LHS Junior was selected as one of five finalists recognized for outstanding human relations in community service & volunteering
By Chuck Gibson (Susanne Quigley, Chief Information Officer, Loveland Schools contributed to this story)
LOVELAND, OH (May 14, 2020) – Hannah Laman, junior at Loveland High School, has been selected as one of the finalists for the 2020 Simon Lazarus, Jr., Human Relations Award by the American Jewish Committee (AJC). The award honors her as an outstanding student volunteer with a demonstrated passion for making the community a better place to live.
Hannah Laman is a 2020 Finalist for the 2020 Simon Lazarus, Jr., Human Relations Award, she’s shown here with her brother Alex, a co-founder of Adopt A Book (Provided)
With selection as a finalist for this award, the AJC recognizes Hannah for her desire to serve others, in combination with imagination and initiative that has enabled her to have a tremendous impact on many lives. Hannah was only eight years old when she co-founded Adopt A Book with her brother Alex. During the past nine years Adopt A Book has distributed more than 165,000 new and gently used books through schools, shelters, clinics and organizations that serve children in need. Earlier this year, Adopt A Book received the 2020 State Literacy Award by the Library of Congress.
Dr. Amy Crouse, Loveland Schools Superintendent is impressed by what Hannah started as an eight year old elementary school student and continues to do in service to others.
“She didn’t do it for the award,” said Crouse. “Nothing about Hannah screams, ‘I did this for my resume.’ She’s just an all-around, well-rounded and involved young woman. This is just something she does.”
Laman had not heard of the award before and did not know what to expect when she learned of her nomination. Her guidance counselor told her she was nominated for the award by administrators at Loveland High School. She was amazed to learn the school administrators even knew her – typical of her humble nature.
“I was kind of shocked,” said Laman. “I’m in a grade of over 300, and my school is over a thousand. I was like: ‘Oh, you know who I am. That’s cool.’ That was really personal to me, I really enjoyed that.”
Sometime in late April one of the judges reached out requesting a phone conversation with her. It started out casual, just talking about Adopt A Book, herself, and other community service and volunteering she does.
“He told me in the call I was a finalist,” Laman said. “I was kind of surprised. I’m just really grateful to have the opportunity.”
Laman may not have heard of the award before being nominated, but she has learned what the award recognizes. In her own words, she described the award as a human relations award for community service and volunteering “helping the area you live in and the people around you.” Not just her work founding and continuing Adopt A Book to serve children in need, but also other community service is a big part of her life. It is a very good reason LHS administrators nominated her for the 2020 Simon Lazarus Jr. Human Relations Award.
Peggy Johnson, Loveland High School Principal nominated Hannah Laman for Lazarus Award (Provided)
Dr. Amy Crouse, Superintendent Loveland Schools says Hannah Laman exemplifies humble leadership in giving back (Provided)
The AJC has honored student volunteers with the Simon Lazarus, Jr. Human Relations Award for the past 55 years. This year, one junior winner, four junior finalists, one senior winner and four senior finalists were selected for their exemplary volunteer accomplishments. It meant a lot to Hannah Laman to be one of the five finalists knowing there are a lot of nominees for the award.
“It’s really important because I stood out to the judges because of the work I’ve been doing,” Laman said. “It was really nice to hear it had an impact on them. I was honored to get nominated this year.”
In addition to Hannah, the following students received the 2020 award:
Caitlin Broderick (junior winner, Wyoming High School); Alivia Hyland (junior finalist, Saint Ursula Academy); Anna MacLennan (junior finalist, Anderson High School); Tamar Sella (junior finalist, Walnut Hills High School); Jillian Rice (senior winner, Indian Hill High School); Sean Fallis (senior finalist, Bethel-Tate High School); Abby Jarrold (senior finalist, Archbishop McNicholas High School); Jordynn Jenkins (senior finalist Cincinnati Hills Christian Academy); Dalal Shalash (senior finalist, Mercy McAuley High School).