By Krysta Huber

After organizing service projects to help the homeless and hungry, a South Brunswick High School freshman was recognized by the state for his volunteer work as an interfaith group leader.

Zain Bhayat of South Brunswick will receive the New Jersey State Governor’s Jefferson Youth Community Service Award June 8 for cofounding Eleven Points, an interfaith community service group of Muslim and Jewish youth. Its name represents the sum of the five points on stars in Islamic calligraphy and the six points on the Star of David.

“It’s really nice to know that all of our hard work is being noticed,” Bhayat said. “It’s great to see that people are recognizing us and what we’re doing.”

Bhayat was chosen for the award alongside cofounders Amani Noor Ahmed, a sophomore at Stuart Country Day School in Princeton, and Dean Alamleh, a sophomore at Robbinsville High School. Ahmed approached Alamleh and Bhayat with her idea to organize the group after being inspired by her upbringing, which emphasizes service and faith. [Read more…]