STOWE, Vt., April 4 - The New England Educational Opportunity Association today awarded Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) the Claiborne Pell Award, its top honor, to recognize his commitment to providing greater educational opportunities for people from low- and middle-income backgrounds.
The Claiborne Pell Award was established to recognize "those rare individuals whose pioneering leadership and vision have made an indelible mark on the struggle for equal educational opportunity."
The association is an organization of professionals interested in insuring equal educational opportunities in higher education. Its mission is to advocate for access to and success in postsecondary education for low-income, first generation and disabled students through federal programs like TRiO, which help students achieve a bachelor's degree.
Past recipients of the Claiborne Pell Award include the late Sen. Edward Kennedy (D-Mass.), Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine), and Sen. James Jeffords (I-Vt.).
Sanders was the keynote speaker at the association's annual conference held in Stowe. The organization represents nearly 100 federally funded education programs that work with more than 50,000 students from middle school to college.