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Student Activist Awards


Since 1979, the Freedom From Religion Foundation has conducted annual essay competitions to bestow cash scholarships on freethinking high school and college students. Activist students were honored at several national conventions in the 1990s, as well. From 1997-2007, Board Member Richard Mole generously endowed an additional annual Student Activist Award, in the memory of Ruth (“Dixie”) Jokinen. The annual award is now a $1,000 cash scholarship, and since 2009 has been endowed by Catherine Fahringer and friends as The Catherine Fahringer Student Memorial Award. Other freethought donors have since periodically contributed additional money to enable the Foundation to expand the awards. These donors include the late Alan Snyder, who endowed two years of awards designated for students, and an Oregon couple, who are now endowing the Thomas Jefferson Youth Activist Award of $1,000.

The awards recognize outstanding activism for freethought or the separation of church and state by high school and college students. Recipients have often included litigants or newsmakers who have championed the freedom of conscience or the separation between church and state.

Catherine Fahringer, Photo by Robert McLeroy

Past Recipients

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