23 Summer Flex Funding projects approved; $32,000 awarded

Our Scholars seem to have no trouble answering every college student’s perennial question, “what should I do this summer?”. To make those decisions a reality for our Scholars, we are providing nearly $32,000 to 23 Scholars who were chosen to receive Flex Funding grants to complete a variety of community impact projects. The intent of our Flex Funding program is to provide Scholars the same opportunities to grow their leadership skills, gain valuable professional experience, and create lasting impact on others as their more affluent peers. Scholars interested in receiving a Flex Funding Grant must complete a thorough proposal, which is then reviewed by volunteers within our community. The process itself is highly competitive, and also helps develop Scholars’ proposal-writing skills. Here are some highlighted projects taking place this summer:

Jessica, Lewis and Clark College Class of 2017, will be spending five weeks in Cairo, Egypt working with a non-profit organization promoting teamwork skills to homeless youth in Egypt. Breaking the youth down into age groups, she will lead week long summer camps that focus on three key themes of teamwork: positive verbal communication strategies, leadership skills that promote awareness, decision making through inspiration and the setting of goals that are specific attainable and measurable. The goal of our project is to create an understanding of peace within Egyptian youth affected by poverty, homelessness and other forms of injustice. Her project also received a $10,000 grant from 100 Projects for Peace.

Shayan, University of Colorado at Boulder Class of 2018, will be researching a unique process for solar-initiated sea water desalinization at Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory in Maryland. He hopes that this research may lead to a process for water desalination that can be implemented on a large scale at a small cost.

Leeandra, University of Denver Class of 2017, will be conducting an independent art project titled, “On the Other Side of the Bars; Studying the Affects of Children Living with an Incarcerated Parent”. She plans to draw not only from her own experience but from several consecutive semesters of research on children living with an incarcerated parent, and to exhibit the resulting works to inspire others.

Martha, University of Illinois Class of 2019, will be creating an instructing an interactive curriculum to students in Lumbisi, Ecuador through a faculty-led service trip. She will have the opportunity to directly effect dozens of students learning in the areas of environmental studies, arts and culture, and sports and wellness.

Amadou, Stanford University Class of 2019, will be joining local medical professionals in Accra, Ghana at a historic Children’s hospital to study how they provide care in a resource-poor environment and how they overcome challenges such as the financial and structural constraints of the healthcare system itself and the social determinants that lead to illness in children.