Congressman Hank Johnson praises teen in House
11/1/2013, 6 a.m.
Lithonia teen Mary-Pat Hector got accolades on the floor of the U.S. House on Oct. 30 when her congressman, Hank Johnson, lauded her for her campaign to combat gun violence.
Johnson praised Mary-Pat for receiving a $50,000 inaugural Peace First Prize for her “Think Twice” campaign.
The two-year fellowship was one of 10 awarded Oct. 6 to activists ages 10 to 22 nationwide.
Johnson called Mary-Pat an “everyday hero” and said he is proud of her achievements and glad to have the privilege of representing her.
“Mary-Patricia refused to sit idly by while children died in playgrounds, funerals outnumbered graduation ceremonies, and violence begot more violence,” Johnson said. “Her campaign encourages youth to think twice before picking up guns.”
Mary-Pat, who is home schooled, launched her Think Twice campaign in April 2013 after the senseless shooting deaths of a 14-year-old Grayson High School student in Loganville and a 15-year-old student in Chicago.
She said she will use some of the funds to improve www.justthink2wice.com, purchase public announcements, and travel to schools spreading her message of peace.
Peace First, a national nonprofit based in Boston, seeks to create the next generation of peacemakers. Winners of the Peace First Prize were chosen based on the criteria of courage, compassion and the ability to create collaborative change.