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Harvey Milk Diversity Breakfast youth honorees named

SAN DIEGO – Three San Diego area youth will be recognized Friday at the sold-out Harvey Milk Diversity Breakfast at the San Diego Bayfront Hilton.

More than 1,100 San Diegans who support equality and justice will gather in celebration of Harvey Milk's memory. During the event, the Harvey Milk Youth Leadership Award will be presented to Rebeca Arellano and Haileigh Adams, and the Harvey Milk Youth Essay Award will be presented to Andrew Alvarado.

2012 Harvey Milk Youth Leadership Award – Rebeca Arellano and Haileigh Adams

On Oct. 28, 2011, Rebeca Arellano was named Patrick Henry High School’s first female homecoming king. The next day, her girlfriend Haileigh Adams was named homecoming queen, making the two the first lesbian couple in the U.S. crowned homecoming king and queen.

The response to the couple’s win was mainly positive, their school, family and friends supportive. One student at Patrick Henry High even noted, “It makes me think that you can be more open and stuff, the way the school’s reacting to it. … It makes you more comfortable in the school and in your environment.”

2012 Harvey Milk Youth Essay Award – Andrew Alvarado

A senior at Hilltop High School, Andrew Alvarado has been accepted to the University of California Berkeley, where he says he plans to study microbiology and immunology with the dream of becoming an epidemiologist for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

In his essay Andrew wrote, “To me, hope is the force that propels us to wake up in the morning; the force that spurs us to do great things; the force that reassures us in our darkest time. In a twist of the old idiom, where there is hope, there is life and Harvey Milk understood that. He understood that hope is a driving force in the world.”