School Notes: Former Child Soldier Speaks, Performs Music at Einstein in Kensington

Plus: Local student to be featured at national education conference; registration open for education forum


A former child soldier shared his story at Albert Einstein High School in Kensington on Friday evening.

Emmanuel Jal was born in a war-torn area of southern Sudan in the 1980s. He grew up to become a speaker, activist and hip-hop artist who has performed for Nelson Mandela and the Dalai Lama. He has written a book and has acted in a film called “The Good Lie” with Reese Witherspoon.

“Jal is currently touring schools around the world to share his story and music in a quest to engage and empower young people, as they become active, global citizens,” a press release about Jal’s visit to Einstein stated.

The Einstein High School Student Government Association hosted the event, which was scheduled to begin at about 6:30 p.m. in the school’s auditorium.

Doors for the event opened at 6 p.m., and tickets were $5 each.

The SGA held a winter clothing drive to benefit the International Rescue Committee and a canned food drive to benefit Shepherd’s Table, according to the release.

Student from Montgomery College picked as DREAM Scholar

A Montgomery College student has been chosen as a 2018 DREAM Scholar and will participate in a year-long learning experience designed to strengthen his leadership and networking skills.

Richard Campos moved to the United States when he was 12 years old, fleeing violence in his native El Salvador. Now 26, Campos is a student at Montgomery College.

The DREAM Scholars program is offered by Montgomery College and other institutions that participate in the Achieving the Dream network. Achieving the Dream is a nonprofit focused on education access for all students, especially students of low income and of color.

Campos was nominated as a DREAM Scholar and chosen through a competitive national application process, according to a Montgomery College press release.

He will deliver remarks during the DREAM 2018 conference, which will take place in Nashville, Tennessee, from Feb. 20 to 23.

County leaders to discuss education equity during forum

Community members can register for an education-focused breakfast hosted by the George B. Thomas, Sr. Learning Academy Saturday School.

The forum is set to take place Jan. 27 at the Universities at Shady Grove and will focus on the significance of communities coming together to promote education equity. Attendees will network and have breakfast starting at 8:30 a.m., then hear from County Executive Ike Leggett, Montgomery College President DeRionne Pollard and Montgomery County Public Schools Superintendent Jack Smith, among others.

Attendance will cost $40 apiece, and participants can register at

Bethany Rodgers can be reached at

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