Justine Hastings ’21, an English education undergraduate student, has been named a 2020 Unsung Hero Award winner by the 35th annual Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration Committee. She will be honored along with four other Unsung Heroes at the Celebration on Sunday, January 26.
The awards are bestowed annually on people who, in the spirit of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s “beloved community,” have made a positive difference in the lives of others, but who are not widely recognized for their efforts.
At Syracuse University, Hastings has been a researcher, educator and leader, as well as a student. One of her recent accomplishments was earning a grant from the Syracuse Office of Undergraduate Research and Creative Engagement (SOURCE) to start a documentary filmmaking program for high school students at the North Side Learning Center in Syracuse. There, she will teach students the basics of documentary filmmaking and will evaluate the impact of creating their own films on the students’ literacy.
She has also served as an English tutor at Solvay High School and Grant Middle School, and has interned at multiple media and arts nonprofits in Brooklyn, New York. On campus, she has been an academic coach for the University’s Center for Learning and Student Success, a student research mentor at SOURCE, a peer facilitator of the Syracuse Reads Program/SEM 100, and a peer mentor with the InclusiveU program.
Hastings is also an Our Time Has Come Scholar, Ronald E. McNair Scholar and a student in the Renée Crown University Honors Program.