In a ceremony at FBI Headquarters on Friday, March 16, 2012, Robert S. Mueller, III, the Director of the FBI, formally presented the Columbus Global Academy with the 2011 FBI Director’s Community Leadership Award. Mrs. Kimberly Normand, Principal of the Columbus Global Academy, accepted the award in Washington, D.C. on behalf of the teachers and staff at the school.
During the ceremony, Director Mueller recognized the award recipients from each of the FBI’s 56 field offices, stating, “You share a willingness to lead...a commitment to improving your neighborhoods...and a desire to make this country safer for your fellow citizens.” He went on to say, “You are catalysts for change in your communities, and what you are doing is nothing short of remarkable.”
FBI Cincinnati Special Agent in Charge Edward J. Hanko stated, “Each day the FBI relies on key partnerships to help keep our communities safe. The staff, teachers and students at the Columbus Global Academy are tremendous partners that we are pleased to recognize.”
The Columbus Global Academy is a unique English as a Second Language (ESL) school for recent immigrant and refugee students who have limited English abilities. A part of the Columbus City School District, the school serves approximately 470 middle and high school students from over 50 different native countries.
Many of the students at the Columbus Global Academy have recently arrived in the United States from refugee camps or countries torn apart by war, famine, or natural disasters. Though the students often have little formal education and face many challenges, the faculty and staff at the Columbus Global Academy work hard to create a positive learning environment.
Mrs. Normand and the teachers at the Columbus Global Academy have also welcomed the Cincinnati FBI as a partner with the school. For the past three years, the Cincinnati Division has held an FBI Teen Academy at the school, participated in career day presentations, and served on the school’s Community Advisory Council. The division has worked with students in an effort to mentor at-risk youth who may be more vulnerable to radicalization, gang membership, or other unlawful activity.
The Director’s Leadership Community Award was established in 1990 to publicly recognize the achievements of individuals and organizations that have gone above and beyond the call to service by making extraordinary contributions to their communities in the areas of terrorism, cyber, drug, gang, or violence prevention and education.