Photo courtesy of Highline Public Schools
Highline High student David Dahn, center, receives a national award from First Lady Michelle Obama. accepts an award. He is flanked by Arts Corps Executive Director Elizabeth Whitford.

Highline student accepts national award from First Lady

Highline Public Schools press release:

David Danh, a sophomore at Highline High School, along with Arts Corps Executive Director Elizabeth Whitford, recently visited the White House to accept an award from First Lady Michelle Obama.

The 2012 National Arts and Humanities Youth Program Award recognized Arts Corps effectiveness in developing learning and life skills in young people by engaging them in the arts. Arts Corps is one of the organizations that provides outstanding services to children and youth in Highline.

Danh has been taking breakdancing with Arts Corps for three years.

He says, “Taking these classes affected my life in so many ways and it continues to change my future. I learned the true meaning of motivation and integrity. It's an honor to be accepting this award from First Lady Michelle Obama at the White House on behalf of Arts Corps students. Do what you are passionate about, because you'll never know where it will take you.”

Chosen from a pool of more than 350 nominations and 50 finalists, Arts Corps was one of 12 after-school and out-of-school programs across the country to receive the award, which is the highest honor such programs can receive. The award honors community-based arts and humanities programs that make a marked difference in the lives of their participants by improving academic scores and graduation rates, enhancing life skills, developing positive relationships with peers and adults, and expressing themselves creatively.

With data showing that arts learning significantly improves educational outcomes for youth, Arts Corps directly addresses a critical opportunity gap in a region where race is the greatest determining factor in access to arts education. Through Arts Corps, young people develop their creative capacities in imagination, critical thinking and discipline. Trends show that Arts Corps students’ also attend school more often and test better in reading and math.

Founded in 2000, Arts Corps, which offers programs around the Seattle area, including in West Seattle, now reaches 2,500 K-12 students each year. For more information about Arts Corps please visit

A video of the White House ceremony is available at this link

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