Washington, DC – On June 2, 2021, the “Hungarian American Coalition Award” was presented to four students at the graduation ceremony of the Bolyai Farkas High School in Marosvásárhely (Targu Mures, Romania). Totaling $2,500, the awards were presented to seniors Sándor Zsolt Szilágyi, Attila Nagy, László Szepessy and 11th grader Dávid Székely, who were recognized for their outstanding academic achievement and community service. Students must apply for the award, and applications are evaluated by a faculty committee according to a rules-based point system.
Coalition Treasurer Zsolt Szekeres presents the Coalition Award to László Szepessy. Behind Mr. Szepessy are fellow recipients Attila Nagy and Sándor Zsolt Szilágyi.
The first prize for academic achievement, in the amount of $1,000, was awarded to Sándor Zsolt Szilágyi, and the second prize of $500 went to 11th grader Dávid Székely. Mr. Szilágyi, whose main interests are physics and computer science, represented his school in scientific competitions both in Romania and Hungary with outstanding results. He plans to study at the Budapest University of Technology and Economics or at Sapientia Hungarian University of Transylvania.
Dávid Székely is interested in both humanities and sciences, and has competed in academic tournaments related to economics, law and translation, with great success. He also maintains the school’s website as a volunteer.
Seniors Attila Nagy and László Szepessy were each awarded $500 in recognition of their outstanding community service. Attila Nagy was president of the school’s Student Association for three years; he worked as a volunteer tour guide at the Teleki Castle in Gernyeszeg and as summer camp organizer for underprivileged local children. He was also active as photographer and videographer at school events. He plans to study Applied Linguistics at Sapientia University.
László Szepessy was born for public service: a talented speaker, he has been interviewed several times in the local newspaper and Marosvásárhely Hungarian radio on issues affecting student life. He also founded the County Student Council to provide a cooperative platform for all county high schools. During the pandemic, László organized a student blood drive to help patients in need. He is particularly interested in sustainable development and solar energy, and plans to study Economics at Corvinus University Budapest. According to Márta Máthé, the school’s physics teacher emerita and member of the award committee, both community service awardees cooperated closely over the past four years, and are excellent role models for other students interested in public service.
Due to travel restrictions because of COVID-19, Coalition President Andrea Lauer Rice was unable to attend the ceremony to present the awards. In her stead, Coalition Treasurer Zsolt Szekeres attended and delivered Andrea’s message: “Congratulations to our wonderful Coalition Award recipients and to your families! Just last week, I celebrated my son’s graduation from high school. Through him, I saw firsthand what a challenging year this has been – as a student, as a parent, as a teacher. Especially this year, it has taken a village to get every graduate to this moment. But in addition to the people around them, it takes internal strength and grace to make it through high school, teenage years and a pandemic all rolled into one! I expect great things from the graduating class of 2021… We wish you all the best!”
The entire ceremony can be viewed here. Our award section starts at 1:13:19 and ends at 1:21:00. Dávid Székely (an 11th grader) will receive his award at the school year closing ceremony later this month.
The “Hungarian American Coalition Award” at the Bolyai High School was established in 2019, and made possible by a grant from the Cultural Foundation for Transylvania (CFT). In the summer of 2017, the Coalition signed a Memorandum of Cooperation with CFT, whereby the Coalition agreed to implement cultural projects in Transylvania in accordance with both organizations’ Board decisions. The Coalition began disbursing grants for cultural and educational purposes that year, and in 2019 established the Bolyai award, building upon this historic high school’s outstanding educational legacy.