Simon Lewis

Vassar College

Simon Lewis, a second semester first year student at Vassar College, is an active and dedicated community organizer. Simon’s long-term goals include community building and analysing systems of power. Since high school, Simon has energetically participated in public service within a focus on environmental, educational, and social issues. Currently, Simon participates in the Engaged Pluralism Initiative, works on the Ecological Preserve, and the Hudson Valley Mappers. Simon looks forward to formalizing a student-led organization aimed at organizing and mobilizing students to volunteer and connect with the Poughkeepsie region.

Elizabeth Bradley
Vassar College

Personal Statement

I believe in the power of ethical and inclusive policy to create societal change. As important as policy is at a large scale, at the root of this democratic policy are citizens and the values that we hold and prioritize. I see my own role as being engaged in the systems that create those values. This begins with education and advocacy, but also includes putting myself in spaces where I can listen to and elevate voices with different perspectives and experiences than my own. This involves building trust and showing commitment to communities so that I might participate in, or even facilitate, the conversations in which we discover our shared values and build connections. Local politicians and organizations should do this as well: use their positions to create more working groups and then listen to these conversations, so that policy might be based upon our shared values. We must embrace this value system and expect our political system to reflect it – meaning we hold politicians accountable when policy is not based on our values. Empathy is of paramount importance -- it is when we destroy “the other'' that we begin to truly address the root causes of social issues.

Simon Lewis
Undecided: Class of 2025
written 2022

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