Barnstable: June 1, 2017 – At a recent Barnstable County Commission meeting, the Malcolm McDowell Human Rights Award was presented to Matthew West, a senior at Nauset High School. He also received a Congressional Citation at the ceremony.
The Malcolm McDowell Award is named in honor of a former Commissioner who was instrumental in the creation and development of the organization’s Human Rights Academy. This project annually provides local public and private school students with intensive education and experience in Human Rights issues. Seventeen area schools are currently participating in the program. Matthew has been involved in the Academy for the past five years and was recently elected President of the Nauset Human Rights Academy.
Matthew has held leadership positions in several community organizations including Be The Change and Nauset Together We Can. He has been involved in extensive volunteer work in Haiti and will be returning there this summer. He has participated in several local fundraising projects to support children in Haiti.
In a moving acceptance speech, Matthew credited the HRA with fostering his leadership and public speaking skills. He will enter Missouri’s Webster College in September where he will major in International Relations.
The presentation event was attended by several current and former Human Rights Commissioners and Mrs. Malcolm McDowell who offered her personal congratulations and commended Matthew for his many accomplishments.
The Barnstable County Commission for Human Rights was established by the Assembly of Delegates to promote equal opportunity in housing, employment, education, public accommodations and County Services for all persons in the county. The volunteer board is committed to the concept that “…Human Rights are not the rights that are given to you. Human Rights are the rights that cannot be taken away.”