Ron Brown Scholar Community Service Foundation
2009 Community Service Foundation Grants
At the heart of the Ron Brown Scholar Program lies an unshakable commitment to service. The Ron Brown Scholar Program launched its Community Service Foundation (CSF) in April of 2008 with the intent to help Ron Brown Scholars continue serving their communities through innovative service projects. Thanks to a gift from the CAP Charitable Foundation, the CSF will award small grants to Ron Brown Scholar applicants who submit proposals of service projects that demonstrate visionary solutions to problems of social importance.
2009 Grant Recipients:
Black Cornerstone Foundation
Kristian Henderson (RBS 2005) and Mya Thompson (RBS 2007) initially presented the Black Cornerstone Foundation in the business plan competition at the Entrepreneurial Conference in New York this summer. A part of that plan included the Athletic Leadership and Empowerment series designed to directly support minority male college athletes in an effort to increase graduation rates, GPA’s, and levels of employment beyond college. Athletes participating in the leadership series will also receive training to enable them to go into high schools to speak to young athletes about opportunities and education. Kristian and Mya were recently awarded $2500.00 for this piece of the Black Cornerstone Foundation.
Project Words Work!
Maria Velazquez (RBS 2000) is partnering with the Washington, D.C.-based non-profit organization, Bookfruits, and RBS Desiree Montgomery (2008) to deliver literature-based therapy to youth in an emergency domestic violence shelter. Maria will serve as facilitator locally providing writing workshops to child survivors in the shelter and Desiree will provide administrative support via telecommute. The weekly writing workshops will allow children to explore their emotions, family relationships, and other issues directly related to violence. Maria was recently awarded $2520.00 for this exciting project.
Read at Peace
This project proposed by Damilola Oladeru (RBS 2007) and Folake Dosu (RBS 2007) designed to promote literacy and religious tolerance in Erin-Ijesa, Nigeria. In addition to refurbishing an existing building for use as a library, the project seeks to offer the local population workshops on religious tolerance while also training individuals to lead the workshops to foster sustainability. The work in Nigeria will be linked back to schools in the US that are currently working to procure books for the library as part of school-wide community service projects. Also, a well will be built behind the library to ensure that all children and adults will be encouraged to use the facilities as part of the every day lives. Damilola and Folake were awarded $3000 for their project.
Project Nigerian Initiative for Joint Advancement (NIJA) (pending)
Adora Mora (RBS 2006) and Peter Boyce (RBS 2008) propose to decrease the brain drain effect in Nigeria by linking exceptional college students in the United States (mainly Harvard to start) with internships during January term in Nigeria. The most notable piece of this proposal is the training software that will be both designed and implemented by the team, residential communities, and mentoring for interns heading to Nigeria. This project hopes to increase the likelihood that graduates of Nigerian descent will return to Nigeria to work. Additionally, the project will link interns to Nigerians in the National Youth Service Corps in order to open gateways to specialized training experiences for them. Friend of the Program and Oak Foundation representative, Andrea Frey has been advising Adora and Peter as they rework their application.
The Black Diaspora Project (pending)
Martine Caverl (RBS 1999) submitted a proposal to support an cultural and political exchanges between young people of African descent living in Chicago and Haiti. The project will empower young people to share ideas about becoming agents of change in their communities and nations. Upon advisement from Mr. Mel Foote, a friend of the Program and President of the Constituency for Africa, Martine is making minimal revisions to her proposal for resubmission.