HAVERFORD HOUSE FELLOWS PROVIDE VITAL CONTRIBUTIONS TO PHILADELPHIA’S NONPROFITS
Six graduating seniors will join Philadelphia’s thriving nonprofit sector next year as Haverford House Fellows. The Fellowship, sponsored by the Center for Peace and Global Citizenship, allows Haverford graduates the opportunity to work for a variety of Philadelphia organizations and strengthen the connection between the College and the city while sharing a house on Spruce Street in West Philly.
The 2007-2008 Fellows are:
Travis Green, who will be working with the American Friends Service Committee’s Middle East Peace-Building Unit. “In Israel and Palestine the organization supports nonviolent resistance to the continued occupation of the Gaza strip,” he says, “and in Iraq the group tries to communicate internationally the human face of the war. My position is a part of AFSC's effort to connect the two wars by raising awareness of the ongoing regional refugee crisis.” He will monitor and write about political events in the Middle East, organize tours of speakers from Israel-Palestine and Iraq, collaborate with local nonviolent activists, and assist in the development of the unit's electronic newsletter.
Allison Jones, who will be a Teen Leadership Corps (TLC) and Internship Coordinator at the Village of Arts and Humanities, a community-based arts, education and neighborhood development organization located in inner-city North Philadelphia. Jones will meet regularly with TLC—comprised of teens ages 13 to 19 who serve as artistic and personal leaders in the Village’s arts-based after-school program—to plan activities, field trips, and festivals. “Most of the projects, activities, and trips that I have planned will be media-based as to provide not only a fun alternative to traditional methods of teaching and learning, but also a use for the mediums that are influencing how young people think, learn, act, and interact with the world around them,” she says.
Anna Marschalk-Burns, who will be a paralegal in the employment unit at Community Legal Services, a public-interest law program which provides free legal advice and assistance to low-income Philadelphians. She will assist clients whose criminal records hinder their attempts to find employment by helping them clear their records via the pardon process or by being an advocate for them in discussions with potential employers. “In addition to helping individual clients, I will be reaching out to the larger community by holding workshops at organizations which cater to the needs of ex-offenders,” she says. “These workshops will focus on how to understand a criminal record, how to clear a record, how a record can affect an individual’s employability, and how to discuss a record with an employer.”
Danielle Stollak, who will join City Sail, a nonprofit educational organization with a focus on economically disadvantaged youth in the Philadelphia region, providing hands-on science, math, environmental and maritime training. Assigned to a sailboat called the North Wind, Stollak will be part of the Educational SchoolShip Program, working directly with students on the educational aspect of City Sail. “I will also be evaluating the current curriculum and hopefully implementing improvements where needed,” she says. “Basically my job will be making sure that students get the most out of this sailing experience as possible.”
Deepa Vasudevan, who will work at the Parkway Northwest High School for Peace and Social Justice, a public charter school located in the Philadelphia neighborhood of Mt. Airy. “Parkway is the first public high school in Philadelphia to include a school-wide program that encourages students to envision and to work towards creating a culture of peace within their communities and the world,” she says. As a “Peace Fellow,” Vasudevan will be part of the school’s Peace Program, working with the Social Development and Leadership Class, (in which 9th and 10th grade students learn conflict resolution, peer mediation, and leadership skills); managing the mentoring and tutoring program; and coordinating the after-school and extracurricular activities. “I hope to particularly focus on encouraging the arts through the peace program and wish to design events which encourage the creativity of the students,” she adds.
Brandon West, who will join the Committee of Seventy, a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization established in 1904 to combat corruption in Philadelphia which focuses on four main issues: ethics, education, elections and efficiency. “For 2007, Seventy is heavily involved in keeping ethic reforms in the forefront of the municipal elections,” says West. “As a Fellow, I will be conducting high-quality background research on policy issues, give testimony before state and local government bodies, write op-ed pieces and newsletters, and work on monitoring state and city legislation on Seventy's policy issues. I will also be working on civic education and training for election day volunteers.”
— Brenna McBride