- Advocating healthy food and restorative justice
- Age: 18
- School: New Orleans Charter Science & Mathematics High School
- Hometown: New Orleans
- Gender: Female
- Category: Social Activism and Community Service
As a member of Rethink, a New Orleans nonprofit, Victoria makes sure students have a voice in rebuilding public schools in the post-Katrina city. That includes improving school cafeterias and systems of punishment. Rethink members, including Victoria, were featured in the Emmy-nominated HBO documentary The Weight of the Nation: The Great Cafeteria Takeover, which followed the Rethinkers as they negotiated an agreement between their school district and Aramark, their food provider, to serve healthy, fresh, locally grown food.
Victoria also works to replace punitive forms of punishment in New Orleans schools with restorative justice, highlighted in the short documentary A Better Way Than Punishment. "Restorative justice tries to get to the root of the problem," she said, "so adults, teachers, parents and principals understand why kids act the way they do, how to solve their problems and how to not punish them for what they've done, but instead help to repair a relationship ... and the harm that has happened to the community and the student."