LOS Class of 2015
Cortnie Belser, Baltimore, Maryland
As a Lang Opportunity Scholar, the Mission: Bmore project (the title of Cortnie's Lang Project) 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 project's ultimate 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, Newark, Delaware
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.
Christopher Capron, Santa Monica, California
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.
Jason Heo, Newburgh, Indiana
Jason proposes to create Farepath, a technologically-focused mechanism for increasing food access and promoting neighborhood civic engagement, for his Lang Project. To address this issue of food access, he plans to develop an effective food acquisition mechanism to contribute to an already existing distribution infrastructure in the Philadelphia area and a technological platform that will create transparency in the current black box of donation-giving as well as offer resources for starting other chapters. 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.
Isabel Sacks, Chevy Chase, Maryland
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.
Duong Tran, Hanoi, Vietnam
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.