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Mira Mesa senior honored by local Veterans of Foreign Wars

Accepting the award
Nicole Hardson-Hurley accepts award from District 1 Commander Dale Smith, left, and District 1 President Ellie Mello.

Nicole Hardson-Hurley, a senior at Mira Mesa High School, has received the Outstanding Spokesperson for Democracy Award from the Veterans of Foreign Wars California District 1, San Diego, receiving a $500 scholarship and a trip to Sacramento for the state finals.

One of the VFW's international programs for high school students, it encourages young adults to reflect on the United States' democratic ideals. Nicole's win means that she'll move on to the state competition in Sacramento. Not only must students write the essay, they must read it to the audience.

"She's a democratic young leader at Mira Mesa High," said Principal Scott Giusti. Hardson-Hurley is vice president of the school's student government, an actress in the school's drama program and president of Impact San Diego.

"She's a well-rounded individual who will represent our city well at the state capitol," said Giusti. "We're proud to have such an outstanding and dedicated student leader."

Nicole was awarded the plaque during a ceremony that was opened by the school's Air Force JROTC color guard. Guest speaker was the the school's AFJROTC Wing Commander, C/Lt.Col. Arnelle Sambile.

The Voice of Democracy program has been supporting youth since being founded by the VFW in 1947. The national competition culminates in a $30,000 scholarship award.

For more information, contact Sara Leonard, Vice Principal, at