Sonce Reese, a graduate student at University of Baltimore, has a passion for social justice and demonstrates a deep commitment to her community. Her presence on campus is felt in many ways, as a graduate assistant for our unique "Divided Baltimore" course, as a member of a work group that is planning for a campus food pantry which will open in Fall 2016, and as a leader in student governance and student organizations. She has a strong and inspiring vision for community change in Baltimore, and a vision to improve neighborhoods and increase home ownership. Her efforts include working on a project with Civic Works to address zoning issues, and working with city officials to write policy to reduce vacants, increase home ownership, and eliminate blight in neighborhoods. These grassroots efforts demonstrate Sonce's commitment to the Baltimore community as well as her UB community.
Social justice issues, particularly those facing underserved populations in Baltimore, are very important to me. Last Fall, I served as Graduate Assistant for the unique "Divided Baltimore" course which focused on the historical context of Baltimore and the current social issues within the community, including UB students, faculty, and staff as well as members of the community in a spirited discussion. Created a scholarship, the Sonce Reese Award, helping students to bridge the gap between available funding and their academic needs. This Summer, I participated in LeaderShape, an intensive, year-long program that helps students develop a vision for positive change in Baltimore. My focus is on creating healthy, vibrant communities, which incorporates home ownership, safe neighborhoods and sustainable green space for all citizens. Over the last year, I have also been involved in the Campus Food Pantry Work Group, helping to plan for a campus pantry that will open in the Fall 2016 and will serve students, staff, and faculty who are experiencing hunger. Additionally, I serve as an officer in several student organizations and honor societies, including the National Society of Leadership and Success. I believe that when dialogue begins, change happens.