Tyler, a double major in Biology and Environmental Studies at Swarthmore College, embodies an inspiring model of scholar-activism, community engagement, and leadership. Over the past several years Tyler has immersed himself in service, research, and advocacy in an issue area he is deeply passionate about: environmental justice and food security. For instance, Tyler has led Swarthmore's chapter of the Scholar Activist Alliance, a Project Pericles Funded initiative which aims to link professors and students with community organizations that have research needs, thus providing a path for academic scholarship to support meaningful public initiatives. Tyler has also exemplified a deep to commitment increasing healthy food access in Chester, PA, a city long-classified as an urban food desert by the U.S. government. As a Chester Community Fellow, he worked at the Ruth Bennett Community Farm for a summer, and during the school year he serves as a student-leader of the Chester Youth Gardening Cooperative (CYGC). He was also recently named a Lang Scholar to extend his food justice work in Chester. Tyler's entrepreneurial spirit, passion, authenticity, and leadership skills, equip him well to play a key role in the next generation of public problem solvers and civic leaders.
From a young age, I have been drawn to deep reflection about my moral and ethical responsibilities. My values, shaped by both mind and heart, have always compelled to act in a spirit of compassion and generosity for the collective well-being of the people and environment around me. In my various circles of community, I have strived to push the boundaries of my citizenship by engaging with issues of social and environmental injustice. From working in community gardens and soup kitchens to alleviate food insecurity to campaigning for the preservation of fragile ecosystems, my activism has assumed many different forms. Through all my civic endeavors, however, runs a common thread of optimism about the positive change that dedication, hard work and collaborative spirit of many passionate individuals converging over a mutual cause can achieve. To this end, my current focal area of work to promote food access and healthy nutrition in marginalized neighborhoods involves extensive networking with stakeholders already invested in the issue to build capacity through coalition and partnership. I am strongly committed to continuing to lead a life of public service with a focus on developing holistic approaches to solving the root causes of pressing social issues.