I enthusiastically nominate Ms. Sparkle Prevard for the Newman Civic Fellows Leadership Award. She has consistently demonstrated commitment to the well-being of the Stockton University community and to the social welfare of the community outside of Stockton. An energetic and engaged student who exemplifies an approach to social issues grounded in social justice, Ms. Prevard represents the best of Stockton students' community outreach, caring, and efforts to take action for constructive change.
Ms. Prevard came to Stockton University in 2014 from Atlantic City High School. That summer, she began her Stockton career as a student in the Educational Opportunity Fund program. Although currently undecided on her major, Ms. Prevard has explored courses across the social sciences curriculum while also working in the Office of Service Learning as an Activist in Residence (AIR) student leader. In that capacity, she works with Students Helping Students, a student mentorship program that pairs Stockton University and Atlantic City High School students; the Stanley Holmes Housing Project homework/tutoring program; the Petey Green Initiative, which focuses on tutoring prisoners to prepare for their GEDs; and the Atlantic City Free Public Library STEAM workshops that connect local Atlantic City students interested in science and technology with Stockton University students in STEAM courses and majors.
I was raised in Atlantic City, New Jersey, and am currently a Sophomore at Stockton University. Since I can remember, I have been dedicated to community activism and youth empowerment. Empowerment is an essential key to the development of the youth voice, which is often ignored. That is why I am dedicated and focused on enabling youths to build self-confidence and self-efficacy to become future leaders. For example, in 2014 I was involved in developing a Youth Empowerment Counsel in Atlantic City. The goal of this project was to enable the youth of my community to engage with local politics.
Continuing that commitment, I now work at the Stockton University Office of Service Learning as an Activist in Residence on projects such as Students Helping Students, S.T.E.A.M, and Stanley Holmes Tutoring. I have learned valuable skills in this role, among them how to be a supportive peer mentor and leader and how to create meaningful projects that have a lasting impact on the community. My goal is to educate, engage, and empower young people, as I am a product of these kinds of meaningful programs and of people who truly care.