Maggie Nelson

University of Delaware

Maggie is a sophomore at the University of Delaware Associate in Arts Program in Wilmington majoring in Communication with a minor in Journalism. Over the past two years, she has emerged as one of UD’s exceptional student leaders in the field of community engagement, taking advantage of her campus surroundings in downtown Wilmington to build innovative partnerships with local non-profit agencies throughout northern Delaware. Beginning with a Leadership project involving the re-design of a community garden at the YWCA Home-Life Management Center to, most recently, producing a podcast documenting the experiences of Delaware students caught in the school-to-prison pipeline, Maggie has been a pioneer in UD’s initiative to put its students, resources, and capabilities into meaningful collaborations with partner institutions in Delaware’s largest city. Maggie’s podcast project has produced documentary audio that she has presented to the Wilmington Civic Advisory Council and the Louis Redding Consortium for Educational Equity, and the student experiences documented in her audio are driving strategic planning at the Delaware Center for Justice. Maggie’s ability to understand and honor experiences outside hers and her passion for providing concrete opportunities and voices for people inform her academic preparation to use investigative journalism to create change.

Dennis Assanis
University of Delaware

Personal Statement

When I was in fourth grade, my brother Ryan was diagnosed with autism. All the meltdowns, outbursts, and anger suddenly made sense; I saw facets of autism that are difficult to understand from the outside. Because of Ryan, I participated in the Meadowood program in middle school, an extensive special-needs initiative with full-inclusion classes. Ryan had taught me to see kids in the program for who they were: kids.

At UD, I continue to meet people where they are. Refurbishing the YWCA garden provided fresh produce to those who were not fortunate enough to have it. Mentoring with the National Student Athletic Association led to counseling at-risk youth at Tyler’s Camp to combat summer learning loss, a concept I knew nothing about. While creating the School Offense Diversion Program podcast, I advocated for kids who were a lot like me. And now I have chosen a Communication major with a minor in Journalism so I can advocate for others who are unable to advocate for themselves. I would love to continue advocacy through a career in an in-school diversion program, resolving conflicts before students are charged, re-imagining the school discipline process to work for kids, not against them.

Maggie Nelson
Communication major/Journalism minor: Class of 2022
written 2020

2020 Fellows Alphabetical by Institution

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Alexander Kaye, U. of Central Florida Miyako Iwata, UC Berkeley M. Chiamaka Okonkwo, UNC Charlotte Noelia Michelle Flores González, Universidad de Monterrey Ashlyn Woods, University of Baltimore Greta Hacker, University of Central Arkansas Christian Coleman, University of Central Oklahoma Hailey Ettinger, University of Colorado Boulder Michael Hernández, University of Connecticut Claire Sullivan, University of Dayton Maggie Nelson, University of Delaware Tarun Ramesh, University of Georgia Gregoria Uroza, University of Houston-Downtown Wasan Kumar, University of Illinois at Chicago Kaitlyn Meyr, University of Kentucky Ana Benitez, University of La Verne Amanda Gardner, University of Maine at Augusta Stephanie Turcios, University of Mary Washington Nihira Mugamba, University of Maryland, Baltimore County(UMBC) Maggie Sullivan, University of Massachusetts Dartmouth Danelia Ramirez Aguilar, University of Massachusetts Lowell Jendayi London, University of Miami Meredith Days, University of Michigan Lucy Grimshaw, University of Missouri – St. Louis Kortney Sims, University of Montana Dinesh Karki, University of Nebraska Omaha Alexandra Vergara, University of New Hampshire Keyri Ambrocio, University of New Haven Aryelle Jacobsen, University of North Carolina Asheville Katherine Torres, University of North Georgia Yarik Molina, University of North Texas at Dallas Cole Passick, University of Northern Iowa Evan McKenna, University of Notre Dame Justin Norris, University of Oklahoma Nisha Sridhar, University of Oregon Oluwatomisin Oyedele, University of Pennsylvania Stephanie Rose, University of Pittsburgh TJ Tann, University of Richmond Ana Trejo Aguilar, University of San Diego Evelyn Pedraza Fernandez, University of San Francisco Imani Sherrills, University of South Carolina Beaufort Patrick Mack, University of South Carolina Upstate Reylan Cook, University of South Carolina-Columbia - Columbia, SC Tyus Edmond, University of St Thomas Amber Heidenreich, University of Wisconsin - Superior Shehrose Charania, University of Wisconsin-Madison Tavyonia Davis, University of Wisconsin-Parkside Trenton Ebel, UW Green Bay
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