Samyuktha Natajaran, Bryn Mawr College
Samyuktha Natajaran, a sophomore at Bryn Mawr College, is a student leader active in issues of public education and environmental justice. During her first two years of college, she has developed and implemented two projects at Parkway West High School, in West Philadelphia. The first focused on engaging and empowering high school students to consider issues of food access, nutrition and community development in their neighborhoods, and included the creation of a community garden. The second focused on engaging high school English Language Learners in exploring issues of identity and culture and developing skills in self-expression through writing. Samyuktha has been instrumental in the efforts of the College to build a partnership with Parkway West High School; she is an extraordinary organizer and systems-thinker and has been able to sustain both projects beyond her “field placements” by inspiring and collaborating with other college students, high school students, teachers and community members. Samyuktha has been invited to serve as a student representative on the Praxis Steering Committee; without a doubt her input on this committee will enhance the program’s effectiveness in assisting Praxis students and faculty to integrate activism and scholarship in our curriculum.