Lang Scholar Profiles

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.

Cortnie Belser '15 Cortnie's Lang Project, Mission: Bmore will engage 15-20 high school students in Baltimore city in social dialogue and community engagement surrounding issues within urban black culture. The project will produce culturally responsive pedagogy through an African American history curriculum, using Baltimore city as a cultural hub to connect to the national black historical context. The cohort participants will develop community exhibitions to be displayed within a designated community to further educate and engage that particular community. The project's goal is to craft a community of young leaders dedicated to examining and challenging urban black culture through historic and contemporary critical thinking.

Hope Brinn '15 For her Lang Project, Hope seeks to utilize the largely untapped knowledge of talented first generation college students who have successfully navigated the college process themselves to help underrepresented students to gain admission to and successfully complete college through a virtual mentoring program. Mentors will begin working with their mentees in ninth grade to help them succeed in high school but also to give them the enrichment and cultural capital necessary to allow them to be successful through the admissions process and in college.

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."

Christopher Capron '15 Chris aims to improve the self-efficacy of the diabetes community to care and effectively advocate for themselves through a telemedicine project using SMS technology and social media tools. In so doing, Chris plans to improve the holistic health, both physical and psychological, of children and youth with Type I diabetes in Quito, Ecuador and surrounding areas.

Mariko Ching ‘16 For her Lang Project, Mariko plans to use a passion for bicycles, mechanical skills, and experience with community-based bicycle programs to implement a bicycle empowerment scheme that will aim to confront gender inequity in a northern Indian community. The program will provide young women with bicycles and mechanical skills as well as offer an enriching, educational experience to promote self-actualization.

Jason Heo '15  Jason's Lang Project is called Farepath. It is a technologically-focused mechanism for increasing food access and promoting neighborhood civic engagement. Farepath aims to implement an efficient, door-to-door system supported by a technological platform that enables donors to directly monitor their contributions and offers a scalable solution to recruit volunteers. The technological platform will create transparency in the current black box of donation-giving as well as offer resources for starting other chapters; sponsor-donors can monitor their goods and track the progress of their neighborhood contributions, thereby increasing civic engagement. By developing mapping technology through mobile applications, there is great potential for creating communities of altruism throughout areas of the country where the model can be learned and applied, repeatedly. www.farepath.org

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

Isabel Sacks '15  Isabel's project, Pedagogy for Social Action, will initiate teacher-led workshops addressing issues of social justice with high school students at Santa Maria del Batey (a rural school in the Dominican Republic). The project has four goals: (1) empower the teachers in their professional development by creating a permanent "community of practice," (2) redirect pedagogy towards critical thinking, reading, and writing in the classroom in place of copying and rote memorization, (3) open discussions in the wider community about social justice and relevant issues such as violence, abuse, gender disparities, Haitian/Dominican tensions, religious differences, race, and class, and (4) inspire students to make a difference in their community.

Michaela Shuchman ‘16 For her Lang Project, Michaela proposes to create a drama program, The Stage of Life, which will introduce Philadelphia middle school students to acting. The program would give the students tools to use in their everyday lives through the study of acting. She 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." 

Duong Tran '15  Duong's vision and life goal is to empowering millions of young Vietnamese to create positive changes in Vietnam. To this end, Duong's Lang Project, Youth's View, Voice and Vision in Society (YVS) will develop critical thinking, debate and public speaking skills among Vietnamese youth through workshops, member clubs in high schools and universities, and annual events. Duong's end goal is a strong network of youth with ideas, skills and self-confidence to discuss social issues effectively, formulate solutions and take actions to change society for the better.

Minh Vo '15  Minh's Lang Project, Life Skill and Mentorship Program for Young Orphans in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam is designed for an all-male orphanage of 110 boys focused on the challenges of institutionalized children. Beyond giving them basic amenities (food, shelter and schooling), Vietnam has not done much for its young orphans, forgetting that it takes a functional family to raise a child. Outcomes for Vietnam's young orphans - raised in crowded institutions and subtractive gang environments - are historically school under-achievers and youth delinquents. Minh claims that building developmental structures into their lives at a young age and guiding them in making important decisions on a weekly basis are sustainable and effective interventions. Minh delivers these impacts through three program activities (1) supporting them to gain age-appropriate skills which they use to bring service to underprivileged communities (2) rewarding them for demonstrating positive behaviors and values that are guaranteed to promote their short-to-medium term school and social success (3) giving them an activity mentor who focuses on guiding them through activity challenges speaking to their individual weaknesses and strengths.

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.