A high school football player fighting domestic violence. A Somali teen working to combat the stigmas facing her peers. This is the work of Dominic Ferry of Naples and Zamzam Elmoge of Lewiston, two inspiring young people being celebrated by Berman & Simmons today in its inaugural Youth Leaders Award.
The Youth Leaders Award gives eligible Maine student advocates who are involved in a community project a $500 scholarship towards their education, and $250 award towards their select cause. Berman & Simmons’ goal is to showcase the exceptional work these students are doing while giving them a voice to share their passions with the world.
For the past several years, Dominic has been supporting children affected by domestic violence through a nonprofit called Quiet Cries, which partners with Safe Voices. Founded by Dominic while in Middle School, with help from his grandfather, Quiet Cries collects blankets, diapers and other items to distribute to organizations who work with children affected by abuse and violence. As a student, activist, and athlete, Dominic got his football team at Thornton Academy to wear purple ribbons for Domestic Violence Awareness Month, and was recently named “Most Respected Student Athlete” by his peers.
An aspiring filmmaker and diligent student, Zamzam sought to combat the stigma and stereotypes that Somali youth were facing in Lewiston, ME. Her hard work led her to complete REASON 4369, a documentary she produced with other Lewiston High School filmmakers who are members of The GenZ Project. The team interviewed 20 of their peers about the city’s reputation, their community, and how they want to be remembered. Last summer, Zamzam was selected to attend AT&T and Reece Witherspoon’s Hello Sunshine Filmmaker Lab, a young women’s film production forum for a week in Los Angeles.
“We are delighted to honor Dominic and Zamzam,” said Craig Bramley, Managing Director for the firm. “Nurturing and recognizing young advocates is one of the more important things we can do at Berman & Simmons and aligns with our philosophy of helping others. These kids are making our communities brighter and making sure that their ideas are heard and supported is a privilege. Both Dominic and Zamzam have spent their free time trying to make the world a better place and they deserve recognition for their hard work and activism.”
Berman & Simmons welcomes nominations for the Youth Leaders Award. It is open to all Maine students who are actively enrolled in middle or high school and have been championing a cause they’re passionate about. Whether the student is advocating for the environment, equal rights, animal welfare, an issue in their community, or simply finding a way to help others improve their lives, the firm wants to give them a voice to share their passion project, and provide additional resources to help advance their cause.
Nominations for the next awards are due by Friday, Dec. 13.