Local teen receives Princeton Prize in Race Relations

courtesy of Sho Sho Leigh Ho
Sho Sho Leigh Ho speaks at Princeton, where she accepted an award for her work in race relations.

Los Altos Hills resident Sho Sho Leigh Ho is among the 28 recipients of the 2018 Princeton Prize in Race Relations. The rising senior at Castilleja School was recognized in the spring for contributing to her school and community in the field of race relations.

“I think the prize is really important because it is giving youth a much-needed affirmation that, ‘Yes, what you’re doing has a positive impact on the world,’” said Ho, a former Town Crier intern.

Her extensive experience in race relations includes an internship at Stanford University’s Literary Lab, where she analyzed associations that are made in literature between race and certain attributes. Ho has also served as a leader of Castilleja’s Diversity and Bay Area Humanists clubs at her school.

In addition, she founded Unleashed Workshops, a nonprofit organization dedicated to teaching workshops about race and other diversity identifiers, along with the Bay Area Consortium for Ideas and Inquiry, a school-based think tank that focuses on partnering with community nonprofit groups and politicians to solve problems.

Ho said the prize offered her the opportunity to meet with other passionate high school students at a symposium to address important racial issues in their communities.

“It’s just a great feeling to know that you’re not alone in this fight,” she said. “You know there are people who love you and are proud of you, and there are other young people who can be inspired by that sense of togetherness.”

Ho’s honor comes with a $1,000 prize, which she plans to reinvest in Unleashed Workshops, which has grown to 16 teams in eight states. Members meet and develop a curriculum for middle school students that addresses race and other diversity identifiers.

This summer, Ho said she hopes to expand the nonprofit from a curriculum solely based on writing to include racial identity workshops. She added that she chose high school students to write it because many teachers don’t feel adequately equipped to educate on the subject.

“High schoolers are the perfect people to write this curriculum because we recently were middle schoolers and we probably went through similar reflections ourselves,” said Ho, who noted that a nonprofit incubator is interested in developing her Unleashed Workshops.

While she devotes most of her free time to the Unleashed Workshops, Ho said she also plans to continue her research this summer at the Stanford Center for Poverty and Inequality. She intends to examine gentrification and create a platform that encourages the upper class to interact and help those less fortunate.

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