Nitan is a first year student majoring in psychology who wishes to ultimately become a professor of psychology. Since arriving on campus Nitan has shown a deep rooted passion for engaging with communities beyond the campus. Over a short time Nitan has emerged as a leading voice and presence in advancing Rutgers-Camden commitment to civic engagement among the study body and within the city at New Visions Homeless Day Shelter. New Visions is a day center that provides food, shelter and a range of personal and social supports to guests. For his role Nitan organizes the food pantry, assists with serving meals and works with guests wishing to search for employment or other information and resources online. Additionally he has also taken on a number of campus projects such as organizing Hunger and Homelessness Week bringing awareness of these issues to the campus community and a pilot job training program that connects New Visions guests with our campus Career Center resources. Nitan also supports the Better Together project, which focuses on working with neighborhood residents to develop and implement projects based on their identified community needs. Through all of his work Nitan is emerging as an impactful student leader.+ Read More
Shamim came to Green Mountain College to study business and advance her dream to develop herself so she can return to her hometown and teach women to start their own small businesses. Shamim stands out among a dedicated student body as a leader on a wide range of community and sustainability issues. While at Green Mountain College, Shamim has committed herself to teaching people about her culture and inspiring others of her generation in the U.S. to initiate positive change in their communities.Additionally, as a member of Green Mountain College's Student Government Association, she has supported events addressing inequality in order to build a stronger understanding among her peers of the role they can take in addressing these issues.+ Read More
Tiffany Smith, a fourth year student at Bowling Green State University, is a committed educator and activist dedicated to building communities where all people have sustainable access to healthy and nutritious food. Over the last two years she has worked on a variety of projects both within her academic area of Dietetics and Health Promotion and then as the coordinator of our campus food insecurity/hunger alliance. She has brought together campus and community members and organizations to link resources, expertise, and awareness to make a local impact on food access. Tiffany has combined community based assessment and research, with direct feeding programs through mobile food pantries, to stimulate creative thinking about how our community can work together to end hunger. Her ability to mobilize and connect diverse constituency groups has resulted in the emergence of innovative ideas about how we can impact food access locally, and has created momentum for people to get engaged.+ Read More
Tracy Bellum, a sophomore at Cuyahoga Community College, is a community leader and advocate. She partnered with the Cleveland food bank three years ago to start a food pantry at the Andrew J. Rickoff School where she works. The food bank provides thousands of pounds of fruits and vegetables to the schoolchildren, their families and the surrounding community annually, positively impacting several hundred individuals. Ms. Bellum is also the community partner between Andrew J. Rickoff School and the Kulture Kids program. She engaged the schoolchildren to plant and maintain a garden with community families during spring and summer 2017, building wonderful relationships and leading to a harvest of flowers and vegetables in the fall. The Cleveland Metropolitan School District recognized Ms. Bellum's efforts with their Communicate with H.E.A.R.T award in 2017.
Ms. Bellum is also part of a Habitat for Humanity beautification project benefitting several Cleveland neighborhoods. She supervises youth in these projects, helping them build life skills and a sense of pride in their communities. For these efforts, the Women Making Decisions Now organization in Cleveland recognized Ms. Bellum as their Outstanding Humanitarian of the Year in 2017.
Wislene Augustine, a third year student at Gordon College, is a student leader on campus and active in addressing issues of racial reconciliation both on our campus and in her home community. She has brought her leadership to multiple areas of our campus including Student Government, Orientation, Clarendon Scholars, and the Gospel Choir. She brings her passion for justice into each of these areas; she has demonstrated her passion both in and out of the classroom. She has organized on campus events to help facilitate critical conversations among students; completed research on the intersectionality of Psychology, Christian ministry, and racial reconciliation. Her education is preparing as she intends to serve as an advocate of incarcerated young people and their families.+ Read More
Allyson Wonfor's compassion and intellectual curiosity have led her along an amazing path of civic engagement that is changing the lives of those she serves. Her nursing studies piqued her interest in neonatal abstinence syndrome (NAS), which led her to co-founding Hearts and Hugs, a non-profit organization through which she crochets and donates hats for tiny, prenatal babies. Allyson didn't even know how to crochet when she helped found Hearts and Hugs, but she didn't let that get in her way. Over the course of a semester she learned how to crochet: during her lunch break, between classes, whenever she had time. She crocheted over 30 tiny hats, taking great care to ensure that the hats were the perfect size for the sick babies. Hats are important because they "reduce most of the loss of heat from the body through the top of the head" (1996). When she shadowed a neonatal nurse at Cleveland Metro Health, she brought along the hats, which she distributed to the parents to put on the infants' heads. Allyson said, "It made me so happy to see (the hats) on the children, knowing that I could make just a small difference in their little lives."+ Read More
Zanabou Njie's story takes place over two continents, and she considers each of these experiences to have deeply informed her views on many critical global issues. While living in Gambia as a young teen, she became attuned to the inequality that existed around the world, and also deepened her understanding of privilege. Following the advice of her grandmother ("you can only do so much from the outside - the work needs to come within the community"), Zanabou returned to the US thinking about societal structures that facilitated hunger, poverty and illiteracy. At Goucher College, she enthusiastically leads her peers as a Student Leader for Civic Action, a competitive community-based student leadership program out of the Arsht Center for Ethics and Leadership. Her team engages K-2 students in a creative literacy program through the weekly Read-A-Story/Write-A-Story program. Zanabou is eager to learn from others, and strives to be a strong communicator while allowing the voices of others to rise. In the future, Zanabou would like to work towards a doctorate in Clinical Psychology, and then use her expertise to build wrap-around support systems for individuals who struggle with mental illness.+ Read More