Gloucester High School honor student and human rights activist Nicole Bauke received the Cape Ann Forum’s annual international awareness award Sunday at City Hall during the organization’s final event of the season, which featured nationally known radio personality Christopher Lydon. She was nominated for the award by her teachers at GHS.
The program drew more than 200 people to City Hall to hear Lydon, a former reporter for the New York Times and the Boston Globe who now hosts a weekly talk show on WBUR-FM, debate Columbia University student Kunal Jasty, an intern at Lydon’s Radio Open Source project, on the future of journalism.
Lydon, who bills himself as “the last newspaper guy and the first podcaster,” argued that the newspaper era is over and that the internet has both transformed and democratized the ways we get our news. Jasty said that his peers get much of their news from online sources like YouTube and Reddit, a website that calls itself “the front page of the internet.”
The event marked the 82nd free public lecture put on by the Cape Ann Forum since it was launched in 2001, according to its chair, Dan Connell, who thanked the audience for contributing enough money this winter to keep it going through 2014/2015. The group is also raising funds to endow their annual $500 GHS scholarship.
Connell presented Nicole Bauke with an award certificate and a $500 check, saying it was “in recognition of the pursuit of academic, international and cultural enrichment within and beyond the traditional classroom and a demonstration of exceptional creativity and commitment in educating other students and the wider community on these critical issues.”
Bauke, who was nomintaed for the award by her teachers at Gloucester High School, will graduate in June with Highest Honors. She has been the president of the school’s Human Rights Initiative for the past two years and is the co-president of the local National Honor Society chapter.
She has also has been involved with environmental issues, served on student council, worked on the school newspaper, acted and directed in plays staged by the school’s Drama Club, and written poetry for its online literary magazine “The Elicitor.”
Throughout her years at the high school, she has been cause-driven, according to Connell. “She’s organized events, raised funds, led book drives—you name it. Whatever she could do to bring attention to and raise resources for others, she did.”
He closed the presentation by reading an excerpt of one of Bauke’s poems that appeared in The Elicitor two years ago, titled “Me.”
i dream of times far from now,
i dream of the unreasonable
i dream of the irrational
i try. i try to try.
My efforts soar alongside me.
I am who I make myself to be.