Lang Scholar Profiles

Headshots of new Lang Scholars

Tyler Alexander ’17 Project Ké, Tyler’s Lang Project, is designed to improve Haiti’s healthcare system by establishing a Mass Casualty Intervention (MCI) standard for Haitian healthcare providers and by creating an organization, in partnership with Haitian hospitals and communities, through which MCI skills can be taught and learned.  Project Ké will retain in-country instructors to teach the most up-to-date methods of MCI to classes of Haitian healthcare providers. Each class will contain an average of twelve students and last two weeks. In an effort to promote sustainability and self-sufficiency, Project Ké will train Haitians to become program instructors. As a result, Project Ké will be able to run with minimal overseas involvement. Training MCI instructors not only promotes sustainability, but provides much-needed jobs for Haitians, as well.

Efua Asibon '16 The lack of tailored educational programs and interventions for individuals with developmental disabilities and the lack of support for special educators in Ghana inspired Efua's proposed Lang Project, SustainAbility. SustainAbility will be a periodic and easily replicable teacher training program which will also serve as a platform for special educators in Ghana to brainstorm ideas and to involve in policy making. She plans to do an internship with The Center of Autism in Philadelphia next summer to help me develop skills that will crystallize the project, build bridges and networks to improve on the existing program plan.

Raven Bennett ’17 The Youth Activist Institute, Raven's Lang Project, aims to prevent rape by delivering consent education to high school-aged youth. While most colleges present consent education programming to their incoming students, this preventative measure often comes too late. Adolescence is a formidable time in which the brain is still developing and irresponsible representations of sexual violence in the media send negative messages to youth. Bennett’s dynamic model of consent education paired with lessons on social justice methodology — working in partnership with the UCLA Rape Treatment Center in Santa Monica, Calif., — will address the issues at hand. 

Fatima Boozarjomehri ’17 There is a considerable presence of vision related problems in Iran, even higher than that of other Middle Eastern countries. About 30-35% of people living in Iran are affected by myopia or hyperopia (nearsightedness or farsightedness). For people of high socioeconomic status, this is not an issue with modern technology such as prescription eyeglasses, contacts, or even laser vision correction surgery. For those less fortunate, eyeglasses are very expensive, and many people cannot afford them. Fatima's aim is to give those who cannot afford eyeglasses in Iran a chance to correct their vision. In partnership with Periclean Scholar group, the SEE Initiative, Fatima plans to provide prescription eyeglasses made from recycled plastic. 

Al Brooks ‘16 The Student Equity Action Network (SEAN), Al's proposed Lang Project, is a small, grassroots organization dedicated to closing the achievement gap in the Palo Alto Unified School District. He writes, "With my project I would like to firmly establish ourselves within the community with well-endowed scholarships and subsidies to pay for students to take the PSAT, SAT, and/or ACT as well as to pay for everything from pre-school to college application fees, tutors, etc. and all of the resources the students who historically achieve in Palo Alto have access to. I would also like to ensure that the work that we started with A-G Alignment is seen through and has support starting in kindergarten to ensure no Minority students fall off track."

Maria Castañeda Soria '18 A special major in Peace Studies and Spanish, Maria plans to launch Proyecto de Mujeres Migrantes (The Migrant Worker Women’s Project) as her Lang Project. Proyecto de Mujeres Migrantes will work in partnership with El Centro de Derechos del Migrante (CDM). “Through this project, I aim to tackle the issue of women migrant workers’ rights abuses on a transnational scale using a sustainable, community-supported model,” writes Castañeda Soria. She continues, “Because of this scholarship, I will be able to return to Mexico after 17 years and be a part of a new initiative. It is an opportunity to directly work with my community to create transnational change. As someone who has been through the experiences of being an immigrant, it means a lot to be able to start a project that will hopefully change things for the better.”

Sonya Chen '18  A Political Science and Mathematics major, Sonya will create a Lang Project focused on leadership development and mentoring in Philadelphia Chinatown. Through this project, Sonya aims to partner with a local organization in Philadelphia Chinatown to foster a generation of young leaders to tackle the inequities that face Chinatown and the Asian American Pacific Islander (AAPI) community. She writes, “I am truly grateful for and excited about this opportunity! As an Asian American woman, the immigrant community is one that I feel strongly connected to. To straddle the worlds of being ‘Asian’ and being ‘American’ can be both a struggle and a blessing; thus, I would like to help foster a safe and supportive space where Chinatown youth can explore their identities and tackle Asian-American issues. I hope to develop meaningful relationships with the youth through mentoring, leadership development, and social justice education.”

Mariko Ching ‘16  Bijli Bicycle or “Bicycle Electricity,” Mariko's Lang Project, is providing rural North Indian communities with independent and renewable sources of electricity and lighting. Working in partnership with EduCare India, Mariko and her team provide training to permanent EduCare India staff on the construction and maintenance of bicycle-powered generator systems that converts pedal-power into usable electricity, while community members operate the system throughout the day. The electricity generated may be used to charge lanterns so that families can have access to lighting at night. This added amenity has the potential to improve the quality of life for the communities by allowing for time during the evening hours to engage in beneficial activities such as personal and community development.

Mariah Everett '18 A major in Sociology/Anthropology with a minor in Biology, Mariah will develop a Lang Project in the area of refugee health. She writes, "To borrow the words of doctor and medical anthropologist Paul Farmer: 'For me, an area of moral clarity is: you're in front of someone who's suffering and you have the tools at your disposal to alleviate that suffering or even eradicate it, and you act.' The Lang Opportunity Scholarship Program will give me the tools to act to improve the quality of healthcare received by refugees in America. I am excited to embark on this journey working towards a more just world." 

Bolutife Fakoya ’17 As much of the science that is taught in Abuja secondary schools is contained within classrooms and exam halls, there is little emphasis placed on the role that research has to play in the scientific process. The Abuja Science and Community Resource Centre (ASCRC), Bolu’s Lang Project, will be a non-profit initiative that aims to provide an enriching environment where secondary school students in the Abuja region of Nigeria can explore the ways in which they can bridge the divide between their science education and their communities. By creating and deploying context appropriate science curricula that enrich rather than replace the science curricula currently in place in schools, the ASCRC will enable students to discover pathways in which the scientific principles they learn in school can be applied in ways that leave a positive impact in their communities. 

Chase Fuller ’17 For his Lang Project, Sabemos: Financial Empowerment for Recently Immigrated Communities, Chase plans to develop a financial empowerment program tailored to the needs of recently immigrated Latino communities in Philadelphia, PA, and then to scale up the target population as the curriculum receives community input, gaining traction, and nuance. The fundamental issue is one of access. Extensive bodies of research thoroughly detail safe personal finance habits. But this information is distributed in a structurally unequal way. Too often recently immigrated peoples suffer from a disparity in power mediated through the unequal allocation of knowledge. At its broadest aspiration, Chase’s project seeks to mitigate the asymmetrical distribution of financial information through accessible programming on specific, relevant aspects of economic life in the United States. 

Tyler Huntington '18 Tyler’s Lang Project, Harvest Circle, will promote the development of an equitable, sustainable, and nourishing local food system in Chester, PA.  Harvest Circle aims to increase food sovereignty, support healthy nutrition and to stimulate a community-based food economy through investing in small farmers, offering a flexible marketplace for consumers, supporting the startup of new residential gardens, and delivering educational programming. Tyler writes, “I am filled with both gratitude and excitement for the chance to implement a project that will allow more people to enjoy the nourishment that enables them to thrive."

A'Dorian Murray-Thomas ‘16 SHE Wins Institute, A'Dorian's Lang Project, is a ten week summer program for Newark girls who have lost a parent or sibling to homicide. "Winners" are empowered to use their experience as a catalyst for personal, intellectual and civic development. Fusing therapeutic, self-empowerment, and social justice models, SHE Wins helps students acquire a lifelong civic-minded framework that develops their intellectual, personal, and civic selves. The outcome is a cohort of youth empowered to be agents of positive change throughout their communities. 

Michaela Shuchman ‘16 For her Lang Project, Michaela created a drama program, The Stage of Life, which introduces Philadelphia middle school students to acting. The program gives the students tools to use in their everyday lives through the study of acting. Michaela writes, "Starting out in one classroom in one school, my idea is to have the program expand to more classrooms and schools, involving more students from both the Philadelphia schools and Swarthmore and creating a lasting bond between the two. After the first year of the curriculum, a drama club at the school would be created to help continue to supply theater outlets to the students who really want them. My goal is that the students of the schools in Philadelphia always have the ability and opportunity to tell their stories." 

Ciara Williams ‘16 Ciara's proposed Lang Project, Chester Green's Environmental Education Program, is an initiative to collapse the distinction between the natural, home, and school environments. The students at Stetser Elementary have already begun environmental education, writes Ciara, "my program will create a curriculum and a set of activities and projects throughout the year to supplement the school's garden and ECO School program." Her Lang Project will work towards the goal of empowering Chester residents through concrete experiences with the aim of achieving environmental literacy. The ultimate goal of the project is to have empowered 35 or so individuals in the principles of environmental justice, as Environmental Justice ambassadors, they will be responsible for teaching others.

Sedinam Worlanyo ’17 The rural village of Odoben in the Asikuma-Odoben-Brakwa (AOB) district of Ghana experiences slow economic development which has resulted in rural-urban migration of the district members to urban cities like Accra. Approximately 700 students attend the community’s sole senior high school; it is the only academic institution present within the district for training young people for the job market in this community. Graduating students lack knowledge in basic marketing, financial, technological, entrepreneurial, and innovation skills that they would need to thrive in their future careers. For her Lang Project, Sedinam proposes to set up a dedicated entrepreneurial/ innovation space, NextGen Vocational Leaders, to develop an entrepreneur mentorship network, to provide instruction on digital literacy and entrepreneurial skills, and to arrange for apprenticeships.