Revere High School students honored at the third annual Bilingual Awards Ceremony

Special to the Journal

At the recent Revere High School Bilingual Awards Ceremony, Senior Safaa Laroussi said her ability to speak multiple languages has made it possible for her to get involved in a variety of community activities, like working with youth at her neighborhood mosque.

“Being able to speak Arabic and Darija well has been quite helpful in these situations,” said Laroussi, who studied Darija and Modern Standard Arabic. “Whether it is organizing community cultural events, having casual conversations with friends, or talking about religious principles, I can build thoughtful connections. I have been able to learn more about my culture in Morocco and throughout North Africa and the Middle East because of my language proficiency.”

Laroussi added that being multilingual means being privy to different worlds.

“Language grants you the keys to entire cultures and the perspectives and stories within them,” she said.

Laroussi was just one of over 90 Revere High School seniors recently recognized for their strong multilingual skills at the third annual Bilingual Awards Ceremony on May 8. The award ceremony honored recipients of four awards, including the Massachusetts State Seal of Biliteracy.

The Seal of Biliteracy is given by the RPS Multilingual Learner and World Language Department on behalf of the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education in recognition of graduating seniors who have studied and attained a high level of proficiency in two or more languages. Fourteen different partner languages were represented among this year’s award recipients: Albanian, Bangla, Egyptian Arabic, French, Italian, Khmer, Mandarin, Moroccan Arabic, Modern Standard Arabic, Portuguese, Serbian, Spanish, Turkish, and Vietnamese.

Awards were broken into four categories, with some students receiving awards in more than one language. Of the 95 honorees, 14 students received the highest honor: the Massachusetts Seal of Biliteracy with Distinction for advanced proficiency. 59 students received the Massachusetts Seal of Biliteracy, 7 received the Language Opportunity Coalition Bilingual Achievement Award, and 20 received the Revere Public Schools Bilingual Attainment Award. Students earning the Seal of Biliteracy received medals to wear at graduation and official certificates of achievement. The Seal of Biliteracy is also noted on student transcripts, and many colleges and universities offer credits for students who receive the honor.

In addition to demonstrating their language skills on assessments, students were also asked to write an essay in both languages in which they discussed the impact of bilingualism on their lives. Student work was published in “Our Voices: A Multilingual Anthology.”

At the ceremony, several students read excerpts from their bilingual essays in their partner languages and shared original poetry. Other speakers included Mayor Patrick Keefe, Jr., Assistant Superintendent Dr. Lourenco Garcia, and Ms. Laura Sanchez, Assistant Principal for the RHS Multilingual Learner Academy.

For more information about the Seal of Biliteracy, please visit the RPS Multilingual Learner and World Language Program website at

To see more photos from the ceremony, visit

To read a digital copy of “Our Voices: A Multilingual Anthology,” visit

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