Your Name: Eduardo Ruigomez
Your Role: Co-founder of the Students For Racial Unity Club (SRU) at Rye Neck High School
The name of the award: 2022 Rye Youth Human Rights Award from the Rye City
Human Rights Commission
MyRye.com: Describe yourself in one word.
Where do you live in Rye or Rye Neck?
Tell us about the activity that led to the award.
Ruigomez: James and I co-founded a school club dedicated to discussion on past and ongoing social issues in a safe space. Our mission was to encourage students to express their thoughts and opinions, regardless of what they might be, and discuss them with others, while making sure no opinions are invalidated. We wanted to work on inclusivity, encouraging the idea that our school is not a place where one should feel cornered or marginalized.
Although the process was difficult, the results were very fruitful. We were able to share long and deep discussions about a multitude of topics. We believe our club goes past what is spoken about in the curriculum and helps people learn about the world around us.
Why did you get started in this area–what or who prompted you to become
Ruigomez: After seeing other clubs in the school improve the sense of community in Rye Neck, we believed we could also contribute by forming the club.
Personally, my main goal was to learn, learn about the social issues that surround us, as well as the different opinions on it. James had the perfect solution when he brought the idea of forming SRU.
Who nominated you for the award?
Ruigomez: Shawn Tedrow, the advisor for the club, nominated us for the award. We are very grateful that he did, but more importantly, we are grateful for his immense contribution to it. He was there all along the creation process, and he provided his knowledge when club discussions were in session. He deserves just as much recognition for this club as us.
How did you hear you won the award?
Ruigomez: During class, I was called into the principal’s office early in the morning, while I was still in the process of waking up. I came in to see smiling faces, still a little confused as to what was happening. When we were told, it came as a wonderful surprise, since we had no idea we were nominated.
Ruigomez: Since we are both seniors, we hope to hand over the club to one or two underclassmen. While we are still here, we are designing a mural for the school.
Outside this work, what are three of your favorite things to do in and
- Oakland Beach is one of my favorite places in the area. I often take walks with my family along the shore, it’s a very relaxing place.
- Occasionally, I like to drive to the dock outside American Yacht Club, and look out across the sound at night, when it’s peaceful and serene.
- The food scene is very good here in Rye, from Hand-Rolled bagels for breakfast, to Jerry’s for lunch, and Rye Bar & Grill for dinner. Longford’s on the way home is never unwelcome.
Thanks Eduardo !