Linden High School senior Je T’aime Thompson has been named the winner of the Marc Wesley Hardy Human Rights Award, given annually to a young person who has been an outstanding advocate for human rights and the less fortunate. 

The award is given by the First Congregational Church of Westfield. Thompson is at center above with Marc Hardy’s sister, Kristal Hardy-Ali, and mother, Delores Hardy.

“Honestly, it’s a true honor to receive the award, especially since it is one that has been around Union County for such a long time,” Thompson said. “It also was a huge confidence booster for me.”

Thompson has distinguished herself through her hard work, discipline and community service at LHS, in the Girl Scouts, and through St. Elizabeth of Hungary Church in Linden.  She is the outgoing regimental commanding officer of the Linden High Navy Junior ROTC, overseeing more than 450 Cadets.

>>SEE VIDEO OF THOMPSON’S EMOTIONAL NJROTC FAREWELL SPEECH

She earned the Bronze, Silver and Gold Awards for scouting and has volunteered with Bridges Outreach for the homeless.

“When I look at all the successful students who received this award before me, and also think about how many other kids applied for this award, it puts into perspective just how much of an honor it is to have been chosen,” Thompson said. “It shows me that I am doing something right with my life, and makes me want to strive even more in order to live up to the honor.”

At Linden High School, Thompson maintains a perfect 4.0 GPA, is a member of the National Honor Society, and has competed on the track team. She is a member of the Junior Achievement and Student Ambassadors clubs.

As part of the Peer Group Connection, she attends weekly discussions on teen social issues and advocates on behalf of her fellow students.

Thompson will attend Rutgers University’s School of Engineering this fall on a full Navy ROTC scholarship, majoring in civil engineering. Upon graduation, she plans to serve in the U.S. Navy.

She received her award, consisting of a check and a certificate, during the April 29 service of the First Congregational Church of Westfield.

The Marc Wesley Hardy Human Rights Awards was created in memory of Marc Hardy, a member of First Congregational Church who was a talented performer and promising young student when he lost his life in a car accident in his senior year at Westfield High School in 1990.