West faculty on how to promote diversity and incorporate student identities. Yousuf is honored to be a recipient of this distinction, and is grateful for the opportunities he has had to learn about the experiences and background of his peers.

His determination to overcome obstacles and discrimination through education is exactly how we can build a more compassionate world.

Julia Seay

2020 SAFA Scholarship - $1000

Atlanta, Georgia

Julia Seay was born in Miami, Florida and raised in Atlanta, Georgia. She is a graduate of Westlake High School and secured her place in the top 1% of her class as a Magnet and International Baccalaureate student. Though well-accomplished, Julia is most proud of her leadership roles. She served as President of National Honor Society, Co-President of National Art Honor Society and as one of the three founders of The Brainy Bunch, an organization is dedicated to mental health awareness. Along with her humanitarian efforts, Julia is an environmentalist who wants to bring diversity to the least diverse field in STEM. Currently, she is working to patent her solution to decreasing the effects of global warming. Julia is extremely honored to be recognized as an Anne Frank Scholarship recipient for her efforts in mental health awareness.

Mia Lazar

2020 SAFA Scholarship - $1000

Blacksburg, Virginia

Mia Lazar is a rising college freshman from Southwest Virginia. She’s also a documentary filmmaker. Her films cover a variety of topics, including environmental issues, women’s rights, and protecting refugees. Mia has won national and international awards for her filmmaking. Several of her films have been broadcast on national television through the C-SPAN StudentCam competition. Mia created the Filmshakers Festival, an anti-bigotry film festival for high school students held in Charlottesville, Virginia, in the fall of 2019. Ten films from young filmmakers across the country were selected as finalists and screened. Although Covid-19 has created some obstacles, Mia is hoping to hold the Filmshakers Festival again in 2021.

Mia's recognition of the power of the arts to inspire positive change demonstrates the impact that can be achieved by highlighting human stories and connectedness.

Sita Conde

2020 SAFA Scholarship - $1000

Miami, Florida

Sita Conde is a recent graduate from Coral Reef Senior High in Miami, Florida. Ever since her freshman year of high school, she has grown increasingly interested in literature and race relations. As a Liberian-American girl growing up in a predominantly white community, Sita noticed that there were not many images of girls that looked like her in the books that she read in class and decided to promote culturally-diverse literature. She created REMY as a way to help ensure that more children feel represented in the books that they read. Sita hopes to continue this project at Duke University as she studies English and Human Rights, and afterwards.

Seeing the need for positive images, cultural understanding, and self-identity among minority youth, Sita has worked to ensure elementary students have access to library books that represent their diverse communities.

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About the Awards

Each year in celebration of Anne Frank's birthday, the Anne Frank Center for Mutual Respect hosts the Spirit of Anne Frank Awards to recognize worthy students, educators, citizens, peacemakers, and role models who uphold Anne's ideals of hope, justice, and equality. Scholarship and humanitarian award recipients are selected based on their extraordinary social and humanitarian efforts to engender understanding, equality, and mutual respect among diverse populations of people.

2019 AFC Gala: Scroll right for more pictures or click here for event gallery

2019 SAFA Interfaith Unity Award

Rabbi Jeffrey Myers, Reverend Eric S.C. Manning, and Imam Ibrahim Abdelhalim

This year we recognize congregations who have witnessed unspeakable tragedy in the midst of prayer:

  • Linwood & Al Noor Masjids
    Christchurch, New Zealand · March 15, 2019

  • Tree of Life *Or L'Simcha Synagogue
    Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania · October 27, 2018

  • Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church
    Charleston, South Carolina · June 17, 2015

The world has been deeply moved by these and other horrifying tragedies throughout the world; we share in the mourning yet are also inspired by the spirit of solidarity that has emerged.

2019 SAFA Human "Writes" Award

Jack J. Hersch

Every now and then, there’s a story that demonstrates vividly the optimism that guided Anne Frank despite her oppressive conditions. Jack Hersch has brilliantly accomplished that with his memoir about his father’s experiences in the Death March from Mauthausen and Gusen concentration camps. We recognize his retelling of this remarkable story with our 2019 Human "Writes" Award.

2019 SAFA Legacy of Hope Award

Pieter & Susan Kohnstam

Imagine knowing Anne Frank as a child. Pieter Kohnstam doesn't have to imagine; Anne was his babysitter in Amsterdam, before the Frank family went into hiding and his family escaped to Argentina. A lifetime of service has guided the humanitarian duo of Susan and Pieter Kohnstam, who for decades have prompted peace, unity, compassion, and understanding through their voluntary service. This year they receive our Legacy of Hope Award, acknowledging their tireless commitment to teaching about the Holocaust and its frightening relevance to events today.

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Scholarship Awards:

Masaraat Asif

2019 SAFA Scholarship

Frisco, Texas
Through "Project LifePack," Masaraat collected supplies and volunteered to assist migrant families en route from detention facilities.

Emily Herrmann

2019 Jacob Salzman SAFA Scholarship

Clarkston, Michigan

Inspired by the power of music to engage children with cognitive and sensory disorders, Emily installed an "outdoor musical playground" in her community.

Jacob Salzman SAFA Scholarship, donated by Les & Sybil Rosenberg

Emilia Peters

2019 SAFA Scholarship

Los Angeles, California
Sharing art as a means of therapeutic self-expression, Emilia launched KEM Creative Art Studios to work with homeless children.

Grace Schuler

2019 Jacob Salzman SAFA Scholarship

Gaithersburg, Maryland

To inspire self-confidence and public speaking skills, Grace founded "SpeakOut!" and has helped more than 100 kids find their voice.

Jacob Salzman SAFA Scholarship, donated by Les & Sybil Rosenberg

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Educator Awards:

Robert Lurie

2019 SAFA Teacher-of-the-Year

Lansing, Michigan

As a high school teacher at the Waverly Community Schools, Robert Lurie introduces his students to a wide diversity of faiths and cultures, fostering opportunities for direct engagement with survivors and immigrants from a variety of backgrounds. His students are connected to educational and humanitarian causes throughout the world, including India, Nicaragua, Rwanda, Europe, and elsewhere. Through travel, guests, Peace Corps, and Skype sessions, his curriculum ensures that students understand the world's ongoing history of genocide. As the director of an international professional learning community at Michigan State University, Robert Lurie has created a podcast on "Educating Newcomers" as a guide for faculty to welcome international students and refugees, and to gain a more practical understanding of the opportunities and challenges they bring. We are inspired by his decades-long commitment to education and to Anne Frank's enduring legacy of compassion and humanity.