Tisch Residential Active Citizenship Program
Matt Alander, Hamden, CT, class of 2008
Tisch College and Residential Life
The Tisch College of Citizenship and Public Service and the Office of Residential Life and Learning at Tufts University have partnered to pilot a living-learning community focused on civic engagement and a new student leadership position. The Tisch Residential Active Citizenship Program is for first year students interested in active citizenship. The goal of this collaboration is to foster both internal and external community connections and develop a vibrant, residential environment that supports student learning, dialogue, respect, and civility. The living-learning community utilizes a civic learning outcomes model, addresses an increased student demand for active citizenship opportunities, and builds participation for programs already in existence, both on and off campus. Matt will oversee this program and develop relevant active citizenship programming for the students participating in this program.
Green Infrastructure Project
Malek Al-Chalabi, Abu Dhabi, UAE, class of 2009
Groundwork Somerville is a non-profit grassroots organization that strives to improve the environment in Somerville by creating community partnerships and by empowering members of the community to promote social, economic, and environmental well being. Malek will be working with Groundwork Somerville, and his responsibilities will include researching and compiling information on the status of Somerville’s green infrastructure. After compiling the information, Malek will work with a variety of non profits and with City Hall to implement a plan to make Somerville more environmentally friendly and green. A high school team will also be working with Malek to improve the infrastructure and overall project implementation.
International Development/Health Networking Group
Jose Alfaro, Los Angeles, CA, class of 2008
Jose intends to create a council/collaborative of the student groups, organizations and faculty members who are involved in dealing with issues of international health & development. The purpose of this collaboration and network is to provide a support and resource system among these entities, which will lead to benefiting each other and ultimately the international community they serve. Also, this network would ideally lead to open discussions of their needs and how can they help each other and increase their support from the Tufts community. Additionally the project would coordinate efforts among them and create a campus-wide event that will have the groups, organizations and faculty members involved in these issues to talk about the issues they are dealing with, what they are doing to tackle them, increase the awareness and interest in the Tufts community around them and ultimately increase support to international aid programs. With these, the ‘why’ and the ‘how’ should be provided to the Tufts student body regarding international health issues.
Healthy Weight Promotion Research
Khudejha Ashgar, Cambridge, MA, class of 2010
Institute of Community Health
Khudejha will be working with the Institute of Community Health in Cambridge on the Healthy Weight Promotion Project. The project will evaluate the Active Living by Design physical activity program in Somerville, which is funded by a 5-year grant from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. Along with the HWP team, she will conduct pedestrian counts to assess use of the Minuteman Trail in Davis Square. Additionally, the Healthy Weight Promotion project will be facilitating community participation in summarizing the walkability of neighborhoods in Somerville and Everett. Based on the findings of this component, the project may expand to foster collaboration between university or community organizations and Somerville schools to create programming that promotes physical activity.
Social Justice Arts Initiative
Jennifer Bailey, Chicago, IL, class of 2009
Tufts University and the Surrounding Communities
The mission of the Social Justice Arts Initiative (SJAI) is to create dialogue pertaining to issues of social justice through the lens of the visual and performing arts on the Tufts University campus. This year SJAI plans on partnering with arts-based non-profit organizations throughout the Boston area facilitate programming both on and off campus. Jennifer’s role with SJAI will primarily be administrative working to locate funding for each project in addition to working on a one-day Arts for Social Change Conference to be held in the spring.
Kate Berson, Norhport NY, class of 2009
Kate is working with Massachusetts Immigrant and Refugee Advocacy Coalition in Boston. MIRA Coalition advocates for immigrant and refugees’ rights and opportunities. Kate will concentrate on immigrants’ access to public programs and benefits, including food stamps and cash assistance. She will also work on the Citizenship for New Americans campaign, which seeks to help immigrants through the naturalization process to become citizens.
Faces of Medford
Jennifer Bollenbacher, Barrington, IL, class of 2010
City of Medford
The city of Medford, in collaboration with the Jonathan M. Tisch College of Citizenship and Public Service, will be hosting an exhibit showcasing a variety of families living in Medford. The exhibit aims to increase awareness and understanding of all types of family structures, and to recognize that although families may appear different at first glance, they have more in common than one may think. Jenn will be responsible for recruiting families, commissioning a photographer, advertising, and organizing the final exhibit.
College Access Medford
Vincient Booker, Euclid, OH, class of 2009
Medford High School and the Emerging Black Leaders
Vincient will be collaborating with the guidance & administrative staff of Medford High School and the Emerging Black Leaders at Tufts University with the College Access Medford Program (CAMP). The aim of the CAMP is to inspire more of Medford’s inner-city youth to seek out higher education as a viable route to success in the modern world. As Program Coordinator, Vincient will program and facilitate engaging workshops, activities, and discussions focused around both the college and financial aid application processes. A key component to CAMP’s success will be establishing solid mentor-student relationships to ensure consistency and dedication on behalf of the Medford High School students and their overall achievement.
Eviction Prevention in Somerville
Rachel Brown, Owings Mills, MD, class of 2010
Community Action Agency of Somerville (CAAS)
Rachel’s primary responsibilities will be to learn about laws and regulations, to start working with clients under supervision, and eventually to organize and carry out outreach workshops and write articles for local newspapers. The responsibilities of her teammates and community organization at CAAS will be to provide a supportive environment for her, to supervise her work with clients, and help to educate her about housing laws and regulations.
Wellness Policy Initiative
Arielle Carpenter, Boca Raton, FL, class of 2010
Medford Public Schools
Did you know that 45% of Americans are clinically obese, and 25% of American 8-year-old children are clinically obese? Arielle would like to see children come away from her after school program with an understanding about the importance of the foods they eat and the physical activity they perform. They should be knowledgeable enough to choose the healthier alternative between water and soda. In addition to educating them about nutrition, Arielle would like to be able to influence them to actually want to choose healthier options and to actually want to do physical activity because it can be enjoyable. Arielle will be planning weekly activities for the after school program, such as learning about the food pyramids and participating in a relay day. Arielle also wants to improve upon and adapt her existing nutrition presentation so that she can reach not only the students in the after school program but hopefully every student at the Columbus Elementary School. Arielle would also like to introduce weekly food tasting of fruits and vegetables during lunch time and possibly do some kind of nutrition education during snack time or physical education class. Arielle hopes to develop a monthly newsletter or healthy eating guide to distribute to the students and then eventually have them contribute to it as well. Lastly, she wants have the children get involved with planting their own foods, either through a community garden at the school or with individual potted plants. If at least one child decides to change his/her unhealthy eating habits, Arielle feels that she has made a difference in the community.
Jessie Chamberlin, San Francisco, CA, class of 2009
The Somerville Museum
Jessie will be working with The Somerville Museum to create a procedural manual outlining the steps to create and execute an exhibit. As a museum that is reliant upon community input and participation, the guidebook will be a platform for dialogue between the Somerville community and the museum. In addition, it will relieve some of the responsibilities of the volunteers of the museum and clarify the roles of everyone involved. The procedural manual will make the possibility of designing and carrying out an exhibit more feasible, thus making the museum more readily available to the surrounding community and a greater resource. Jessie will work closely with The Somerville Museum’s volunteers as well as past and present exhibitors to find what were successful strategies and invaluable resources throughout the process of an exhibit.
After School Garden Mural Club
Nora Chovanec, Corvallis, OR, class of 2009
Nora is working with Groundwork Somerville, an organization that focuses on empowering Somerville youth, as well as engaging families and neighbors, to become stewards of their very local environment through caretaking a pocket garden at their own schools. This year she will be developing and leading an after school garden mural club for 6th and 7th graders at two schools in the Somerville school district. The murals will focus on community gardens, healthy eating, the process in which food reaches the table, and how the Somerville community is involved in all of that. They will be designed and painted by middle schoolers in the area through a twice weekly after school club. The class will consist of learning about the history of mural work, elementary drawing and painting instruction, field trips to local farms, class discussions on healthy eating, and then of course the designing and painting of a permanent mural that will be displayed in the school. She will also be working with Groundwork Somerville on various extra growing healthy gardens projects in the community.
Understanding Depression at Tufts
Michael Conroy, Weston, CT, class of 2009
Michael Conroy is developing a project that enables students at Tufts and in Tufts host communities, Somerville and Medford, to better understand depression. Mike will work with the Tufts University Counseling Center, Tufts Health Services, and other local mental health resources to create a meaningful, effective, and sustainable depression awareness program at Tufts University and in the middle and high schools of Medford and Somerville. Michael will be organizing a mandatory depression awareness orientation program for incoming Tufts freshman to be held during orientation. A community 5k race/walk will be created to promote awareness in the community and raise funds for continued development of mental health awareness in the local communities. These events will hopefully chip away at the mental health stigma that prevents many people from recognizing and getting help for their mental health issues.
Development Push for the Boys and Girls Club of Middlesex County
Danielle Damm, Boca Raton, FL, class of 2009
The Boys and Girls Club of Middlesex County
Danie is thrilled to be working in Middlesex County with the Boys and Girls Club on their development and PR efforts. For almost 35 years, the Middlesex County site has worked to further Boys and Girls Clubs of America’s now nationally recognized mission. Danie’s commitment to youth aligns with their goal to "enable all young people, especially those who need it most, to reach their full potential as productive, caring, responsible citizens." For her project, Danie plans to increase the surrounding area’s awareness of this program through aggressive PR efforts, a corporate luncheon, and work with the board in reaching out to donors.
Haitian Families: Becoming Part of the School Family
Patricia Eloizin, Delray Beach, FL, class of 2009
Medford High School
The mission of Medford High School is to create an atmosphere in which all students can reach their highest potential. Their ultimate goal is to mold a community of lifelong learners and responsible leaders. This outcome becomes a reality when families, students, teachers, administrators and staff work collaboratively. Patricia Eloizin will be working at Medford High School with first generation Haitian families in an effort to bridge the cultural and linguistic gaps that exist between the school and the families. She will also be working to inform both Haitian students and parents on postsecondary educational options. The hope is that Haitian families will feel empowered in that they too can be an active participant in the educational process throughout high school and as their child is deciding on their post high school plans.
Intergenerational Literacy Program
Fanna Gamal, Albany CA, class of 2010
& Pacific Tuyishime, Kigali, Rwanda, class of 2010
Intergenerational Literacy Program
Fanna and Pacific are working with the Intergenerational Literacy Program in Chelsea. The ILP helps new immigrants and their family’s transition to a new life in Chelsea. The program focuses on social and economic empowerment through literacy. Moreover, the program works to equip parents with the cultural literacy to help their children navigate a new school system. In addition to working as tutors at the ILP, Fanna and Pacific will be planning an ILP event centered on the promotion of literacy as a family project. The event will provide a fun arena for immigrant families to participate in literacy activities, while bringing Tufts students to Chelsea to explore and active citizenship opportunity.
The Clemente Program
Genevie Gold, Kansas City, KS, class of 2008
Codman Square Health Center
The project, along with the Clemente Program at the Codman Square Health Center, aims to create a writing program that offers participants the skills they need to have confidence in producing academic prose. The project will use trained Tufts Writing Fellows and tutors to provide support to students. Additionally, this project will by connect similar organizations in and outside the Tufts Community to raise awareness about the unequal access to quality education.
Community Language Bank in Somerville
Jeff Goldberg, Brookfield, CT, class of 2008
& Chase Webber, Brentwood, TN, class of 2009
Community Language Bank in Somerville
The Community Language Bank in Somerville is a web-based community resource that allows for-profit businesses and non-profit organizations in Somerville to have short documents translated and meetings interpreted by multilingual Somerville residents and Tufts students. It seeks to turn Somerville’s language differences from a barrier into an opportunity through the use of translation and interpretation. The Language Bank launched in spring of 2007, and successfully provided translation and interpretation services to the Somerville community at a competitive rate. This year Jeff and Chase will be working to expand the Language Bank and secure long-lasting business relationships and support within the community. Jeff and Chase’s primary aim will be to see the Language Bank become a permanent entity, with the structure and self-sufficiency to consistently attend to the community’s translation and interpretation needs, through seasonal changes in the student body and the arrival and departure of future Tisch Scholars. For more information, please visit: http://somerville.communitylanguagebank.org
Youth TV Production Program
Rachel E. Greenspan, Alexandria, VA, class of 2008
Somerville Community Access Television
Rachel will collaborate with Somerville Community Access Television (SCAT) staff members to instruct an after school TV production program for youth in Somerville. The program will offer students professional technical training, collaborative work experience, and artistic exposure. She will also produce a behind-the-scenes documentary that chronicles student students’ participation in the after school program. This documentary will complement the creation of a promotional DVD featuring exemplary student work done at SCAT over the past few years. This DVD, along with an informational brochure, will be used to recruit youth, build bridges between SCAT and other local community organizations, as well as to obtain funding that will sustain and expand SCAT’s youth programming in the future.
Financial Aid Mentoring with ACCESS at Boston International High School
Eleanor Heidkamp-Young, Wauwatosa, WI, class of 2008
Action Center for Educational Services and Scholarships (ACCESS) works with Boston High School students overcome the financial barriers of going to college. Their 12 staff advisors work with students at every Boston Public High School. Eleanor will work with ACCESS at Boston International High School in Jamaica Plain. After training, she will help with students on the financial aid process. Throughout the year she will shoot, edit, and produce a film to help promote ACCESS to new community partners and encourage students who are in the program.
DV, Trafficking & Immigration: Exploring Issues of Social Justice
Rodela Khan, Cambridge, MA, class of 2008
South Asian Solidarity Network
Rodela Khan will be working with the South Asian Solidarity Network (SASN) as her senior year Scholars project. SASN is a community-based initiative that was formed to create community solutions to address and prevent issues of gender-based violence, labor exploitation and economic distress that migrants from the South Asian Diaspora are faced with in the USA. Rodela will be working directly with migrant women through support groups, meetings and events. She will also help to organize open forums that will include arranging for guest speakers, film screenings, discussions and other community-wide events that will be geared to raise awareness of social justice issues such as domestic violence. By the end of the year, Rodela hopes to have engaged a wide audience in an understanding of domestic violence and trafficking as specific issues of immigration, globalization and social justice.
SUS: Promoting Active Living
Leah Koeppel, San Francisco, CA, class of 2008
Shape Up Somerville
Leah is working with Shape Up Somerville to help monitor, promote and expand the network of "Shape Up Approved" businesses within the Somerville community through site visits and networking. She is also helping to expand and promote monthly "Walk/Ride" days (when residents walk or take active alternative means of transportation to school or work) by increasing the amount of information available to the public online and by securing translated information for Somerville’s multilingual community. The expansion and further development of these programs incorporate aspects of healthy living into everyday life and support important lifestyle changes related to eating right and being active.
Asian and Pacific Islander Women and Girls HIV/AIDS Awareness Day
Piyali Kundu, Glen Oaks, NY, class of 2010
Mass Asian and Pacific Islander for Health
The Asian and Pacific Islander Women and Girls HIV/AIDS Awareness Day will increase awareness and education regarding HIV/AIDS and sexual health among API women and girls and the cultural aspects that place them at risk for HIV/AIDS and other negative health outcomes. It will be carried out under the supervision of Massachusetts Asians and Pacific Islanders for Health (MAP for Health), a community-based organization that advocates for and educates the Asian community on health improvements, focusing on HIV/AIDS and the culturally sensitive issues surrounding sexual health. This event will bring together women and girls from the community and members of their partner organizations for a day to raise awareness among Asians of HIV/AIDS, connect them to services for testing, information, and counseling. It will raise the issue and break through taboos and stigmas to put an API face to HIV/AIDS that these women can connect with.
Boys and Girls Club of Somerville Teen Program
Dean Ladin, Gurnee, IL, class of 2010
Boys and Girls Club of Somerville
Dean is working with The Boys and Girls Club of Somerville to bring their after-school Teen Program to a new level. The mission of The Boys and Girls Club of Somerville is to promote the social, educational, health, leadership, and character development of boys and girls during critical periods of their growth. The goal of the Teen Program is to increase the number of regular teen members through a foundation of diverse programming and community outreach. In addition, a Keystone Club will be established within the Boys and Girls Club to aid in this process. Dean’s primary responsibilities will include initiating the Keystone Club, generating an infrastructure of sustainable programming, and constructing a secure foundation of volunteer and community partnerships.
Chinatown Walking Tours
Angela Lam, Cockeysville, MD, class of 2010
Asian Voices of Organized Youth for Community Empowerment (A-VOYCE) is a youth development and leadership program for teens who want to make positive changes in the world. Angela will be helping these teens of different Asian ethnicities to create both audio and physical walking tours of Chinatown. The teens will participate in creating two projects: producing a downloadable audio tour and becoming trained community guides to lead physical walking tours of Chinatown. A-VOYCE is just one part of the tremendous organization ACDC, or Asian Community Development Corporation. ACDC serves the Asian American community of Greater Boston by fighting for and developing affordable housing, developing leaders in the community and preserving and revitalizing Boston Chinatown.
Working with JQUS Student Government
Jenny Lau, Coventry, RI, class of 2010
Josiah Quincy Upper School (JQUS)
Jenny will work closely with the Student Government organization and faculty members at the Josiah Quincy Upper School (JQUS) in Chinatown, Boston, in order to work with students of the organization in planning and implementing both on-campus and off-campus activities. Such activities would help to engage and involve the rest of the student body at JQUS in enriching and noteworthy co-curriculum experiences. Jenny hopes to organize leadership training for student members of the JQUS community, increase student civic involvement through on campus and off campus activities and events, and increase the overall school pride among the JQUS student body.
Jenny’s primary responsibility is to firstly get to know the students of the JQUS by interacting with the students and faculty members of the school in order to learn about the environment and the people with whom she will be working. Secondly, to meet regularly with the Community Advisor of the project and the JQUS Student Government faculty advisor to discuss activities, events, and manners in which to work with the Student Government of the school in accomplishing the goals of the Scholars Project. Thirdly, to meet, and work, with the students of the JQUS Student Government to assist them with the projects and activities that they plan to implement through their student organization. Jenny will help students organize the manners in which to implement their activities, in addition to advising JQUS students on issues, such as problem-solving and resolving conflicts, that may arise from working with local community members and their peers.
Somerville Auxiliary Police Department
Nelson Leese, Nashua, NH, class of 2009
Somerville Auxiliary Police Department
This year Nelson will be working as a Somerville Auxiliary Police Officer. While learning necessary skills to perform his job, Nelson will respond to car accidents, building fires, and other major incidents within the city. Nelson will also serve as a conduit for other Tisch scholars to direct questions towards law enforcement within the city.
After School Dance Instructor
Jeff Lindsay, Houston, TX, class of 2009
Jeff will work with an after-school program to introduce 5th and 6th graders to ballroom dance. The goal will be to improve to a level where students will feel proud to show off their new moves to their classmates at an end of semester showcase. Their understanding of music will increase as they learn to recognize beats. In addition to the fun and exercise of learning to dance respectfully with a partner, ballroom dance can cultivate one’s self-confidence, self-esteem, self-discipline, and social awareness. Performing can also fill one with a sense of accomplishment and pride.
Barbara McInnis House
Carolyn Matheson, San Jose, Costa Rica, class of 2008
Boston Healthcare for the Homeless
Carolyn will be working at the Barbara McInnis House of Boston Healthcare for the Homeless Program to improve the quality of life of homeless people at the shelter. She will work with the case managers to facilitate access to health care, shelter, health insurance, housing, and other benefits for homeless people at the center. She will also be creating a database within the institution to boost interdepartmental communication.
East Somerville Immigrant Business Organizing
Steve McFarland, Campbell, CA, class of 2008
Steve’s project aims to strengthen existing ties between immigrant businesses in Somerville. Building upon those relationships and the advocacy and organizing of others to broaden consensus and collective action among business owners in collaboration with local non-profits to ensure that economic development in East Somerville is a bolstering force for local communities, not a displacing one. Steve will be working with a broad sampling of non-profits and advocacy organizations in East Somerville to bring together common interests in the vitality of these diverse communities.
Welfare Law Unit
Denisha McKenize, class of 2009
Greater Boston Legal Services
Denisha will be working as a student advocate in the Greater Boston Legal Services Welfare Law Unit. She will work directly with the legal advocates on their cases to help find case management resources for their low-income clients requesting legal representation. Case Management resources for clients that come to the welfare law unit can include: looking for mental health specialists, resources to help with housing needs, rental assistance programs, and other things that may come up on a case by case basis. In addition, she will begin to create a resource guide to help legal advocates keep track of the services available to their clients.
Music Program/Venue Booster for Somerville Public Schools
Arya Meydani, Newton, MA, class of 2009
Somerville Public Schools
Arya will be working with the Somerville Public Schools System on improving its music program for elementary school and high school students. The main goals of the project are to increase participation in the music program, increase attendance at events, and increase outreach to the Somerville community and Tufts University (this includes, but is not limited to, finding local businesses that would like to get involved by making donations for a raffle or providing food at events, as well as finding Tufts organizations that would like to collaborate with Somerville students in their performances, or take part in performance workshops). Other goals include overseeing the outreach aspect of Tufts University’s Music Mentor Program and helping create a list of venues throughout the city in which Somerville students can showcase their artwork. Arya will be overseeing each aspect of this project and will be working with Gretchen Kinder on aspects regarding outreach and community involvement and with Rick Saunders on aspects regarding the actual music program and student performances.
Boston Student Advisory Council (BSAC)
Andrew Nguyen, La Jolla, CA, class of 2010
Boston Student Advisory Council (BSAC)
The Boston Student Advisory Council is a collaborative citywide body of student leaders representing each of the 39 public high schools in Boston. Essentially, BSAC echoes the voice of Boston high school students to the governing Boston School Committee. It is an extensive instrument that encourages students to learn and address relevant citywide school issues. It is also an empowerment tool that serves to give youths a chance to have an input regarding the educational experience they are having. BSAC members bring different perspectives on high school renewal efforts. The council represents a vehicle for students to impact policy and decision-making. There are a number of BSAC projects that are levied at a grassroots level, while various other issues that are being addressed at a legislative level. With that, BSAC is here to help nurture a confident voice within the young adults that strive for improvements within social and civic lines. It cultivates the mentality and enthusiasm for the body of student leaders trying to voice out the issues that affect us students directly.
One of the most important aspects of working with BSAC would be for Andrew to individually build a relationship with the students on the committee. With youth empowerment and achievement as its underlying mission, Andrew will be co-leading and working side by side with this particular group of leading individuals. Whether it be facilitating a meeting or lobbying right next to the student, it would Andrew’s responsibility to not only work with them, but to also guide and support them. Whatever it is, Andrew is there to support the growth of a leading and confident voice within these young adults.
PHA Artists-in-Residence Program
Loan Nguyen, Malden, MA, class of 2010
Prospect Hill Academy Charter School
Loan’s Scholar Project this year prepares high school students at the Prospect Hill Academy Charter School in Somerville for college and the real world by encouraging their interaction with subject matter experts (professionals in the field and majors of fine arts), working independently while networking with peers, and selling their work as accomplished professionals in the arts sphere. One main goal in this project is to introduce students to art as a profession or business while enriching their personal development skills including presentation, communication, and interaction skills. Over the course of the year, Loan will collaborate with PHA, a designated Brickbottom Artists’ Associations representative, and representatives from the Somerville Arts Council in the organization of exhibit space for the student shows and assist in designing and curating the exhibition space and hanging the students’ artwork. Additionally, as a communications facilitator and liaison between the community organizations, she will collaborate with PHA and Brickbottom to schedule artists’ visits to PHA and students’ visits to the Brickbottom studios. Loan is most excited about the prospects of strengthening the relationship between the creative community of student artists at Tufts and those of PHA and professional artists in Somerville. She thinks you too should anticipate many explosively-outrageous outbursts of sensational artistic love among these communities! (All in the name of CollaborARTion.)
The East Somerville Initiative: Implementing the Action Plan
Duncan Pickard, Edgartown, MA, class of 2010
Somerville Community Corporation
Duncan will work to implement the Somerville Community Corporation’s East Somerville Initiative. The Initiative encompasses eight defined areas of improvement in East Somerville. They include: immigrant issues, jobs, youth issues, affordable housing, access to services and programs, education, health and environmental justice, and streetscape. Right now there is little information available regarding some of the components of this plan. Duncan will conduct research on the best way to implement the plan in an effort to connect ideas from the community with specific ways to act on them.
City Brochure and Immigrant Engagement Project
Chloe Rossen, Highland Park, IL, class of 2008
Medford Human Rights Commission
In recent years, Medford has had an influx of immigrants as new residents, but the city lacks many of the social services and other information that would be very useful-and crucial-to this population. In response to this issue, Chloe is working under the auspices of the Medford Human Rights Commission to identify and address immigrants’ needs in Medford. Chloe will look more deeply into what Medford residents (including immigrants), city officials, and service providers think is lacking in regards to services for immigrants and what else should be done. She will first create a brochure that includes important, basic information about Medford. The brochure will be translated into multiple languages and made available for all members of the community. Chloe will also meet with a variety of organizations and other groups in Medford to determine what other needs the immigrant community has. Chloe will attend meetings, such as school board meetings with a translator, as well as meet individually with residents to talk with immigrant newcomers in Medford about what other services they need and want to be provided by the city of Medford.
Occupational Health in Somerville’s Immigrant Community
Katherine Shelley, Shawnigan Lake, BC, class of 2009
ISPG, Dept. Civil & Environmental Engineering
Katherine will be working in Somerville through the Tufts Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering Department. The Tufts School of Engineering received a four-year grant from the National Institute for Occupational Safety & Health (NIOSH) to assess and control occupational health risks within Somerville’s immigrant community. The grant funds intervention projects in collaboration with a range of community partners, with the goals of enhancing understanding of the nature of occupational health risks in immigrant populations and improving community-based capacity to assess and reduce these risks. Katherine will be working with Somerville community partners on several aspects of the program, including an upcoming NIOSH grantee meeting and a night at a local clinic focused on a specific occupational health issue. In addition, she will contribute to the acquisition and analysis of evaluative data for the grant.
Financial Literacy Project
Jane Song, Mukilteo, WA, class of 2010
Somerville Commission for Women
The goal for the Financial Literary Project is to advocate the importance and value of financial literacy to women-especially those who are recent immigrants and of low income in the city of Somerville. The project, which is under the supervision of Somerville Commission for Women, aims to create sustainable partnerships with numerous social agencies and nonprofits working in Somerville to include financial literacy as an integral component of their work. The Tisch Scholar will be a key link between the Somerville Commission for Women and other social agencies and will work to enhance cooperation between the groups and greatly promote the value of financial literacy. In a broader perspective of the project’s goal, the project wishes to empower women with greater financial independence and confidence that they did not know was possible. With a newfound financial literacy, women can have the opportunity to become more financially independent from their husbands and have the motivation to improve their current financial situation. The project will also host a capstone Financial Literacy Fair at the end of the year.
Pathways to Family Success
Leah Staub-DeLong, Clinton, WA, class of 2008
Agenda for Children
Leah is working with the Agenda for Children in Cambridge, a collaborative initiative that works to improve the lives of Cambridge residents through literacy programs and access to out-of-school activities for young people. Her project focuses on Pathways to Family Success, a family literacy program with 15 families. Throughout the year, Leah will promote financial literacy and civic engagement among these families. She will plan financial literacy sessions and compile resources, with the goal of increasing participants’ knowledge and confidence about their abilities to plan for the future. She will also work with the families to plan "Pay It Forward" days, during which they will run community service projects in their own communities.
Ingalls Health Club
Lashaana Straw, Dorchester, MA, class of 2008
Ingalls Elementary School Based Health Center
Lashaana will be working with 4th and 5th graders of the Ingalls Elementary School in Lynn, facilitating an after-school health club. While eating healthy snacks and playing fun games, the students will learn the importance of eating right, being fit, and staying safe. They will share that knowledge with the Ingalls community through various means such as putting on skits & writing newsletters, encouraging their fellow students and their parents to utilize the facilities of their school based health center in this medically under-served area. Beyond the city limits, she will ensure that the students are adequately prepared to meet with law makers during a state-wide advocacy day at the State House to tell them why school based health centers are important to them, and to let law makers know what they can do to help keep the centers open.
Global Active Citizenship
Oleg Svet, Westborough, MA, class of 2008
Tisch College, IR, IGL, and Somerville High School
Oleg Svet will be working on Global Active Citizenship. The overall goal of the project would be to promote and infuse active citizenship into the lives of those interested in promoting social change either in communities abroad or on a wider scale. This goal will be pursued through various initiatives involving different communities. Some examples include: identifying two Somerville High School students that will be integrated into a Tufts’ service trip abroad; organizing a school wide debate between two faculty members on the topic of global active citizenship; setting a panel on migration and immigration, which will bring various community leaders from the Salvadorian, Haitian, and Portuguese communities in Somerville; and publishing narratives on active citizenship projects from abroad.
After School Music Program
Nathan Tanaka, Tokyo, Japan, class of 2009
Boston Chinatown Neighborhood Center
Nathan is working at the Boston Chinatown Neighborhood Center, where he is developing an after school Rock Band program for students from middle school through high school. BCNC is a center that is dedicated to providing different types of services from classes to yarn knitting for the people in the community. Nathan’s primary responsibilities are to organize and run the weekly practices, plan the concert, and to teach and guide the children about music, performance, song writing, and the responsibilities one has to a group or team.
Immigrant Health Resources: A Partnership
Alice Tin, Quincy, MA, class of 2010
ISPG/H, Somerville Community Corporation
Alice is working with the Health division of the Immigrant Service Providers Group (ISPG/H) in Somerville. Immigrants comprise almost 1/3 of Somerville’s population, and encounter a variety of different issues in the health care setting. To address some of these issues, Alice will be helping to organize ISPG/H’s annual health fair, assisting with a new Liaison Interpreters Program which trains bilingual teenagers to be medical interpreters, and serving as an interpreter for Chinese-speaking residents in a community survey regarding a toxic plume in Somerville. Alice hopes that her project will facilitate the dissemination of important health information to the immigrant population, as well as develop and reinforce the assets within the Somerville community.
Political Citizenship Classes
Sarah Ullman, Simsbury, CT, class of 2010
Medford High School
Sarah Ullman will be teaching Political Citizenship classes at Medford High School. The goal is to encourage students to become involved in the political process, to demonstrate the importance and effectiveness of political action and to emphasize awareness and participation. Sarah will coordinate lesson plans focusing on a myriad of topics including the presidential campaigns, topical issues, politics and new media with a strong emphasis on helping students connect themselves to politics.
College Access Workshops
Daniela Valenzuela, Everett, MA, class of 2010
The Welcome Project
Daniela’s project focuses on the youth of Somerville. The first half she will work on college access, how to motivate them to go to college and once they have the right motivation, then what steps to follow; while at the same time she will plan a youth program that will start in the Spring. With that said, the second half will be dedicated entirely to working with the youth program. All this will be done in partnership with The Welcome Project. The Welcome project helps people to engage in community work, to progress toward goals as a group. It helps residents to become an activated voice in civic and political life. There is a mission of leadership development: people who receive services transition to leadership and become role models.
Somerville, Pan-Hispanic Ethnographic Project
Diego Villalobos, Milton, MA, class of 2009
Somerville Arts Council
Somerville multicultural landscape is dynamically changing. Every day people from different cultures become residents of the city. SAC continues to seek ways to increase the outreach and quality of its programming by including Somerville’s culturally diverse communities. SAC wishes to formally document and find ways to support the arts and culture within the pan-Hispanic community. This work will provide a way to support and explore more long-term connections with the community.
The Somerville Arts Council seeks to work with a scholar to document the arts and cultural traditions within the broader pan-Hispanic community in Somerville. Diego will conduct ethnographic fieldwork to fully understand the assets and needs within the community. While SAC has several existing programs that may be helpful to the community, Diego will also look to develop new initiatives if there is interest. For example, similar to the Ethnic Market brochure and tours SAC recently organized within Union Square, Diego may help to develop a brochure on needlework and textile work within the Salvadoran community. This initiative will require formal outreach and organization to the community.
Summerbridge Cambridge Activate!
Rosie Wagner, San Diego, CA, class of 2008
Rosie is implementing the pilot year of SBC Activate!, a service learning program for students associated with Summerbridge Cambridge. Summerbridge Cambridge is a program geared toward closing the education achievement gap and helping middle school students at under-resourced schools to get on the college track. SBC Activate! is a program for students to get together and discuss what they want to change in Cambridge, and then to realize that change. There are monthly community events that are created and organized by a planning committee that is made up of Sixth and seventh grade students who are connected to the SBC program. From organizing walks and fundraisers to food drives and fun field trips, SBC Activate! aims to bring together a pro-education environment of students and to help empower these students by the change they can affect in their own community.
Nursery Rhyme Group
Laura Zachary, San Antonio, TX, class of 2009
Intergenerational Literacy Program
Laura’s project is within the Intergenerational Literacy Project in Chelsea which works to improve literacy skills and foster a positive attitude towards education through programs involving both adults and children from a wide variety of educational backgrounds, as well as countries of origin.
Laura will lead a weekly parent-child nursery rhyme group of 8-10 parent/child pairs. This will begin at 10:30 on Monday mornings and last for about 30 minutes to an hour. Her goal is to work as a group with a different nursery rhyme each week. Laura will prepare supplies for each parent/child pair to create their own book, which she will laminate and return to them in the final session. They will also receive handouts each week to take home to practice and continue reading together outside of class. Hopefully this group will provide supplemental instruction to the parents on helping their children learn to read and will be a fun activity for them to do together.
Laura’s project promotes literacy and quality education for all, and especially for immigrant families who are at a disadvantage in school or the work place because English is not their first language. This project also exposes families to mainstream U.S. cultural knowledge to prepare the children to be successful in kindergarten and elementary school and to encourage parents to take an active role in their child’s development.