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Vassar College

Summer 2020 Recipients

Emma Frazier ’21—first became involved in EPIC (Engaging People in Change) through her work as an education student. It’s a program serving youth 14–21, two-thirds of whom have undocumented parents and a third of whom are themselves without papers. One of the main projects is college preparation. EPIC is a relatively new organization. While in the past, members have usually ended up at community colleges, there is an opportunity to develop a curriculum that educates everyone about the potentialities and realities of going to a four-year school. The plan is also to pair these regular meetings with college visits and intensive mentoring and case management for individual students.

Jonah Frere-Holmes '22—project consists of developing the cases from CRRJ’s records, which include hundreds of police homicides. In contributing to the CRRJ archive, Jonah would be piecing together and retelling the story of the deceased, contributing to a record that gives those lives concrete and permanent meaning. Working through cases in jurisdictions including Birmingham and Baltimore, by engaging the community in a process of restorative justice, Jonah will be embarking on the first step of community healing—recognition and conversation.

Amelia Cabrera ‘21—in working with the Civil Rights and Restorative Justice Institute, will continue researching cases and creating a fuller record of the lives for the CRRJ Project. This work involves confronting violent truths, holding space for inter-generational and community trauma, sharing testimony, and finding community in the work. 

Parvaneh Jefferson ’21 will work with Dutchess County Medical Reserve Corps as an EMT. The Medical Reserve Corps is a national network of volunteers, both healthcare professionals and none, that focus on supporting public health infrastructure and disaster preparedness and response in their local communities. As an EMT, Parvaneh would be considered a medical volunteer and therefore would assist in “front-line” efforts. Such as a recovery center, located at Dutchess Community College, that serves patients with low-severity COVID-19 as well as negative testing patients in order to free up space in local hospitals, and a collaboration with Hudson River Housing. Hudson River Housing has relocated its emergency shelter operations to the pods on North Hamilton Street.

Summer 2021 Recipients

Phoebe Lippe '21 will work as a volunteer at the Kitrinos Healthcare Center in the Moria refugee camp in Lesbos, Greece. The Moria camp was built to accommodate 3000 people, but presently has over 13,000, including more than 1000 unaccompanied minors. A large part of the work will be teaching English to children who live in the camp, helping run a daycare service, and accompanying patients to medical appointments while interpreting in French, Greek, and English. This internship is through Kitrinos Healthcare, an NGO that has been providing healthcare and aid to refugees in camps across Greece since 2016. As a result of the refugee crisis, over 1 million refugees have ended up in Greece. Most of these refugees come from Syria, Iraq, and Afghanistan. The camp is extremely overcrowded and is largely lacking in food and healthcare services.

Joshua Gbodi '23 will be part of a non-profit program, called HackNG (HackNigeria), which seeks to pioneer activities that will help Nigeria develop and aid the needy. Joshua hopes to teach the children in Gwoza IDP Camp, Abuja core academic courses like last year, but in a more comprehensive manner, and within a much longer period. The intention is to help the children understand their school subjects better, since they are very often enrolled in low standard schools, and perform better in their academics. This will help improve their prospects of reaching higher levels in their education and give them more advantage in competing in the real world as they seek to find a sustainable livelihood. Also, the life skills will give them opportunities to make money needed for basic needs without begging and help them become more useful to their community, contributing to the future of less privileged children and helping Nigeria develop.

Katherine Walters '21 will work for as an intern at Logan Place, one of the residence houses within the organization Preble Street in Portland, Maine. The mission of Preble Street is to assist and empower people who have experienced chronic homelessness and poverty. Katherine’s work as an intern will contribute to the mission and running of the larger Preble Street organization by building individual relationships at Logan Place, in the lives of the 30 people there.