Delaware Trailblazer Tariah Hyland Bags Prestigious 2023 John Lewis Youth Leadership Award

Tariah HylandTariah Hyland selected as the 2023 John Lewis Youth Leadership Award recipient. /Submitted Image

DOVER, DE — Breaking away from the day’s humdrum, threads of inspiration weave themselves around Wilmington, Delaware. The city’s rising star, Tariah Hyland, has been named the radiant recipient of the coveted 2023 John Lewis Youth Leadership Award, honoring the spirit of the late Congressman John Lewis. Announced by Secretary of State Jeff Bullock, this recognition celebrates an extraordinary young figure actively dedicated to social justice and community betterment.

The city is abuzz as Hyland, an influential personality and community change agent, has encouraged her peers to strive for societal improvement, living up to the values of the late Congressman. “Hyland’s dedication to her community and the empowerment of young leaders personifies the essence of Congressman Lewis’s mission,” Bullock said with evident pride, drawing attention to the wealth of young talent committed to creating positive societal change.

The John Lewis Youth Leadership Award was established in 2021 by the National Association of Secretaries of State as a tribute to the late Congressman’s formative contributions to the Civil Rights Movement and his remarkable public service tenure. The award has found its deserving recipient in Hyland, a testament to the enduring impact of the late Congressman’s legacy.

Hyland’s achievements far outnumber her years. Instrumental in securing the passage of House Bill 198 – a landmark legislation that mandates the inclusion of Black history and culture in Delaware’s K-12 curriculum – she is a beacon of constructive legislative change. This initiative, shepherd by State Representative Sherry Dorsey Walker, was given the green light by Governor John Carney in 2021, thanks in part to Hyland’s tireless efforts, along with her fellow students at St. Georges Technical High School.

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Brimming with excitement, Hyland shares her joy, “Being a part of this momentous change and gaining recognition for it, particularly in the Congressman’s name, is an immense honour.” She further acknowledges the support from her community, terming it her ‘village’, that has relentlessly backed her through her journey.

Hyland’s leadership prowess was first evident during her time at St. Georges. Despite initial resistance, she co-founded the Delaware Black Student Coalition, giving a voice to the underrepresented and pushing for an equal educational experience. Furthermore, as a mentor for TeenSHARP and co-facilitator of the Proximity Project, she has guided young students in advocating for civil rights, laying the groundwork for subsequent generations of leaders.

Hyland’s nomination came from Atnre Alleyne, Founder of the Proximity Project, a firm committed to fostering meaningful engagement with marginalized communities. Endorsing Hyland’s accomplishments, Alleyne proudly recognizes her as the embodiment of ‘good trouble’, a fitting phrase coined by the late Congressman Lewis himself.

Currently a junior at Howard University, Hyland is majoring in political science, armed with a minor in legal communications. She serves as the vice president of Howard’s College of Arts and Sciences and the President of Black Girls Vote, encouraging democratic participation among Black women. Moreover, she has interned with influential organizations and politicians, garnering accolades such as the AT&T Rising Future Maker and a Target Scholar along the way.

Presently, the nominations for the 2024 John Lewis Youth Leadership Award lie on the horizon, encouraging more inspiring youth like Hyland to step forward. For further information about the Award or the nomination process, one can visit

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