The Yale School of Public Health has honored Bobbi Wilson, the 9-year-old girl whose White neighbor called the cops on her while she sprayed lanternflies to save trees in her Caldwell neighborhood.
The prestigious university said in a news release that Wilson was honored last month for her “efforts in eradicating the invasive spotted lanternfly in her hometown of Caldwell, New Jersey.”
The 9-year-old, who came to Yale with her family and friends, was also recognized for donating her personal lanternfly collection to Yale’s Peabody Museum. The collection has since been entered into the museum’s database, according to the university, and Wilson has been officially named as the donor scientist.
“Yale doesn’t normally do anything like this … this is something unique to Bobbi,” Yale School of Public Health Assistant Professor Ijeoma Opara said. “We wanted to show her bravery and how inspiring she is, and we just want to make sure she continues to feel honored and loved by the Yale community.”
Wilson visited Yale for the second time on January 20th. After learning that her White neighbor had called the police on her, the university initially invited her for a tour. Wilson was killing lanternflies with a homemade repellent mixture of water, dish soap, and apple cider vinegar when the incident occurred in October.
Gordon Lawshe, a former Republican Party leader in Caldwell, was identified as the person who reported the minor to police. Bobbi’s grandmother planted one of the trees she was attempting to save. Monique Joseph, Wilson’s mother, spoke out about the incident at a mayor and council meeting on November 1.