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2024 Project Awards

Alex Edgar - UC Berkeley
Project Title: The UC Berkeley Democracy Initiative
Sara Garza Gonzalez - Pomona
Project Title: School for Parents: Improving Trust and Communication
Kyla Guru - Stanford
Project Title: Secure India: Spreading Digital Safety Education and Awareness for National Resilience
Daniel John -
Project Title: Electronic Medical Records: Development and Advocation in the Developing
Daniel John -
Project Title: Electronic Medical Records: Development and Advocation in the Developing
Joshua Nguyen -
Project Title: VRx: Virtual Reality to Improve Quality of Life for those affected by Alzheimer's
Shilp Shah -
Project Title: Empowering Children with Neurofibromatosis through Art
Chirian Shunmugam -
Project Title: C.M.P.I. – Comorbidity Management Program at Imani
Aman Singla - UC Davis
Project Title: C.M.P.I. – Comorbidity Management Program at Imani
Jasmine Young-Lynch - CSUF
Project Title: Facilitating Creative Healing for Forgotten Families

2022 Project Awards

Ankita Ahluwalia - UCR
Project Title: POWAN Supplemental Instruction Program: Empowering H.S. Students and Teachers - Show Summary
In June of 2020, a group of university students came together to create the POWAN (Power of Words and Numbers) Initiative in hopes of creating a more equitable future in education for K-12 students. POWAN began by providing one-on-one educational and mentorship support to K-12 students. During the pandemic, the POWAN Initiative team interviewed K-12 teachers. These teachers emphasized an urgent need for focused instruction models that empower students to develop stronger academic habits, crucial communication skills, and lifelong professional connections. In response to these interviews, the POWAN Initiative has developed the POWAN Supplemental Instruction (PSI) Program, a virtual after-school program designed to address the current gaps and problems in education. Through the instruction of our diverse and qualified POWAN Supplemental Instructors (PSIs), our collaborative group-based learning program aims to reduce teacher anxiety and promote student achievement. Over the course of the pilot program, our PSIs will spearhead online sessions where students can not only further engage in classroom material, but also become empowered to succeed in their academic journeys.
Natalie King-Shaw - San Diego State University
Project Title: The A.M.A.N.I. Project - Show Summary
The A.M.A.N.I. Project- based on the five key tenets of Affirming, Mentoring, Actualizing, Nurturing, and Imagining a limitless future for young Black scholars- aims to provide racial identity development and academic and creative support to Black students attending predominately white elementary schools in San Diego through mentorship by Black students from SDSU. In the 2022-23 school year, participating elementary school students (A.M.A.N.I. scholars) will select an area of creative and academic interest to explore with their mentors during weekly one-on-ones, and will build emotional and communication skills while sharing their interests and experiences. During weekly cohort meetings, all A.M.A.N.I. scholars and mentors will come together to engage in group games, community building exercises, and lessons on Black history while building Amani (Swahili for peace and tranquility) in their multidimensional identities and experiences as Black students.
Hannah Lee - USC
Project Title: Remedy: The First Medication Storage System for People Experiencing Homelessness - Show Summary
Remedy is a social impact project dedicated to eliminating medication theft in patient populations experiencing homelessness. We are a team of 8 interdisciplinary USC and Duke students, all with a common goal of increasing health equity through innovation. We hope Remedy will not only prevent the theft and loss of medications for unhoused patients, but also serve other patient populations that have fine motor impairments and diabetes through our flexible pill container and insulated pouch, respectively.
Anita Nguyen - UCSD
Project Title: Health Insurance Literacy Initiative - Show Summary
Health insurance literacy is crucial to affordable and effective healthcare decisions and outcomes, but studies consistently demonstrate low levels of health insurance literacy in Americans. The Health Insurance Literacy Initiative strives to improve health insurance literacy and assist patients in managing their medical bills by providing (1) education on basic health insurance terms and plan types, (2) counseling on how to choose a plan, (3) assistance in reviewing individuals’ own plan for comprehension, (4) free access to qualified health insurance advisors, (5) resources and contacts for further information, and (6) referrals to financial assistance programs/alternatives for medical costs not covered by insurance. A core project team of 18 UCSD students will lead this project. After completing an online health insurance basics course, this team will complete additional research in order to develop informative toolkits, educational presentations, and resources on health insurance terms and plan types. All resources and presentations will be reviewed by health insurance advisors, who are qualified professionals recruited to assist with the project. The core team is then responsible for planning and hosting 3 one-hour workshops for UCSD students, and 4 three-hour workshops for the general public. These workshops will provide presentations on the topics: "Health Insurance Basics," "What to Look for When Choosing a Plan," and "Financial Assistance/Alternatives for Medical Costs," followed by a "Bring Your Plan Q&A" segment. During this segment, attendees will have the opportunity to meet with qualified health insurance advisors who can help review their plans. At the workshop, student volunteers and advisors will also be available to answer any questions, help identify financial alternatives for medical costs not covered by insurance, and refer attendees to potential helpful resources.
Tinotenda Nyandoro - Stanford
Project Title: Project Regenerate: Preparing Generations of Students for Success, One Teacher at a Time. - Show Summary
In the rural District of Mudzi in Zimbabwe, more than 70% of high school students do not attend post-secondary institutions. The educational disparities present in this district stem from students' limited access to resources that would expose them to post-secondary education options and financial-aid opportunities. My personal experience as a student from Mudzi inspired me to found Project Regenerate. Project Regenerate draws upon the collective experience of students, at prestigious institutions in the United States, to create and deliver a curriculum that will guide students in the Mudzi District as they navigate the college application process. This initiative will introduce the "Application Lab" which will train 30 high school teachers and prepare them to help more than 300 students complete their college applications. This Lab will be delivered through a weekly workshop and will foster conversation addressing the needs of the teachers and their students, while creating actionable steps to respond to those needs. The teachers will be the central focus of the majority of the efforts because I strongly believe that teachers are best positioned to inform the decisions of their students, thus increasing their chances of success. For this project, I have partnered with Project Access, a non-profit organization that works to combat unequal access to higher education for underserved communities, to successfully implement this program. This project will have a positive impact on generations of students as it does not merely acknowledge a community issue, but instead addresses and uproots the systemic injustices that disproportionately affect the students in the community.
Garrett Oman - UCB
Project Title: Project Peacemeal - Show Summary
Many households in the Alameda County Muslim community do not have a stable means of providing food for themselves and their families. This is particularly true for many who have recently arrived as refugees from unstable countries overseas. California has been one of the most popular resettlement locations in previous decades and it ha become clear that a locally solution must come to adequately address the issue of food insecurity. The solution is Project Peacemeal. As an organization, we intend to end food insecurity in Muslim households at the local level. In the process, we intend to strengthen bonds between our school, local businesses, and the greater community. The objective of our organization is the development of existing associations between local masjids, their direct food assistance programs, and local halal markets and restaurants. The gradual development of our organization is made i order to bolster the abilities of masjid assitance programs to help members of their congregation who are in need. By implementing ongoing fundraising efforts In the vicinity of Berkeley's campus, we intend to integrate direct food assistance programs into congregations that do not currently have them. In those masjids that already have direct foo assistance programs for members of their congregation, we intend to coordinate efforts as an organization to purchas food as those assistance programs dictate. When we purchase food, we will buy from suppliers who are culturally sensitive to the masjids and their congregations. We look towards purchasing in bulk from halal markets and restaurants that are large enough to cater the demand of the masjids, but also small enough to see a commerical boo from our orders. By integrating student volunteers into our model as members of the board and as shoppers, we will incorporate the Berkeley student community into our effort. By pitching our project to different Muslim Student organizations and charities at universities across California we intend to alleviate the pressures of scaling fundraising efforts beyond our operational capabilities as we grow. Zones will be created to dictate where different chapters can operate. This unique approach to development and expansion will sustain the project's mission, but also allow students from other universities to create their own unique program which can specialize in responding to the needs of their specific area.
Adil Raniwala - UCB
Project Title: Project Peacemeal - Show Summary
Many households in the Alameda County Muslim community do not have a stable means of providing food for themselves and their families. This is particularly true for many who have recently arrived as refugees from unstable countries overseas. California has been one of the most popular resettlement locations in previous decades and it ha become clear that a locally solution must come to adaquately address the issue of food insecurity. The solution is Project Peacemeal. As an organization, we intend to end food insecurity in Muslim households at the local level. In the process, we intend to strenghten bonds between our school, local businesses, and the greater community. The objective of our organization is the development of existing associations between local masjids, their direct food assistance programs, and local halal markets and restaurants. The gradual development of our organization is made i order to bolster the abilities of masjid assitance programs to help members of their congregation who are in need. By implementing ongoing fundraising efforts In the vicinity of Berkeley's campus, we intend to integrate direct food assistance programs into congregations that do not currently have them. In those masjids that already have direct foo assistance programs for members of their congregation, we intend to coordinate efforts as an organization to purchas food as those assistance programs dictate. When we purchase food, we will buy from suppliers who are culturally sensitive to the masjids and their congregations. We look towards purchasing in bulk from halal markets and restaurants that are large enough to cater the demand of the masjids, but also small enough to see a commerical boo from our orders. By integrating student volunteers into our model as members of the board and as shoppers, we will incorporate the Berkeley student community into our effort. By pitching our project to different Muslim Student organizations and charities at universities across California we intend to alleviate the pressures of scaling fundraising efforts beyond our operational capabilities as we grow. Zones will be created to dictate where different chapters can operate. This unique approach to devlopment and expansion will sustain the project's mission, but also allow students from other universitie to create their own unique program which can specialize in responding to the needs of their specific area.
Pedro Rodriguez - UCB
Project Title: Radio Union: Uplifting Farm Workers with Knowledge - Show Summary
Farmworkers have been exploited for many years. Additionally, the cycle of poverty that these workers face has prevented them from climbing up the economic ladder. However, we can suppress this by empowering farmworkers with information. My project will focus on sharing information with farmworkers through radio broadcasts. By partnering with radio stations, we will have a platform to share the information with the targeted audience. Using this method of communication is the most effective due to the long hours these workers work. The information we plan to share will be centered on Workers’ Rights, Legal Documentation Resources, Environmental Health, and Safety. This project will evolve as a public information service by targeting all workers and having translators for different languages.
Thaniya Shankar - UCR
Project Title: Project LEAD - Show Summary
To address the educational barriers that exist in the Kindergarten to 6th grade public school educational system for students with autism spectrum disorder, I propose the mentorship program Project LEAD (Learn, Encourage, Advocate, and Develop) to allow college students from University of California, Riverside to mentor elementary students on the spectrum in the San Bernardino City Unified School District, an under-resourced community. Students with autism display their own unique challenges that can benefit from individualized support. This program will not only promote a sense of community and belonging to autistic students, but also establish and strengthen academic and social skills that most autistic students lack. By fostering peer mentor relationships for students with autism at the elementary school age level, there will be an increase in academic and social success in their educational journey and beyond, empowering the neurodivergent community to pursue postsecondary education and employment opportunities. Project LEAD volunteers will curate lesson plans that not only allow autistic students to catch up to the mainstream academic curriculum, but also help with personal development and interpersonal skills, such as organization, abstract thinking, and communication.
Visala Tallavarjula - UCSB
Project Title: Irrigation Water Use Efficiency & Plant Yield Improvement Utilizing Carbon Sequestration - Show Summary
Visala has an innovative design idea to improve water use efficiency for irrigation. The idea is to mitigate evaporation and percolation losses while improving plant yield with carbon sequestration. Visala has tested the idea in containers and has generated preliminary data that is compelling. Visala worked with a team of researchers at the Centurion University of Technology and Management at Bhubaneswar, India and plans on implementing the idea and documenting improvements at the Sedona Greenhouse Project Farm. Visala will work on using moisture sensors to measure water retention at the plant root zone. The objective is to reduce the amount of water required for irrigation by more than 20% and improve the plant yield by more than 10%. If the results show promise, Visala plans on expanding the innovation to more small farms in rural communities.
Jira Trinetkamol - UCI
Project Title: Back Up Bangkok - Show Summary
In my home city of Bangkok alone there are over ten thousand elderly citizens who have no family caring for them. The combination of elderly employment insecurity coupled with Bangkok’s ever increasing rent prices has resulted in more and more of the elderly population being evicted from their own homes. Unfortunately, the magnitude of this issue is only going to get worse as Thailand’s elderly population continues to rise. Hence, decisive action must be taken in order to support Thailand’s most vulnerable population. This is where Back-Up Bangkok (BUB) comes in: a project aimed at strengthening the safety-net already created by non-profit organizations through the creation of an elderly income program thus being a “back-up” to the good work already being done in Bangkok. BUB will utilize a two-pronged approach that aims to provide support for the elderly population through both short and long-term means. The first aim is to provide basic needs to the elderly population by constructing houses for the elderly. The second priority of developing an elderly income program, which is the main focus of the Strauss project, will utilize a 3-step process called AIM (Advocacy, Income, & Mentorship) to ensure that the project is sustainable. AIM will raise awareness of the growing elderly demographic in Thailand, provide the elderly with independence and income through the creation of small businesses, and finally ensure that mentees are trained so that work on this program can be continued. Ultimately, the goal of BUB is to establish a replicable model that can be utilized by both non-profit organizations and other Thai service systems in ways that enable them to be more sustainable and financially independent, in hopes of uplifting the elderly of the Thai community.
Angie Wang - Pomona
Project Title: Care Navigators: Bridging the Gap between Clinical Care and Social Support - Show Summary
Health Bridges is a student-run nonprofit organization associated with the Draper Center for Community Partnerships at Pomona College, and was founded on the principle that everyone - regardless of their language, income level, or immigration status - should have access to quality healthcare. While our current Health Advocate program leverages the passion of our college volunteers to assist patients with obtaining medical insurance and translation services at Pomona alley Hospital Medical Center (PVHMC), patients still lack the connection between clinical setting and long-term social support services in their communities. With the recognition that social determinants of health must also be addressed outside of the hospital space, this project seeks to pioneer a Care Navigators program comprised of college volunteers to mobilize care coordination nd social service programs by 1) expanding social needs screening among PVHMC patients, 2) ensuring that discharged patients have access to key community resources and 3) directly connecting patients to our partner programs. Through remote and in-person services, Care Navigators will not only offer increased support for more patients at PVHMC, but also work to provide care coordination resources to clinics and health centers in the surrounding areas for the ultimate goal of bridging gaps in all aspects of care.

2021 Project Awards

Enrique Arcilla - UCSD
Project Title: Brentwood Learning Garden Project - Show Summary
At the Brentwood School of Environmental Studies in ex-urban Victorville, CA, the Brentwood School Garden has provided second graders experience with fresh food, connection with nature, and opportunity to see their class lessons in a tangible, exciting environment for the past three years. However, with one of its lead teachers retired and the other retiring next year, the Brentwood School Garden is facing the same challenge encountered by community gardens all across California. Namely, how does this vital, vibrant community project sustain itself when its leaders must move on? The Brentwood Learning Garden Project will preserve the second grade program and expand the valuable services that the garden offers to the rest of Brentwood’s students. At the same time, it will pioneer a model of network-building community garden development that can improve the sustainability of this movement into the future. As we add educational signs, rainwater harvesting, an annual mural project, and a composting system, we will run a comprehensive engagement process that will allow us to nestle the garden within the existing habits and values of the Brentwood community. In addition, we will develop community fundraising events to ensure the garden’s financial sustainability for the future. Ultimately, this project will significantly improve environmental education for youth in the underserved city of Victorville, while at the same time testing a method of connecting physical improvements with social bonds that will serve the community garden movement long into the future.
Audrey Bogosian - UCSD
Project Title: Educlinics: Empowering the Armenian Population through Health Education - Show Summary
Populations in Armenian villages are highly affected by non-communicable diseases such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and chronic pulmonary disease. In addition to chronic illnesses, the lives of the villagers in Armenia have been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic and conditions during the recent Nagorno-Karabakh War. In order to combat the lack of health education and resources available to Armenian villagers, educational clinics, or “Educlinics,” will be established through two existing health clinics in the villages of Nerkin Karmiraghbyur and Achajur, Armenia, which will establish a program to support Armenians’ health. Partnering with the Paros Foundation and the Hidden Road Initiative chapter at UC San Diego, the Educlinic will provide desktops at the clinic for nurses to track the families’ health information and for families to receive health education from a team of volunteers. The goal of my project is to empower families to monitor their health by supporting each other and becoming more educated on how to better their health. The involvement of volunteers will motivate young adults to continue to provide service to Armenian village communities.
Ada Chung - UCLA
Project Title: NeuroConnect: Better Supporting Neurodivergent Individuals Seeking Employment - Show Summary
Those with developmental disabilities have historically been stigmatized and underrepresented in the workforce. The NeuroConnect program aims to be the first program to serve as an online networking and support hub for neurodivergent job seekers. NeuroConnect uses the visionary and inclusive neurodiversity model to promote the strengths of neurodivergent individuals. The program will provide one-on-one mentoring from volunteers and neurodivergent professionals, neurodivergent specific job searching and workplace navigation tutorials, and annual networking events. NeuroConnect utilizes uniquely designed web interfacing that meets the sensory stimulation needs of neurodivergent individuals. The UC-Leadership Education in Neurodiversity (LEND) Clinic supports this project through constant referrals and professional advisory from workers in health care and education.
Steven Gong - UCI
Project Title: California Health Advocacy Network Student Ambassadors: Improving the Healthcare coverage of the underinsured through Micro and Macro-level Youth Civic Engagement - Show Summary
California has the greatest number of uninsured residents in the nation, with 1 in every 5 Californians lacking adequate health insurance coverage—in the city of Santa Ana alone, only 33% of undocumented, workforce-age immigrants are health-insured, compared to 79% of the native-born population. To address both disparities in health coverage and a lack of youth representation in the health legislation space, the California Health Advocacy Network (CHAN) aims to leverage a generational problem to politically solve a healthcare one, by engaging youth to advocate in health insurance coverage campaigns. Through micro and macro-level engagements, college students will advocate in healthcare policy campaigns and guide local underinsured populations through health insurance enrollment, starting on the University of California, Irvine (UCI) campus. A unique ambassador model will guide the project’s sustainability and recruitment, with ambassadors enrolling Santa Ana’s undocumented immigrant community and while executing digital health campaigns. With both micro and macro-level health advocacy experience, ambassadors will be well-equipped to undergo a year-end lobbying trip to further the vision of comprehensive, equitable healthcare and while utilizing the Strauss network to grow sustainably. Ultimately, CHAN will not only expand health coverage on an individual and systematic basis, but will engage the future of healthcare through a much-needed collective voice.
Soo Hyun Kim - Stanford
Project Title: Healing Stroke: Community-based Art Therapy for Stroke Survivors & Caregivers - Show Summary
Post-stroke depression and anxiety affects about a third of all stroke survivors, hindering functional recovery, therapy engagement, and leads to lower quality of life. In comparison to a wide range of inpatient rehabilitation resources, few outpatient resources exist to support mental wellness for stroke survivors and their caregivers. To address this issue, in early 2019 I established Healing Strokes -- an art therapy program for stroke survivors and caregivers -- with the goal of cultivating empathy-based communities, mitigating depressive symptoms among stroke survivors, and increasing relief amongst caregivers. During the pandemic, Healing Strokes has continued to operate virtually, shipping art supplies nationwide to survivors and meeting weekly on Zoom. Since our launch, our program has been experiencing growing demand that exceeds our current capacity for participants, in addition to receiving strong interest from participants for our program to be offered in-person once the pandemic passes. Thus, this project aims to expand the work of Healing Strokes to increase program access for survivors nationwide as well as contribute to the current dearth of literature in art therapy as a clinical healing medium. Overall, this project will allow Healing Strokes to establish university chapters across the United States for expanded virtual and eventual in-person services, add new services through a research-to-practice feedback loop, and cultivate deepened relationships between universities and their local communities’ small businesses.
Naryeong Kim - Stanford
Project Title: ASSIST: Immigrant Legal & Mental Health Relief Clinic for Migrants in South Korea - Show Summary
ASSIST will provide mental health and legal relief clinics for undocumented and documented migrant populations in South Korea. Migrants in South Korea are often exposed to hazardous workplace environments, sexual exploitation, and domestic abuse. In many circumstances, legal proceedings are detrimental to an individual’s psychological well-being. ASSIST aims to provide support in both legal and mental health sectors. ASSIST will partner with the SeongNam Migrant Center, Chung Hospital, SeongNam Love Psychiatric Hospital, and high-school/undergraduate communities to achieve three goals. First, ASSIST will provide professional legal help to migrants. We connected with 3 pro bono lawyers and prelaw students who have agreed to provide case consultations and legal representation in proceedings. Second, ASSIST will connect migrants to mental health services at the SeongNam Love Psychiatric Hospital. We have established an MOU with 3 part-time psychologists at this facility. ASSIST will provide monthly visits to psychologists and weekly tele-sessions. Third, ASSIST will provide 70 general health visitations through Chung Hospital. We established an MOU for reduced-cost medication and health visitations with this facility. ASSIST will also engage high school students and undergraduate pre-law students in South Korea, creating a multiplier effect.
Jiseon Kim - UCLA
Project Title: Brentwood Learning Garden Project - Show Summary
At the Brentwood School of Environmental Studies in ex-urban Victorville, CA, the Brentwood School Garden has provided second graders experience with fresh food, connection with nature, and opportunity to see their class lessons in a tangible, exciting environment for the past three years. However, with one of its lead teachers retired and the other retiring next year, the Brentwood School Garden is facing the same challenge encountered by community gardens all across California. Namely, how does this vital, vibrant community project sustain itself when its leaders must move on? The Brentwood Learning Garden Project will preserve the second grade program and expand the valuable services that the garden offers to the rest of Brentwood’s students. At the same time, it will pioneer a model of network-building community garden development that can improve the sustainability of this movement into the future. As we add educational signs, rainwater harvesting, an annual mural project, and a composting system, we will run a comprehensive engagement process that will allow us to nestle the garden within the existing habits and values of the Brentwood community. In addition, we will develop community fundraising events to ensure the garden’s financial sustainability for the future. Ultimately, this project will significantly improve environmental education for youth in the underserved city of Victorville, while at the same time testing a method of connecting physical improvements with social bonds that will serve the community garden movement long into the future.
Chidubem Nnaji - UCD
Project Title: Using Solar Power to Empower - Show Summary
Amurri is a rural community in Nkanu West local government area of Enugu State, Nigeria. Because of mass poverty, residents travel 5-7 miles daily in order to get usable water for the day. My project will install a solar-powered borehole. The project aims to 1) Mak3 sure the community in Amurri will have readily accessible clean and safe water for the people, 2) Remove the stress and risk factors associated with traveling long distances for water while enhancing economic activities in the village, and 3) Educate families, teachers, and young students about the importance of exercising sustainable water practices. The project aims to be self-sustaining in producing its own energy while providing a better living condition for members of the community.
Zina Patel - UCSD
Project Title: This Able: A Platform Empowering Students with Disabilities - Show Summary
This Able is a free online platform that connects differently-abled college students interested in joining the workforce to differently-abled mentors already in the workforce. On This Able, students will gain access to mentors who understand the experiences of being a part of the community with disabilities and who can bolster their job applications by assisting with resumes, interview preparation, and more. The goal of this effort is to guide the next generation of those with disabilities and empower them by providing such mentorship and networking opportunities. We hope that This Able will serve as an avenue to help increase employment rates for the differently-abled community and help cultivate a diverse and inclusive workforce.
Leslie Sepulveda - LMU
Project Title: Boundless LMU - Show Summary
This program will match undocumented and DACAmented LMU students with companies that best fit their career interests, while receiving a $2,500 financial award, and professional and leadership development training. This program aims to reduce the inaccessibility mixed-status students encounter when applying to internships.
Rishi Sharma - UCD
Project Title: Endocrine Specialty Clinic at Imani - Show Summary
Imani Clinic is a free community clinic that serves the socioeconomically disadvantaged community of Oak Park in Sacramento. Of the 250 annual patients that Imani sees, over half are diabetic. To address the alarming prevalence of diabetes in Imani and in the rest of Oak Park, I am launching an endocrine clinic. This specialty clinic will provide allopathic services to Oak Park through volunteer endocrinologists from UC Davis Health and possibly other medical centers. In addition to providing high quality medical care, the specialty clinic will also have teams that will help patients apply to financial assistance programs to attain expensive medicine and with lifestyle/nutrition coaching to holistically manage their diabetes.
Matt Sioson - UCSC
Project Title: The Walls To Bridges Book Project - Show Summary
The Walls to Bridges Book Project aims to keep system-impacted families together by sending books to children "from" their incarcerated family members. Most of our incarcerated participants are fathers who send books to their children, but we also serve other family members like brothers, uncles, and even grandfathers. Our organization is student-lead and volunteer-run, and all the books we send are of like-new quality and have been donated by members of the community or bookshops which we've partnered with. Our pilot program for the Book Project has sent 1,000 books to 300 kids across California, and requests from new participants come in each day. We're seeking additional funding to continue to fund the project's operations. Our project is special because it maximizes positive impact with small actions; this keeps necessary funding low while reaching as many children as possible.
Robson Swift - UCB
Project Title: - Show Summary
This project aims to give students of West Contra Costa County Unified School District (WCCUSD) more agency, voice and power over decisions made at their school site. WCCUSD is a low income district and the majority of its students come from marginalized backgrounds. At each WCCUSD site (as with most districts) students are almost never considered or consulted in decisions that directly impact their education. This can lead to students feeling unheard, apathetic towards their education, demotivated and misunderstood, problems further exacerbated in WCCUSD due to its students' backgrounds. The Student Rights Center (SRC) is an organization that will be implemented at each high school campus in WCCUSD that will be student run and operated. The SRC will be a hub of student activism where students can help other students file complaints against administration and school staff, advocate for students through recommendations to administration on any non-emergency policy, know your rights workshops and other actions aimed at galvanizing student voice and activism. The SRC allows students to advocate for their interests and will allow campus administrators to listen to their students and incorporate their needs and wants into their policies. The SRC aims to revolutionize the student and administration dynamic and student's roles in school site and district politics.
Anthony Tan - UCB
Project Title: Educating Student Makers through Maker Workshops an Design Challenges - Show Summary
Student makers are the next generation of tinkerers, creative thinkers, and problem solvers. We are future scientists, engineers, architects, and artists. But unfortunately, traditional secondary school education does not facilitate the career exploration nor the experience building student makers need to be prepared for college. Having few opportunities to do hands-on projects in secondary school, we start exploring options in college, wasting time and money. This lack of opportunity is far too common for those of us at underserved locations. So that’s why my team started the non-profit project Maker Hub Club. Maker Hub Club brings together student makers from all backgrounds, and provides them with hands-on maker workshops, funding for projects, and most importantly, a community where they can share their projects and collaborate with others. Today, we serve student makers from secondary schools all across the United States and are working towards more effective and equitable maker education. At this time, we are looking to expand the impact of our hands-on maker workshops and we are preparing to launch design challenges where students can collaborate with one another and gain real-world experiences. In the 2021-2022 school year, we will develop the foundations of our Workshop Series and Design Challenges, which can provide student makers with hands-on maker classes and real-world collaborative experiences for years to come.

2020 Project Awards

Amirah Adem - Pomona
Project Title: Against FGM: Implementing Better Sexual Health Education and Rights - Show Summary
The project is aimed to heal and educate women who have been subjected to Female Genital Mutilation (FGM). FGM is a cultural practice that is deemed as a human rights violation. FGM must be openly discussed in order to end the culture of controlling women. I plan to create a documentary focusing on the victims of FGM and the advocates against it, NAFGEM and ASANTE. I will be working in programs that focus on sexual health and dismantling FGM, which brings pain and suffering to women and girls. Financial assistance to these organizations will help them create safe houses for those escaping FGM and domestic violence. The documentary will be shown in appropriate campus events, and potentially at the school's museum with reserved spaces for students. Pamphlets on FGM will raise awareness and show how to further support the cause. Beaded jewelry from Tanzania will be sold to ensure the program is sustainable.
Joseph Bello - UCM
Project Title: Share-A-Chair: Providing Independence to New Wheelchair Users - Show Summary
This project aims to partner with the Spinal Cord Injury Active Network (SCI Active Network) to implement and expand a Share-a-Chair wheelchair lending program. This program will accept donated high-performance wheelchairs and refurbish them so they may be lent out to new wheelchair users. The goal of the program is to help fill the time gap from when someone orders a new wheelchair to when it arrives. My proposal will refurbish 15 wheelchairs so they can serve more new wheelchair users. I will also hire a videographer to put together a 5 to 10 minute video documenting the program and following the stories of a Share-a-Chair recipients. This will help the project to gain more public notoriety, demonstrate the impact of the program and secure additional resources beyond the Strauss Award year. The SCI Network will also share the video presentation to initiate corporate partnerships with wheelchair makers, furthering the sustainability of the program.
Alejandro Cervantes - UCD
Project Title: Dream STEM Initiative - Show Summary
The identity of immigrant youth is politicized and systematically dehumanized. Furthermore, these same youth have low college attainment and even smaller STEM degree attainment rates. There is a need for STEM and professional development programming for the immigrant youth community in Sacramento, however, without a parallel healing service, one-lane programs will fail. I propose the Dream STEM Initiative to meet the need of a holistic service and become a pipeline for training the next generation of immigrant STEM professionals. The main component is the ten-month Dream STEM Fellowship for an initial cohort of 20 immigrant youth. Fellows receive a chromebook, Google's Playstore developer license, and coding experience. The Fellowship's curriculum models the methodology of circle keeping and the lesson plans follow the (W)holistic Science Pedagogy, while outsourcing the technical coding instruction to a graduate student coding practitioner. The Dream STEM Fellowship's volunteer corps, a parallel service, hopes to positively develop and empower the next generation of immigrant youth leaders.
Darla Chavez - Occidental
Project Title: Creating Change Through Art - Show Summary
Creating Change Through Art (CCTA) is a program which seeks to provide art-centered workshops for the clients of Kids in Need of Defense. KiND's clients are minors seeking legal relief who have migrated into the U.S. in order to escape different forms of abuse, whether that be emotional or physical, abandonment, or to escape other difficult conditions in their countries of origin. My project, CCTA, will consist of four workshops. The first will be "Art Expression" and will provide different materials and approaches for clients ot create artistic pieces. The second workshop will be "Dance and Movement" which will look at artistic expression through body movement. The Third workshop will be "Art and Economic Empowerment" , which will teach clients how they can use their art to create career opportunities. The last workshop will be "Reflective Session", which will provide the clients with a space to reflect on all they have learned while looking at ways to continue to engage in art in their everyday lives. Community based organizations will be used to facilitate the workshops, so the clients will be able to build connections with resources in their communities.
Mira Cheng - UCB
Project Title: Friends of All Ages: Connecting Generations Through Digital Art and Storytelling - Show Summary
Friends of All Ages is an after school arts program dedicated to fostering safe, creative and genuine relationship building between generations. The program will involve three generations (1) recently-arrived immigrant high school students who will be working with (2) seniors to ideate and create digital art projects, and (3) college students who will serve as facilitators. The program will emphasize inter-generational dialogue, mutual respect and creative storytelling through a variety of multimedia activities. The goal is to create a welcoming space where all generations can grow, learn and share collectively.
Justin Chiu - UCSB
Project Title: Putting an End to Deaths from Uncontrolled Bleeding - Show Summary
Santa Barbara Student Lifesavers (SB SLS) will develop a self-sufficient Stop The Bleed (STB) program at the University of California, Santa Barbara (UCSB) focused on training UCSB students/faculty on how to save lives by stopping uncontrolled bleeding. This goal will be achieved by training eligible UCSB students as STB class instructors, connecting with the UCSB student/faculty population, and assisting in the logistics of planning and teaching STB classes at UCSB. This organization will involve on-going collaboration with Cottage Health and UCSB Student Health to ensure effective implementation and sustainability of the program.
Miyako Iwata - UCB
Project Title: The Pac-12 Voting Challenge - Show Summary
he PAC-12 Voting Challenge aims to get UC Berkeley students excited about voting and civically engaged by building on school spirit based on our rivalries with other PAC-12 campuses like Stanford and UCLA. The project would be institutionally supported by the Chancellor’s Committee on Civic Engagement and carried out (and sustained) by the Voting Project — a diverse coalition of student organizations representing a wide array of communities on campus. In this way, the Challenge would both center and uplift student voices while making voting more inclusive, with a focus on traditionally underrepresented communities and identities. Most importantly, the PAC-12 Challenge is designed to increase student voter turnout not only during the 2020 election cycle, but every election year to come. In so doing, the Challenge seeks to make voting more inclusive and accessible to every Berkeley student — and American democracy more reflective of the diversity it represents.
Samhita Kadiyala - Scripps
Project Title: Back to Business: An Entrepreneurship Program for Opportunity Youth in CA's Inland Valley - Show Summary
The Back to Business (B2B) program will be a year-long entrepreneurship program for opportunity youth (formerly “at-risk youth”) including foster youth who live in Southern California’s Inland Empire. B2B will be hosted at the B.L.O.C.K., a drop-in space for primarily low-income youth that is run by ReachOut, an Upland-based non-profit. Currently, the B.L.O.C.K. provides a well-frequented physical space to do homework, hang out, and get access to critical safety-net resources, but it lacks the funding to implement any long-term programming. The B2B program will develop a structured curriculum to expose youth to various local entrepreneurs, including college students who have started their own businesses and other local small business owners. The curriculum will include lessons on product planning, budgeting, marketing, and professional development. By the end of the program, students will have product mockups that they can sell for a profit, a portion of which will be used to continue the program in future years. Additionally, the students will work on a group project to design a pamphlet containing advice for youth who have newly entered the foster care system, written by youth who have been in the system for a number of years. Overall, the program aims to provide tangible skills, build community, and help youth gain confidence in themselves. The program will be self-sustaining through product sales and student volunteers who will be trained to lead and serve as mentors for the program in future years.
Ruhi Kanwar - Stanford
Project Title: MustEducate in Reproductive Health: Providing Access to Sanitary Pads & Public Health Education in India - Show Summary
In India, conservative views towards gender-related rights and freedoms breeds extreme stigmas towards reproductive health, especially in villages. Accessibility and availability of proper menstrual care is a widespread issue. In 2015, I founded the nonprofit MustEducate, an organization that has built seven libraries within Bangalore, India, with the mission to provide educational resources to underprivileged communities in India. In 2019, I interned at Aarti for Girls, a grass-roots nonprofit in Kadapa, aimed at women's issues. I propose to start a new initiative within these two groups to spread awareness and healthy practices of female menstrual health. My project will install a sanitary pad-making machine which will provide employment for some women, workshops and gynecological check-ups to these South Indian communities.
Jennifer Le - UCR
Project Title: Addressing the STEM Gender Gap by Empowering High School Women - Show Summary
Diversification of the STEM workforce yields a multitude benefits as underrepresented groups may offer novel expertise and new perspectives for scientific advances due to their unique background. I specifically aim to help close the gender gap in STEM by providing research opportunities that build self-efficacy for women at the high school level. With the support of the Strauss Foundation, I will coordinate female faculty and students from the STEM departments at the University of California, Riverside (UCR) to mentor high school women weekly. This will build a supportive community of female mentors and foster confidence for students to pursue STEM careers. Under guidance, high school students will design their own hypothesis and experiments, focusing on different topics monthly and present the experiment of their choice at the annual spring UCR Research Symposium at the end of the year. Furthermore, after completing the one-year program, students will be invited back to serve as peer mentors for the next cohort of students. My goal is to expand among low-income schools in the Riverside Country.
Harjeet Mann - UCD
Project Title: Mobilizing the Delhi Population in Healthcare - Show Summary
Delhi is currently home to over 30 million people, with over 3.9 million living in underserved neighborhoods in the outskirts of the city. There is a substantial gap between the poor and wealthy populations regarding knowledge and available resources for healthcare and disease prevention with most health services providing inadequate care to these areas. Furthermore, India is ranked first with the greatest portion of anemic people globally at 39.86% of the population suffering from an iron deficiency. We want to provide this population healthcare sources in the form of mobile clinics and health education. Partnering with Nishkam Sikh Welfare Council (NSWC), an NGO based in India,our mobile clinics will be carried out by NSWC helath professionals and provide fee health equipment for patients to monitor and control their own levels at home. Through our established California chapter of NSWC at UC Davis, Nishkam Sewa, we will work closely with our members to institute this new health education program. Keeping in mind the Sikh tenant of "selfless service" , we want to mobilize and empower the Delhi population to have control of their health.
Sukhdev Mann - UCD
Project Title: Mobilizing the Delhi Population in Healthcare - Show Summary
Delhi is currently home to over 30 million people, with over 3.9 million living in underserved neighborhoods in the outskirts of the city. There is a substantial gap between the poor and wealthy populations regarding knowledge and available resources for healthcare and disease prevention with most health services providing inadequate care to these areas. Furthermore, India is ranked first with the greatest portion of anemic people globally at 39.86% of the population suffering from an iron deficiency. We want to provide this population healthcare sources in the form of mobile clinics and health education. Partnering with Nishkam Sikh Welfare Council (NSWC), an NGO based in India,our mobile clinics will be carried out by NSWC helath professionals and provide fee health equipment for patients to monitor and control their own levels at home. Through our established California chapter of NSWC at UC Davis, Nishkam Sewa, we will work closely with our members to institute this new health education program. Keeping in mind the Sikh tenant of "selfless service" , we want to mobilize and empower the Delhi population to have control of their health.
Karishma Muthukumar - UCI
Project Title: The Patient Project - Show Summary
The Patient Project aims to bridge the gap in face-to-face communication by redesigning a significant element of health care. Patients with extended wait times will be given the choice to interact with college volunteers in an innovative program that offers patients the opportunity to chat, listen to music, play games (e.g. cards, board games), learn a health topic (e.g. nutrition, brain facts), or read poetry. We will implement the “waiting room conversations” model across California by developing curriculum, collecting key statistics, constructing a resourceful portal, and offering valuable peer support to university chapters. The collective knowledge produced from this unprecedented approach will be synthesized to publish a book of diverse and simply beautiful voices.
Krishna Shah - UCLA
Project Title: Battling Period Poverty in Kenya - Show Summary
The menstrual cycle is something that girls and women have to deal with every month however if not handled correctly, it can lead to serious issues. Period Poverty is a major problem for girls and women from less privileged backgrounds living in Kenya. The lack of sanitary pads leads to girls missing school, sex for pads leading to transfer of STDs, and UTI’s due to poor hygiene. This project aims to: 1. Introduce a wider financially stable population to reusable sanitary pads as an environmental and financially sustainable alternative. 2. Provide women and girls from low income backgrounds with reusable sanitary pads to improve school and work attendance and decrease sex for pads. 3. Educate families, teachers and all students on women hygiene and sanitation at schools in rural areas and slums. The project aims to become self-sustaining by selling the pads and using the profits to donate pads to girls from less privileged backgrounds and also feeding the profits back into maintaining the business.

2019 Project Awards

Vardhaan Ambati - Stanford
Project Title: Teens Teaching Teens Biotechnology Program - Show Summary
Currently, nearly all biological research takes place in university or industry professional laboratories, preventing most students, especially those from underprivileged backgrounds from exploring biological sciences. The Teens Teaching Teens Biotechnology Program, which I created with the support of BioCurious Community Lab in Santa Clara, California have provided rare hands-on access to biological research to hundreds of middle school and high school students in the Bay Area. With the support of the Strauss Foundation and by using BioCurious community lab’s connections with other community labs around the world, I would like to scale BioCurious’s existing program by piloting and establishing permanent, self-sustaining Teens Teaching Biotechnology programs at other community labs around the country and world in order to inspire students that regardless of their age, privilege, and access to university or industry labs that they can and should pursue biological research opportunities.
Bergen Carloss - Scripps
Project Title: Think Big Theater: An Enrichment Program for L.A.'s Homeless Youth - Show Summary
The proposed project is a theater enrichment program for students of Crete Academy, a nonprofit charter schooling serving children K-6th grade in Los Angeles's East Side. A majority of the students at the school are homeless and live below the poverty line, and the school serves nearly all of their needs, from the standard curriculum to a food service system that gives the kids three meals a day. Still, Crete is in desperate need of enrichment after school programs to keep kids safe, learning, and having fun. During our 12 week theater program held on Mondays and Wednesdays, students will learn the basics of theater and improv, attend a professional show, and ultimately create and perform their own skits and plays for their parents and the student body. Ultimately, the program will develop confidence, creativity, communication, and public speaking skills in the students, while laying the foundation for future enrichment and theater programs at the school.
Ahmad Elhaija - UCLA
Project Title: Intercollegiate Health Initiative: Maywood & Bell Community Clinic - Show Summary
The International Collegiate Health Initiative: Maywood and Bell Community Clinic, is a high impact, student-run community health and education program. This program is working with the city officials of Bell and Maywood, David Geffen School of Medicine, Al-Shifa Clinic, and various other organizations to dramatically change health outcomes, medical coverage rates, and students' college application success rates in the neighboring cities of Maywood and Bell. Our medical and non-profit partnerships, along with our business development guidance through the Social Enterprise Academy and StartUpUCLA, ensure we have the right guidance to sustain and grow our project in multiple facets. This is a long-term permanent program, and we seek to expand and grow our services further in the coming years.
Raymond Ezzat - UCR
Project Title: Project 79: Long Term Career Advancement for Refugee Men in Riverside - Show Summary
Project 79 aims to support long-term career advancements for refugee men in Riverside County through a community-based employment mentorship and an ESL for the workplace class. The community-based employment mentorship matches refugees with long-term residents who hold jobs in the same field of interest. The weekly meetings between the mentor-mentee and the creation of a milestone plan will establish a clearer path toward long-term job attainment and a more expansive social and professional network in the local community. The ESL for the workplace class will revolve around individualized weekly sessions that will better prepare refugee men with the necessary communication skills for their future career path. To continue to fill in the gap in resources in Riverside County, an iOS/Android app and a Refugee Advocacy Club at UCR will be established. The app will connect future refugees with mentors and resources in the community, while the Refugee Advocacy Club will ensure continual interactions with the community, as well as provide updates to the app. Overall, Project 79 will reduce barriers to employment for refugee men in the area by providing the tools necessary for them to succeed.
Varun Govil - UCSD
Project Title: Verde Lux - Show Summary
To prepare students for an increasingly technological work space, it is imperative that students possess a strong foundation of technical knowledge, critical thinking skills, and real-world experience. However, a lack of equitable distribution for resources such as time, money, and education quality leads to a large disparity between STEM interests in affluent neighborhoods and those from economically disadvantaged backgrounds. San Diego, both through its industry and education infrastructure, has one of the country's strongest biology ecosystems. Given the demographics of the San Diego population, URM students still face a significant disadvantage when it comes to attaining bachelor's degrees in the biomedical sciences. Part of this can be attributed to a gap in knowledge, whereas the other major component is a belief gap that has been shown to disproportionately hurt URM individuals in their understanding and performance. To address this critical issue, I propose the creation of Verde Lux, an initiative that will help high school students and college undergraduates become the next generation's synthetic biologists. The platform itself consists of a case study handbook embedded onto a smart learning platform with virtual reality, as well as a capstone project. Ultimately, students should feel empowered to pursue a career in the sciences.
Jonathan Ho - UCD
Project Title: Knight's Landing Community Garden - Show Summary
Many community members of Knights Landing are at high risk of chronic diseases such as diabetes and hypertension. This can be attributed to the low accessibility to fresh produce and unhealthy eating practices. As part of the Knights Landing Environment Health Project (KLEHP), I hope to develop an unutilized front plot, provided by the KL Methodist Church into the Knights Landing Community Garden. Through a partnership with the Knights Landing One Health Clinic (KLOHC), KLEHP will promote a Health Education Program that provides nutrition and healthy eating education. A portion of the garden will be used by KLEHP to grow fresh produce to support the Health Education Program while the rest of the garden will be for community usage. We will also partner with Empower Yolo and the Science and Technology Elementary School to provide garden extracurricular opportunities to the youth. Lastly, a garden committee will be established to lead future efforts in maintaining the garden.
Anika Kumar - UCB
Project Title: Forget Me Not - Show Summary
Forget Me Not is an inter-generational nonprofit organization that I founded three years ago designed to reduce instances and feeling of social isolation, loneliness, and depression among older adults. Forget Me Not partners teenage high school volunteers with isolated older adults in their communities in weekly social companionship phone calls. The program allows teenage volunteers and their respective older adult companions to forge meaningful bonds and lasting relationships through refreshing and mutually reciprocal social interaction. The calls both alleviate the health issues associated with loneliness in elders and bridge the generational age gap, working towards a healthier and more connected society. In the coming year, I hope to expand my program to more locations to help meet its growing demand.
Lauren Roberts - UCSB
Project Title: Thriving Not Just Surviving - Show Summary
Thriving: Not Just Surviving is an initiative aiming to pair specialist-led educational workshops with impactful and reflective self-care activities to create an outlet and supportive community for sexual assault survivors on UCSB’s campus. The eight-week workshop and self-care curriculum provides a tight-knit community and adds up to give survivors an essential toolkit of coping, communication and leadership skills that will set them up not only to help themselves but others. The workshops will be guided by specialized personnel who are familiar and informed on the right way to address the topic and ensure no one is put in an unhealthy situation recounting their own trauma, every challenge will be a choice. After the eight-week course, together the group will come up with a self grown advocacy project each member is proud of and motivated by. The intention is that each “thrive” group will then have a meaningful and positive outlet to channel the undeniable energy of an experience like sexual assault and the leadership skills to make effective, positive change. The program is built to empower resilient leaders through education and personal development to then create a thriving force for good.
Elizabeth Sanchez - UCM
Project Title: Connect 4 Parents - Show Summary
My proposal is centered around parent engagement at the university level. This project will help parents to become more involved with their scholar's experience in college as well as help students to know their parents are equipped with resources to help them succeed. Connect 4 Parents aims to bridge the gap of access for first generation college students in the Central Valley.
Samuel Shing - UCSD
Project Title: Striking a New Chord: Music in the Making - Show Summary
Fine arts education, specifically music, has lost traction in the scope of educational learning. Music education not only teaches students artistic skills and creativity, but also improves their school performance and brings about physical and mental benefits such as managing stress and relaxation. I founded the organization Initiative for Music Education and Mentorship in order to enrich students' music experiences throughout San Diego by providing them mentorship and direct support in the classroom. Our work has impacted over 150 students and has had positive feedback from instructors, who have seen increased musicianship and dedication. In collaboration with schools around the San Diego area, namely San Diego High School, I will send volunteers from my organization to serve in music classes situated in underserved neighborhoods and provide nurture and instruction in an intimate setting. Volunteers will engage with the students several hours a week to foster and enhance their music experience, as well as expose them to higher education. I plan to use this opportunity to strengthen music education across San Diego and contribute to the up and coming generation of students, helping them develop important life skills with music as my medium.
Janet Song - UCI
Project Title: Promoting Digital Equity in Oakland: Wash & Learn & Youth Participatory Action Research - Show Summary
The digital divide is the inequity in access to internet and computers that exists across socioeconomic, race, gender, and literacy lines. As part of a campaign to promote digital equity, the U.S. branch of Libraries Without Borders (LWB) is implementing the Wash and Learn Initiative in Oakland, which equips laundromats with laptops, Wifi, and educational software. As a remote LWB intern tasked with supporting Wash and Learn, I propose supplementing this innovative program with a Youth Participatory Action Research (YPAR) team. This research program will empower youth as they investigate digital inequity and receive instruction regarding technology/advocacy from me and other contributors to this project. YPAR will kick-off with a 2-3 day summer camp, where participants will bond and learn social science topics, the scientific process, and written/verbal communication skills. Through weekly meetings, the youth residents will collaboratively identify an issue in their community and design a project that challenges the theories or assumptions underlying their chosen topic. Oakland’s youth will be in charge of determining the project’s direction and future applications, ensuring that the program’s final product is relevant and serves the community’s best interests.
Alyssa Tamboura - UCSC
Project Title: Walls to Bridges: Fostering Family Communication During & After Incarceration - Show Summary
The mission of the Walls to Bridges project is to foster family communication during and after incarceration through confidential dialogues using restorative justice principles and practices. By breaking down communication barriers and creating safe spaces for teen and adult age children and their incarcerated or formerly incarcerated parents, Walls to Bridges seeks to mitigate the isolation and stigma created by familial incarceration by repairing harm and addressing the needs of families. The project will include recruiting high-quality student volunteers to complete conflict resolution and mediation skills trainings to become certified mediators. It will also include developing a model for facilitating dialogues and a plan for implementation in the jails in Santa Cruz County. Walls to Bridges is a difficult, complex project that will draw on mentorship from various organizations across the country that are active in criminal justice reform.

2018 Project Awards

Grace Donalson - UCSD
Project Title: Ohana of Hope - Show Summary
Being a young adult is not the easiest task. For thousands of foster children aging out of the foster care system, this challenge becomes significantly more difficult. With insufficient life education, educational delays, a lack of personal support, and minimal funds, odds seem to be against foster children to thrive in their adult years. And statistics prove this, according to Promises 2 Kids, one of three foster youth will experience homelessness within two years of exiting the system. Ohana for Hope wants to provide foster children with the resources they need to lead a successful life. By offering life skill workshops, a homework  helper hotline, and donated household items, we are hopeful that we may lessen the strain of aging out of the foster care system, and improve the negative statistics.
Andrew Eneim - UCR
Project Title: Men Against Sexual Violence: Redefining Masculinity - Show Summary
Evidence clearly shows that there is a major issue with the sexual violence on college campuses that needs to be addressed, and failing to do so will only allow it to grow. The Men Against Sexual Violence: Redefining Masculinity project aims to engage males in the conversation around sexual violence prevention. This will be done through various trainings in by-stander intervention, consent, and more. Another major goal of the project will be to begin the conversation at UCR on toxic masculinity and rape culture. This project has the support of the Campus Advocacy, Resources and Education (CARE) office on campus, and I will use this collaboration to design a curriculum to educate the male population at UCR and foster a safe environment for men to discover what healthy masculinity is. This will, in turn, begin a shift in the culture that will combat sexual violence on college campuses.
Holden Gibbons - Stanford
Project Title: Educating and Deploying Student Health Disruptors - Show Summary
My project is called "Educating and Deploying Student Health Disruptors" and this initiative will build off the previous three years of experience I have had working to build a community garden in Euclid, Ohio. I want to use these gardens as summer learning labs whereby we will take motivated students, teach them about nutrition and healthy living practices, create media starring them, and have them show this media to their class in the upcoming school year in conjunction with a curriculum I am developing with our community partners. Our community partnerships are in place with the city, as well as the school district. With their help, we will select twenty students for the initial pilot. I will be in Euclid from May until September full-time, and I will travel there during the school year several times to test the students on the curriculum both before and after exposure; in addition, I will watch the students present their media, to measure efficacy and collect feedback. Our hope is that we can engender real and quantifiable change with regards to nutrition and healthy living practices, and this knowledge will permeate the community. Should we succeed, we have excellent opportunities to expand as we have already identified additional schools that are interested, vacant land, and financial supporters. I am excited about this project and appreciate the opportunity to apply!
Nathan Mallipeddi - UCLA
Project Title: Southern California Stuttering Service - Show Summary
Around 6 million U.S. students in grades K-12 have some form of disability, and 20% of those students suffer from a speech and language impairment. These students experience various forms of societal discrimination and special education teachers are often overburdened and limited in the help they can provide. Students also experience anxiety and isolation from not knowing other individuals with speech impairments. Southern California Stuttering Service, a 501c(3) nonprofit, aims to improve public awareness through peer outreach and mentoring. The Strauss Scholarship will help the Southern California Stuttering Service accomplish the following goals. First, we will educate students about therapies available for speech impairments and sponsor those who wish to receive therapy, which can be very expensive for many children. Second, we will form support groups of adolescents to reduce anxiety and feelings of isolation. Finally, we will create workshops and presentations from successful individuals with speech impediments to inspire and advise these children on how to succeed with a speech disability. Southern California Stuttering Service has garnered a wide range of support and interest from UCLA faculty, nonprofit organizations, and local high schools from the Los Angeles Unified School District.
Eric Medina - UCSC
Project Title: UC Santa Cruz Oakes Garden - Show Summary
The UCSC Oakes Garden is a space that has long gone inactive, but with funding from the Strauss Foundation can become a space that resists food insecurity for UCSC students. This project will be for the development of the Oakes Garden. It will become a space that produces fresh produce accessible to UCSC students, a space for students to teach and develop leadership skills, a space that fosters community and political action around the issues of food justice. The Oakes Garden represents the idea that every human has a right to health, and restoring it will help the UC Santa Cruz community realize this truth.
David Nguyen - UCLA
Project Title: Addressing the Leaky Pipeline through the Community College to PhD Association - Show Summary
I established the Community College to PhD Association in September 2017, to address the underrepresentation of community college alumni in PhD programs. With support from the Strauss Award, I will expand the CC2PhD Associations' events and programs. I will organize 7 monthly CC2PhD Saturday Academies. Each Saturday Academy will feature 2 Research Interview Methods, 1 Research Opportunities Preparation, and 1 PhD Preparation presentation (28 presentations, total). To increase access, we will award $75 Saturday Academy Travel Grants to 82 community college students. Our culminating event is the CC2PhD Multidisciplinary Undergraduate Research Conference, which welcomes research presentations from all California community college students and transfer students. Our flagship program is the eight-month CC2PhD Scholars Program, which will serve 45 community college sophomores. CC2PhD Scholars will 1) complete a social-justice-oriented interview research project, 2) present their independent research at the CC2PhD Research Conference, 3) complete an upper-division undergraduate research program application, and 4) develop a PhD prep plan for their junior and senior year. Scholars are supported through monthly CC2PhD Saturday Academies, twice-a-month videoconference meetings with a CC2PhD Graduate Student Mentor, monthly meetings with a CC2PhD Community College Faculty Advisor and a $150 research grant. 
Cassidy Pyle - UCSB
Project Title: Sacramento Equitable Education Commission Higher Education - Show Summary
Sacramento Equitable Education Commission (S.E.E.C.) Higher Education is a project geared toward tackling disparities in college access among predominantly poor students of color through three distinct elements. The first element of the project involves conducting research on existing resources provided by the Elk Grove Unified School District to see how those resources could better serve an increasingly diverse population. The second element is a series of four workshops designed to tackle various barriers to higher education particularly among poor students of color and their families. The workshops will be hosted once monthly in September, October, November, and December, 2018, and will cover timely topics such as FAFSA and college affordability, the U C and C S U application process, Microaggressions and other culturally based issues faced by college students who are ignored in the larger discussion about higher education. The third element involves the creation of a comprehensive plan for tackling higher education access disparities on a broader scale. One component of this plan includes the production of a more socially aware college preparation guide that I will work to have translated into several languages and distributed widely among students throughout the Elk Grove Unified School District.
Kausalya Raman - UCD
Project Title: English Kadhavu - Show Summary
In Tamilnadu, India, around 60% of elementary school students attend Tamil medium public schools. These students have little exposure to English, and often have teachers who are not fluent. In addition, the lack of access to appropriate reading material makes it difficult for them to acquire a basic proficiency in the language. Most higher education programs, especially in STEM, are currently only offered in English, and most job sectors require a basic English proficiency. This severely limits the opportunities available to students from lower socioeconomic backgrounds creating a language divide. I started  English Kadhavu to design, develop, and distribute English learning supplements in book boxes to schools across Tamilnadu to bridge this language divide. The book boxes contain books and related activities that are age-appropriate, easy for teachers to use, and set in the context of the students' lives. As of now, we have created phonics sets for first grade and five book boxes for second grade and piloted them in seven different schools in Chennai with positive results. The goal of this proposal is to build upon this effort and develop content for elementary grade levels up to six so that the students acquire a solid foundation in the language and are able to pursue higher education and better paying jobs.
Marc Robert Wong - Stanford
Project Title: TeenTechSF: Changing the Face of Tech, Changing the World - Show Summary
Tech is the new American Dream, but many students, especially those belonging to underserved or underrepresented communities are being left out of the digital revolution. Engagement in tech activities and tech careers for African-Americans, Latinos, women, and students from low income families lags far behind that of their counterparts at school and in the workplace. Many students are intimidated by coding, isolating them from the opportunity to build tech skills and cutting them off from tech careers. At TeenTechSF, our "secret sauce" is that all our tech activities are run by and for teens. It's hard to feel intimidated when the person leading the event is someone just like you! TeenTechSF's mission is to empower the next generation of tech innovators and civic entrepreneurs through equal access to tech for all teens. Marc founded TeenTechSF as a High School Sophomore because his school didn't have any tech activities. TeenTechSF is now at a watershed moment, poised to move from a startup to a fully independent non-profit. TeenTechSF is taking the challenge of bridging the digital divide from access to actual engagement with the goal of increasing participation from targeted students by 50%, and doubling the number of award-winning, student led, hands on TeenTechSF STEM workshops in their communities. Find out more on our website and check out videos of our activities on our TeenTechSF YouTube channel.
Sophie Roe - Pomona
Project Title: Pomona Employment Partners - Show Summary
Pomona Employment Partners (PEP) of the Claremont Colleges is a student volunteer-based social needs program that connects homeless people living in the City of Pomona with employment opportunities, and supports them throughout the employment process. Since I founded PEP in the fall of 2017, student volunteers have offered assistance with job searches, resume and cover letter writing, interview preparation, job applications, and other employment-related needs during our weekly "drop-in" hours held at the Armory, the City of Pomona's largest homeless shelter. The Strauss Scholarship will allow us to enhance PEP at the Claremont Colleges, expand Employment Partner chapters to colleges and universities across LA County, and launch Students for Health and Socioeconomic Equity, the first-ever national partnership of undergraduate student-run social needs programs. By mobilizing undergraduate students to provide employment-based assistance to homeless persons in their local communities, this project will fulfill a need unmet by many case management services, and will ultimately combat the homelessness crisis facing Los Angeles County and United States as a whole.
Van Sam - UCB
Project Title: Keep Vietnamese families together: beyond U.S. Borders - Show Summary
Keep Vietnamese families together: beyond U. S. Borders is a project that aims to 1) develop a better understanding of the current conditions and needs of the deportee community in Vietnam for future efforts of support in the U.S. 2)support families and individuals who are currently detained and /or at risk of deportation to Vietnam in the East Bay and across the nation as we fight against deportation. This project will provide in-language direct services and connect people with additional resources such as mental and physical health services. We will also organize and advocate alongside the most impacted for their needs and rights. While it is important to prevent deportation of our community in the U.S., we must also work to support those who have already been deported to Vietnam. There is currently little to no knowledge of the current conditions and needs of those deported to Vietnam. To assess deportees needs for future support work, we will conduct in-depth interviews with those in Vietnam.
Ahaana Singh - UCB
Project Title: Refugee Health Literacy Initiative - Show Summary
The Refugee Health Literacy Initiative is a project focusing on assessing and implementing adequate health education resources for refugee populations. Through developmental assessment of general health literacy as well as best practices, the project will find the best means to create resources that will benefit refugees in understanding and taking initiative when it comes to their health. This project will be powered by Pedi-Ed- My non-profit dedicated to creating educational resources for pediatric patients to bridge the gap between children and their ailments. I want to carry the same sentiment over to the refugee community using educational resources to improve health literacy and empower refugees to take agency when it comes to their health and well-being. In order to do this, however, we must assess the best means to accomplish these goals for this particular population. Following the assessment period, we will develop resources specifically for refugee populations and the health issues most pertinent to them. P.S.  After spending 8 weeks on the ground working in a refugee camp in Greece, the initial project proved quite difficult to implement. I found that the refugee health issues that were truly of overwhelming concern were not basic public health issues; it was mental health- and frankly, videos can't solve that. Therefore, the Foundation has allowed me to reallocate my award to fund additional video content for Pedi-Ed, pursuing my mission to bring health literacy to people who don't otherwise have access.
Makeen Yasar - LMU
Project Title: The Umoja Health Project: Health Sciences Engagement Program at Westchester Enriched Sciences Magnet - Show Summary
Umoja means Unity in Swahili, and the goal of the Umoja Health Project at Westchester Enriched Sciences Magnet is to establish community unity by implementing an educational framework that promotes engaged learning in the health sciences for high school students. The United States is seeing a shortage of both general health care professionals and primary care providers. Due to lack of access and issues with funding in the LAUSD public school system, a bevy of underrepresented and under-served students have a severe lack of exposure and encouragement to pursue such fields. By holding monthly activities that expose these students to the health related fields, by providing focused tutoring for the sciences, and by providing a community health fair in the greater Los Angeles area, The Umoja Health Project is looking to bridge the disparity gap, provide a needed service to the community and secure an investment in supporting our future healthcare professionals.

2017 Project Awards

Marisa Carino - LMU
Project Title: Empower HER - Show Summary
Empower HER seeks to increase the number of school girls in attendance at school in Africa by providing proper menstruation care resources. Increasing school attendance increases the girls’ quality of education and opportunity to pursue professional goals. One of the main threats to quality education for young African women is the lack of resources and knowledge of proper care during menstruation. In fact, only 10% of girls stated that they had a place to manage menstruation at school. Of the remaining 90%, over 40% admitted that they had missed school because of menstruation. Empower HER actively works with the non-profit organization called End Malaria Now (EMN) to identify the schools with girls at highest risk in Sierra Leone and seeks to eliminate this threat through three key steps. First, Empower HER helps girls in Sierra Leon develop relationships with students at LMU through a pen-pal program with LunaPads, a company which will provide feminine products and raise awareness about this urgent matter. Second, the project will educate girls on proper hygiene, and add feminine products to care packages previously constructed by EMN, called Massada kits. The final step is the result of the previous two, to develop project sustainability. While the Pen-Pal program establishes life-long relationships between students on tw separate continents, it will also provide motivation for continuing fundraising and awareness for women’s health. The legacy of knowledge will be passed down to the next generation, eliminating this obstacle to education for girls.
Cecelia DiMino - UCB
Project Title: Chords For Progression - Show Summary
“There is geometry in the humming of the strings, there is music in the spacing of the spheres.” Pythagoras appreciated these hidden potentials. Thinking in mathematical and musical concepts opens up a new understanding of the world. For adolescent Students with Limited or Interrupted Formal Education (SLIFE) coming from countries where poverty, disaster, civil unrest, persecution, or gender restrictions have affected their development of literacy and opportunities for education, the need to access this understanding is especially critical. Chords for Progression is an after-school program for Oakland area Castlemont High School refugee/asylum-seeking immigrants that fuses math with musicianship. Music increases both the surface area and volume of the brain and promotes emotional healing; basic math is essential to academics and daily living. This project offers an accelerated learning capability – let’s unlock their hidden potentials and see them thrive, academically and socially.
Areian Eghbali - UCSD
Project Title: Educational Advancement Program - Show Summary
Educational Advancement Program is a student-run outreach effort that will start at San Diego High School and expand to other high schools in underserved areas of San Diego. With an established support system here at UCSD and at San Diego High School, the goal of this program is to show students that they can pursue their passions regardless of the circumstances. Executed in the three phases of Exposure, Immersion, and Presentation, EAP strives to walk students through learning by exposing them to the possibilities in STEM, teaching them about the applications of what they learn in STEM, and enhancing their ability to present their work in a professional setting. Throughout this year-long process, EAP mentors will be in constant communication with students to ensure that the maximum level of learning and impact takes place. Furthermore, data will be collected on student progress throughout the program and future cycles of the program adjusted based on the feedback received. My ultimate goal for this program is to be implemented in all under-served high schools in San Diego and empower students to realize their potential and pursue their goals with optimism and confidence.
Phong Hong - UCR
Project Title: Project 51- The Refugee Empowerment Project - Show Summary
Named after the UN Refugee Convention of 1951, Project 51 aims to empower refugee women through two approaches. (1) Addressing the women’s need to learn English, Project 51’s Language and Cultural Immersion Course will offer a conversational partner program, which pairs refugee women with UCR students or Riverside community members to practice English and exchange culture. (2) Addressing the need of health literacy, Project 51’s Learning Circle will offer group discussions among refugees and community members to talk about topics concerning refugee’s well-being such as managing health and coping with race-related stress. In collaboration with on-campus academic departments and off-campus nonprofit organizations, Project 51 will cultivate strong relationships between the refugee community and local community. As the first UCR refugee support program, the project hopes to provide the resources needed for refugee women to empower themselves and their families as they start their new lives in the United States.
Aanchal Johri - Stanford
Project Title: Paperfuge: A Low-Cost, Electricity-Free Centrifuge for Point of Care Diagnostics in Low-Resource Communities - Show Summary
Parasitic diseases such as malaria are pervasive diseases that affect over a billion people worldwide each year, with especially high fatality rates throughout Africa and parts of South Asia. The current approaches for diagnosis are ineffective and inaccessible to many resource-limited communities around the world, where these diseases are most prevalent. Working with MacArthur Genius Fellow Dr. Manu Prakash, I helped develop the "paperfuge," a 20-cent, 2-gram, electricity-free centrifuge that achieves the same results as conventional centrifuges. I have demonstrated that the paperfuge can be used to diagnose diseases such as malaria, filariasis, and anemia. These results have encouraged me to share the device with the global community. My goals going forward are threefold. First, I would like to bring the device to a new community (namely, Ifanadiana,Madagascar). Second, I aim to train community health care workers in how to use it and will work with them to implement this device in their standard medical protocols. Finally, I will collaborate with other doctors and medical workers, so they can implement the device in their own community studies as well. Ultimately, I hope that this low-cost paperfuge opens up more opportunities for point-of-care diagnostics in resource-limited communities.
Pranuthi Kanneganti - UCM
Project Title: Stepping Into Science - Show Summary
Stepping Into Science is an innovative program that aims to educate and encourage young, female and minority students to pursue the sciences. By empowering and encouraging their intellect and skill development, students will be able to overcome barriers to their success in science education. Regardless of their socioeconomic status (SES), race and ethnicity, and gender,students will learn that they can be successful in the sciences if they work hard and maintain their dedication. Through academic and enhancement hands-on activities and the program’s curriculum, eighty sixth-grade students at Peterson Elementary School in Merced will have an opportunity to learn about the natural sciences in a way that they cannot without this program due to a lack of funding.
Ioannis Kournoutas - UCD
Project Title: Inspire to Aspire: Mentorship Services for At-Risk H.S. Students in Underserved Populations (Shared Project) - Show Summary
In our own academic aspirations, Sina and I have been blessed. New Americans, and new to the education system, we doubt we would have ever gotten this far without the great mentors we’ve had in our lives. We want to pay it forward. In collaboration with Dr. Jordan Peterson (U. of Toronto), and Dr. Phillip Zimbardo (Stanford), we aim to enact a holistic college-prep mentorship program that assists at-risk and first- generation youth. Utilizing these professor’s successful programs, we will match high school students with UC Davis Mentors who will guide them through the college application process, ensuring they reach their max potential.
Jason Li - Stanford
Project Title: Theatrical Vignettes as an Educational Tool to Improve Communication and Wellbeing in Asian-American Families - Show Summary
In response to the disproportionate representation of Asian-American in suicide clusters in high school students in the Bay Area, this project aims to provide practical tools for Asian-American families to address difficult and often stigmatized topics in mental health through theatrical vignettes and audience engagement. Surveys have shown that Asian-American parents and their children identify stigma against mental health as well as open communication between family members as significant barriers to accessing mental health services. From eating disorders to self-harm, from talking about depression to showing affection for the first time, the vignettes guide audience members by simulating difficult, real-life scenarios that families face—with specific emphasis on the cultural expectations and challenges that arise in Asian-American households. By partnering with educators, psychiatrists, community organizers, and families themselves, this project will expand its reach through other vulnerable areas in the Bay Area and beyond, with the aim of developing educational materials and a curriculum through which schools and organizations throughout the country can host their own vignettes to confront this deep, urgent, and underserved need within the Asian-American community.
Sara Murphy - Pomona
Project Title: Music Education in Pomona - Show Summary
This project will establish a music education program for low income youth at the dA Center for the Arts in the city of Pomona. Volunteer teachers from the Claremont Colleges will teach weekly group lessons for students ages 8-13, who will use violins owned by the dA Center. The goal of the program is to provide the opportunity for a musical education, foster a sense of community, develop a sense of confidence and identity in the participating youth, and create a mutually beneficial relationship between students at the Claremont Colleges and the surrounding community. This program is an expansion of initial programming that has been done at the dA in response to community requests for additional opportunities for musical education access.
Marcus Myers - LMU
Project Title: Empowering Young Indigenous women Through Healthcare Education - Show Summary
In Northern Guatemala, in the region of Alta Verapaz, 90% of the rural indigenous population lives below the poverty line. This leads to great inequalities which disproportionately affect the most vulnerable population in the region- indigenous young women. This population is at three times the risk of maternal mortality. They have 50% higher malnutrition rates where malnutrition is astoundingly high. In a region of astonishingly low education rates, the indigenous young women are at the highest risk of dropping out of school, and only 11% enroll in secondary school. This project aims to address this by partnering with the St. Louis University’s College of Nursing and a local educational center for the advancement of women run by nuns. The aim of this project is to train the teachers at the center in healthcare delivery and community health work. These teachers will train the young women at the center in specific health care necessities of that region. We will be constructing a building which will be dedicated to the life sciences, where the teachers of the center will receive their training from health care professionals and will conduct their own classes once they have been trained. Our aim is to make this program a sustainable education program that will promote the United Nations’ right of Human Security and encourage these women to be change-makers in their community and beyond.
Bhavesh Patel - UCI
Project Title: Towards A Healthy Future: A Youth-Based Community-Wide Tobacco Intervention in Rural India - Show Summary
The villagers of Dabka, Gujarat, India endure many public health burdens, isolated from the reliable sanitation and quality health education available in cities. Lack of health literacy and socio-economic disadvantage in rural villages like Dabka, where there is a critical shortage of health workers, are closely linked to adverse health outcomes. Tobacco-induced diseases have been particularly detrimental. More than 19% of 13-15 year old boys and 8% of girls in rural India use tobacco, due to ease of access from nearby farmers, lack of local preventative measures, and ultimately, low health literacy. In order to effectively combat this fundamentally preventable health crisis, I propose to design and implement a youth-based community-wide tobacco intervention program to innovatively engage community members themselves, including local students, teachers and village leaders, as agents of change supplemental to external health workers. This program will not only help to combat tobacco, but it will also advance a long-term goal of empowering villagers with a foundation of general health literacy and advocacy skills to assess and improve all aspects of their well-being.
Catherine Rivas - UCD
Project Title: Esperanza Project: A Women's Health Initiative to Bring Breast Cancer Prevention and Awareness Services to Yolo County - Show Summary
Among Hispanic/Latino women, breast cancer will be the leading cause of cancer death. However, only 58.8% of Hispanic/Latino women over 40 have had a mammogram within the last two years, a much lower rate than other populations. This can be attributed to a variety of factors. Knight’s Landing is a small agrarian community in Yolo County where women at high risk for breast cancer have little access. The Esperanza Project is a community-based women’s health initiative created in partnership with the community clinic, Knight’s Landing One Health Center. The Esperanza Project will work to promote breast cancer prevention by increasing the access to breast cancer screening services, enhancing awareness of breast health , and empowering the women of the community to take active roles in their own health. By accomplishing these goals, we hope to provide breast cancer services to a population that would not otherwise receive them, thus detecting breast cancer early and increasing the overall health and well-being of the community.
Teofanny Saragi - Pomona
Project Title: SEEDS: Seeking Educational Empowerment, Diversity and Solidarity - Show Summary
I am proposing the creation and implementation of SEEDS (Seeking Educational Empowerment, Diversity, and Solidarity). SEEDS is a semester-based ethnic studies program that will be conducted at Prototypes, a Southern California center that provides health and rehabilitation services for women recovering from the trauma of incarceration and poverty. Through SEEDS, the women at Prototypes will gain a breadth of cultural literacies, learn transformational knowledge, develop leadership skills, and cultivate a passion for civic engagement and social responsibility. The course will involve collaboration and engagement between students from the Claremont Colleges and community students at Prototypes. Coming out of the course, both Claremont and Prototypes students will be newly inspired and energized to work for a more just society.
Sina Soltanzadeh Zarandi - UCD
Project Title: Inspire to Aspire: Mentorship Services for At-Risk H.S. Students in Underserved Populations (Shared Project) - Show Summary
In our own academic aspirations, Sina and I have been blessed. New Americans, and new to the education system, we doubt we would have ever gotten this far without the great mentors we’ve had in our lives. We want to pay it forward. In collaboration with Dr. Jordan Peterson (U. of Toronto), and Dr. Phillip Zimbardo (Stanford), we aim to enact a holistic college-prep mentorship program that assists at-risk and first- generation youth. Utilizing these professor’s successful programs, we will match high school students with UC Davis Mentors who will guide them through the college application process, ensuring they reach their max potential.
Akhila Yechuri - UCM
Project Title: Civic Education In the Central Valley - Show Summary
I will implement a multi-part civic education program in Golden Valley High School in Merced. The program, known as Civics in the Central Valley (CICV), will consist of student-led development projects, civics lessons, and meetings with local officials. I have secured relationships in each of the program’s respective components to ensure that this expansive and holistic Strauss Foundation project can be implemented successfully. CICV aims to provide underserved students in Merced with a sustainable outlet for civic innovation and education.
Sina Zarandi - UCD
Project Title: Inspire to Aspire: Mentorship Services for At-Risk H.S. Students in Underserved Populations (Shared Project) - Show Summary
In our own academic aspirations, Sina and I have been blessed. New Americans, and new to the education system, we doubt we would have ever gotten this far without the great mentors we’ve had in our lives. We want to pay it forward. In collaboration with Dr. Jordan Peterson (U. of Toronto), and Dr. Phillip Zimbardo (Stanford), we aim to enact a holistic college-prep mentorship program that assists at-risk and first- generation youth. Utilizing these professor’s successful programs, we will match high school students with UC Davis Mentors who will guide them through the college application process, ensuring they reach their max potential.

2016 Project Awards

Matthew Chang - UCB
Project Title: The Student Immigration Relief Clinic - Show Summary
The Student Immigration Relief Clinic is a working relationship between U C Berkeley student volunteers and a Bay Area community law firm, Asian Law Alliance. The Student Immigration Relief Clinic will be a legal clinic/workshop series held five times throughout the academic year, addressing immigration needs for undocumented youth and people seeking naturalization. In the first year of this project, we will bring UC Berkeley students to the law firm based in San Jose, CA. These students and attorneys will work together to help clients fill out the legal documentation addressing various immigration needs. This project seeks to serve three purposes: First, this project presents student volunteers with an opportunity to change the lives of undocumented peoples (through Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals: DACA) along with people seeking immigration within the United States (through Naturalization: N-400). Second, this legal clinic service project seeks to address the shortage of volunteers for immigration needs. Lastly, this service project is an excellent opportunity for students to gain exposure and hands-on experience in immigration law while networking with public interest attorneys.
Jennifer Corona - UCSD
Project Title: Chapultepec Community Garden to Empower the Food Insecure - Show Summary
Through work in Ensenada, Mexico, providing free healthcare to the underserved populations on the outskirts of the city, I realized that just treating the symptoms of cardiovascular disease and diabetes is not the only way best use our resources. By addressing the underlying problem of food insecurity that many of our patients admit to facing, we can prevent the incidence and worsening of these diseases which increasingly plague Mexico and other developing countries. A community garden, and the education that accompanies its institution, will help to shift the prevailing attitudes toward food in our community of Chapultepec. We hope to grant a voice to the community so that they can take ownership in the garden and how it is run, to fund a healthier diet, thus funding their own health. By building our plots to be accessible to all generations, and by mobilizing the youth through education, we will reinforce healthy concepts of eating that will foster a shared culture of well-being. Through our efforts in the close-knit Chapultepec region, we hope that our community and collaborators will share in spreading the message so that we can attack the institutional problems that are associated with deteriorating health.
Suketu Dudhat - UCR
Project Title: Breaking Barriers - Show Summary
Breaking Barriers is planned to run for two consecutive years with the help of this scholarship and the most important aim of this project is to prepare students, especially first generation and minority students, for a college level science curriculum, which should boost retention rates of minority students in the STEM majors. In the first year, we will work with the AP Biology Teacher from Norco High School. We will bring his students to the Neil A. Campbell Science Learning Laboratory at UCR once a month for a four-hour lab that will include workshops and presentations from guest speakers. I was also able to secure a connection with the Superintendent of Jurupa Unified School District, in order to work with him to sustain this program in its second year. I hope to be able to work closely with him to obtain more funding to continue this program beyond its current two-year plan.
Mistyne Hall - UCB
Project Title: Prosilient Natives of Diverse Nations - Show Summary
Prosilient Natives of Divers Nations (Prosilient NDNs) is a recruiting program will target transfer students at community colleges within a 50-mile radius from Cal. Bu making contacts with the point people at the colleges and setting up outreach activities and campus tours, our Native community will be able to connect with the demographic that is a natural fit for recruitment to UC Berkeley. And, perhaps most importantly, this program connects Native students with Native students in an in-person, personal and authentic setting. While this part of the recruiting process is standard practice, it is apparent that leaving the details to the already over-taxed Cal students does not work for the Cal students or the community college students. My plan is to create a template training kit, which can be used by any Native student-recruiting group at any state school. As a long term goal, I envision expanding this program to function as a statewide intertribal network of Native students, providing support for Native students from preparing applications to academic support and Native community building during college, to post-graduation career searches and networking.
Donny Li - Stanford
Project Title: A New Model of Science and Environmental Education in Rural China - Show Summary
In working closely with the first rural primary school that is run autonomously by Teach for China, this project aims to 1) introduce to the Teach for China teaching fellows the concept, theory and practices of teaching and learning in informal contexts, and 2) develop a series of full-day science and environmental education curriculum activities to be used during the school’s first year of instruction, starting September 2016. The material will be developed with a strong emphasis on understanding and reflecting the local context of the school, i.e. its social and natural environments; furthermore, the material will focus on discovering and utilizing education al opportunities provided by such environments in systematic and sustainable ways. While serving to meet and excel within national educational standards, the ultimate goal of this project is to, by empowering the local teachers, cultivate among the students an attitude and capacity to appreciate everyone’s sense of home and nature, to see things of everyday life as learning resources, and to carry on lifelong learning wherever they lead their paths along China’s urbanization.
Steven Rathje - Stanford
Project Title: Proscenium Live: A Year-Long Play Development Initiative in Portland, OR - Show Summary
In partnership with Portland Shakespeare Project and Proscenium Journal, I will host a year-long play development project that involves a Free Festival of New Work in the summer of 2016 in Portland, OR, with staged readings of five new plays, as well as two additional play readings in the winter of 2016 and the spring of 2017. The project will also include the commission of a new play by an emerging playwright, a young playwrights competition, and a playwriting workshop. All plays will then be published alongside interviews with the playwrights in the free online literary journal for new plays.
Chirawat Sanpakit - UCR
Project Title: Dare to Create - Show Summary
Engineers and technically skilled workers have always been at the forefront of modern technology. Yet, the youth of the Inland Empire are victimized by disadvantaged backgrounds, stripping away opportunities for them to be exposed to these essential careers. To address this issue, I propose Dare to Create (DTC), a Program that equips high school students, especially underrepresented students, with the knowledge and skills needed to succeed in an engineering program. In a joint partnership with the Bourns College of Engineering, Vocademy, and the Leadership Council of my university, DTC will provide a network of engineering students for the University of California, Riverside (UCR) that will mentor and teach 9th – 12th grade high school students hands-on skills such as coding, 3-D printing or welding. These skills will then be utilized by the high school students to create real engineering projects, which have already been successfully implemented at UCR, such as maze-solving robots and unmanned vehicles. At the end of the year, students and their families will be invited to present their work, enjoy a luncheon with professionals, explore laboratories, and participate in college-themed workshops at UCR. Ultimately, we will foster a love for creating that also teaches math and science in a palatable way. More importantly, we will have given these students a robust set of marketable skills that will open up career paths that will open up career paths they never knew existed.
Aashna Shroff - Stanford
Project Title: Girls Code Camp: Fighting the Gender Gap in Technological Fields in India - Show Summary
Girls Code Camp (GCC) is a social venture that aims to inspire, educate and provide computing skills to young women in India to pursue 21st century opportunities. In India, women make up only 12.7% of the science and engineering workforce. GCC attempts to bridge this disparity by creating a nationwide movement empowering young women to pursue opportunities in technological fields. In its first year of existence, GCC hosted successful workshops for over 500 girls in India through introductory workshops on web development, mobile application development and hands-on tinkering. This year, our vision is to continue working with the students and partner schools that we established relationships with, and expand to government schools that are challenged by resources and do not typically host computer science classes. We will encourage our past students to start and lead GCC clubs at their schools to enable them to share their computer science skills with their peers and to form a self-sustaining community of women interested in technology. Furthermore, we will continue our annual GCC Hack Day to give the students a chance to leverage the skills learn to build something creative. By encouraging young women to explore computer science, our goal is to spark a new generation of coders- coders who will become builders of technological innovation and their own futures.
Harkanwalpreet Sodhi - UCM
Project Title: Engineers for Center for Vision Enhancement - Show Summary
The Center for Vision Enhancement (COVE) in Merced provides training and assistive technologies to the visually impaired that improve quality of life. Engineers for COVE will pair a large group of engineering students from UC Merced with Cove to develop new assistive technologies. This will enable them to apply ingenuity, 3D design technology, and knowledge from various scientific fields to create aides that help the visually impaired. This will also allow students to practice real world problem solving, apply industry methods such as modeling, prototyping, and testing while also greatly improving the quality of life for many people in their community.
Madeline Wiegel - LMU
Project Title: Stormwater Capture and Greywater Treatment System for the Holy Spirit Retreat Center - Show Summary
In this project, an LMU freshmen team of 23 engineering students propose to install a stormwater and greywater capture system for the Holy Spirit Retreat Center to maintain a lake currently dry due to the drought. The specific goals of the project are to 1) divert stormwater from the rooftops into the lake by modifying roof downspouts and gutter flow; 2) increase water input with the addition of a greywater system that will provide repurposed and treated washing machine water; 3) Construct a small wetland water treatment system to treat greywater; 4) minimize water loss by sealing and repairing the existing lake bottom; 5) Construct a small island in the lake to provide a safe haven for migrating birds vulnerable to predators such as coyotes; and 6) provide educational information about the benefits of water savings and the basics of greywater systems. Through the proposed project, it is expected that Holy Spirit Retreat Center will save approximately 3 acre-feet of water each year depending on rainfall timing and volume; provide a safe haven for resident and migratory birds; and help educate engineering students and guests of the center on issues of water conservation.

2015 Project Awards

Maria Arciniega - Pomona
Project Title: Health Bridges: Improving Health Access for Low-Income Immigrants with Limited English Proficiency and Literacy - Show Summary
Health Bridges will be a patient navigation and health resource program targeted to limited English proficient and underrepresented patients in the Los Angeles County hospitals. For our pilot project we will partner with Pomona Valley Hospital Medical Center (PVHMC) where we will bring forward bilingual student volunteers from the Claremont Colleges. These students will comprise a patient navigation team and a health resource team. The navigation team will help patients and their families in their native languages to locate departments inside the hospital, contact hospitals for follow-up care, and understand hospital registration and drug pick-up procedures. The health resource team will connect patients to crucial healthcare resources that PVHMC or community organizations offer. These healthcare resources might include health insurance enrollment assistance, free screenings/clinics, and transportation service.
Jessa Culver - UCLA
Project Title: Global Development Lab at UCLA - Show Summary
In our rapidly globalizing world, poverty is one of the biggest challenges that we face as an international community. UCLA is home to a plethora of students passionate about making real impacts on the lives of those victimized by poverty, yet lacks an organization that brings students together to tum their visionary ideas into action. The Global Development Lab (GDL) at UCLA endeavors to provide a results-driven space for students to research, incubate, and implement innovative ideas critical to the alleviation of poverty at home and abroad. Through professionally-led workshops, research projects, and development model experimentation, GDL equips students with the tangible skills and resources necessary to foster responsible, successful global development initiatives. GDL plans to accomplish its goal with a comprehensive three­ phase curriculum that will be carried out throughout the course of the academic year. Through the curriculum, students will gain valuable knowledge on effective development strategies, receive counseling on personal development proposals, and acquire the connections and means required to implement their initiatives in feasible timespans.
Grant Guess - UCLA
Project Title: Project Kpalime - Show Summary
Project Kpalime is a grassroots public service project involving the development of a sustainable farm in a school for children with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD) in West Africa. I plan to develop a sustainable farm within a school in Kpalime, Togo through the implementation of heliciculture, the raising of land snails for human consumption. The goal of the farm is to enhance the vocational opportunities available to the school's children and teenagers with special needs, as well as to provide an additional form of subsistence to the school's children and add to the overall financial autonomy of the school. The implementation of heliciculture in Kpalime's school for children with IDD will serve as a flagship program to the eight other schools for children with IDD in Togo. The project will culminate with a weekend conference inviting Togo's eight other schools for children with IDD to share and learn about the concepts of social enterprise that have been implemented in the school in Kpalime in hopes of scaling the project to other schools.
Tanvi Jayaraman - Stanford
Project Title: Creating a Better Stanford: The Stand Up Coalition - Show Summary
1 in 4 American college women - that's 2.825 million women every year - will be sexually assaulted. Preventing sexual assault is everyone's responsibility. As the conversation about sexual violence at universities ignites on the national platform, small-scale, community-inclusive prevention efforts are key to impacting sustainable change. "Upstanders" are individuals in the community who are willing to stand up and speak out. It is imperative that this upstander role reaches all university students. My project will create a peer-education student coalition for a group of students who will take on campus-wide upstander mentorship roles. This student group, consisting of students from all years, undergraduate and graduate, will take a cross-listed education and training course first. They will be housed in the university Title IX Office, and be monitored by a board of advisors consisting of faculty and administrators from The Office of the Provost, The Clayman Institute for Gender Research, the Feminist, Gender, and Sexuality Studies department, the Sexual Assault and Relationship Abuse office, Vaden Health Center and more. These students will be trained in a variety of sexual assault topics, and will be peer mentors for other students. They will hold office hours, conduct workshops, and enact presentations, overall encouraging conversation and awareness about sexual assault in the communities around them.
Noah Lizerbram - UCLA
Project Title: Global Development Lab at UCLA - Show Summary
In our rapidly globalizing world, poverty is one of the biggest challenges that we face as an international community. UCLA is home to a plethora of students passionate about making real impacts on the lives of those victimized by poverty, yet lacks an organization that brings students together to tum their visionary ideas into action. The Global Development Lab (GDL) at UCLA endeavors to provide a results-driven space for students to research, incubate, and implement innovative ideas critical to the alleviation of poverty at home and abroad. Through professionally-led workshops, research projects, and development model experimentation, GDL equips students with the tangible skills and resources necessary to foster responsible, successful global development initiatives. GDL plans to accomplish its goal with a comprehensive three­ phase curriculum that will be carried out throughout the course of the academic year. Through the curriculum, students will gain valuable knowledge on effective development strategies, receive counseling on personal development proposals, and acquire the connections and means required to implement their initiatives in feasible timespans.
Connor Richards - UCR
Project Title: SMASH: Support and Mentoring for Aspiring Scientists in High School - Show Summary
In joint partnership with the University of California, Riverside's College of Natural and Agricultural Sciences (CNAS), Department of Physics and Astronomy, and the Riverside Unified School District (RUSD), I propose an intervention designed to increase college enrollment in STEM fields among Riverside-area high school students - specifically those from under-represented, low-income, and/or first generation backgrounds. Funding from the Strauss Foundation will allow for the expansion of the CERN Masterclass (an internationally-recognized outreach program showcasing world-class physics research) to local high schools, and the creation of complementary, yearlong tutoring and mentoring resources for these students. The short-term and long-term effectiveness of SMASH will be evaluated by tracking GPA, graduation rates, and interest in science. The impact of SMASH will be compared to the current Masterclass and a control group. These findings will be used to facilitate the improvement of SMASH, secure future funding, and enable development of similar interventions elsewhere.
Lauren Salinero - UCD
Project Title: Healing Through Music: Bringing a Chapter of Guitars for Vets to Sacramento Veterans - Show Summary
Guitars for Vets is a non-profit organization that empowers veterans to take advantage of the therapeutic benefits of music to ease the emotional distress that can linger long after military service. Veterans participating in the program receive free private guitar lessons from volunteer instructors once a week for ten weeks, as well as monthly group lessons with other veterans involved in the program. After completion of the program, veterans are awarded a guitar of their own. The idea is simple enough, but the benefits to the veterans can be huge. Beyond the therapeutic effects of playing music, the social aspects of the program also play an important role in ensuring a veteran's well-being. There are currently no programs like this available to Sacramento area veterans, despite the large population of local veterans and the presence of the Sacramento Veterans Affairs Medical Center (VAMC). With the support of the Strauss Foundation, and in partnership with the Sacramento VAMC and Guitars for Vets, I hope to establish a Sacramento chapter of Guitars for Vets.
Hanni Schoniger - UCR
Project Title: Change in Scientific Importance for Youth (shared project) - Show Summary
We propose a self-sustaining outreach program at UC Riverside, which will bridge the educational opportunity gap in the Inland Empire by inspiring underrepresented youth in high school to pursue higher education and careers in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) fields. This goal will be reached through career presentations at local schools by UC Riverside SIFY members. Our goal is to establish and sustain a dynamic peer network with high school students, where we provide mentorship about STEM careers, scholarships, financial aid, and admissions to college. We will focus our workshops at local high schools who are challenged by resources and typically do not send many students into science programs. We will partner with other clubs on campus to sponsor an annual STEM Exploration Day that will provide high school students the opportunity to visit UCR, attend talks given by professionals in STEM fields, who will share their experiences, talk to UC Riverside students, who will speak about internship and volunteer opportunities, as well as discuss the research that they are currently involved in, and participate in inquiry-based science experiments. Our goal is to make a lasting impact not only on the lives of the students, but also to foster a self-perpetuating love for STEM in the culture of the community.
Robert She - UCSD
Project Title: Bridging Futures Together: Transitional Education for Young Adults with (Mental) Disabilities - Show Summary
Bridging Futures Together is a program I conceived of back in the fall of 2013, and it is now ripe for expansion. It is unique in its unification of the peer-mentorship of young adults with mental and physical disabilities and their community transitional education. Our work has been seen to enhance both of those previously separated aspects, adding to the value of peer-mentorship while increasing the efficacy of transitional learning. We involve disabled and non-disabled students ages 18-22, and our current partners include the UCSD American Medical Student Association and the Transition Resources for Adult Community Education (TRACE) department of the San Diego Unified School District. With just 20 volunteers reaching out to merely two classes with about 30 students, we have received astounding staff and parental praise, in part due to the obvious impact that can be seen in some student’s lives. We plan to use this positivity to steamroll our current state into a county-wide program, extending to all schools that have a TRACE class and the 740 students enrolled in those classes.
Angela Shields - UCSB
Project Title: Kids in Nutrition: A Health Education Program for Elementary School Students - Show Summary
Kids in Nutrition (KIN) was developed by a team of passionate and motivated young University of California, Santa Barbara (UCSB) students determined to take action on health related issues. KIN aims to connect college and elementary school students in an effort to inspire and educate the younger generation to lead active and healthy lives. Student volunteers from UCSB facilitate learning through a student run health education program for third graders in the Santa Barbara County public school system. KIN's educational approach is to establish a personal student-to-student small group dynamic in every classroom. With the appropriate funds, KIN proposes to implement the complete eight-week program into more elementary school classrooms, develop a strong volunteer dynamic, and launch community outreach events that will ensure the sustainability of our program.
Meril Tomy - Scripps
Project Title: Nuestra Salud: Mental Health Advocacy in Underserved Communities in Orange County. - Show Summary
The mission of this project is to build an information network about mental health resources for the uninsured and low-income populations of Southern California and establish a support system for individuals with mental illness. Claremont College (5C) students will partner with Lestonnac Clinic to ensure that community members who have access to reliable health care resources, will realize the importance of mental health in attaining overall physiological health and wellness. Students will train to participate in this sensitive environment, interact with community members, and become involved in direct advocacy for mental health. 5C students will participate in monthly meetings at Lestonnac Clinic, and weekly on-campus meetings to discuss student experiences, and the issues surrounding health care, mental health, gender and sexuality in minority communities. This program aims to promote awareness about mental health, improve access to information and resources, and reduce the stigma surrounding mental illness.
Anna Tran - UCI
Project Title: Pay it Forward Program: Enhancing the Quality of Life of Seniors While Bringing Generations Together - Show Summary
The Orange County Community Indicators of 2011 predicted that Orange County's senior population would continue to increase by 94% by the year 2030. Chronic depression is a recurring and persistent illness that unanimously targets seniors, especially seniors who are not living with family members or have to be dependent on a caregiver. Another illness that targets seniors is Alzheimer's disease. As stated by the Assisted Living Federation of America in 2013, "5.4 million Americans have Alzheimer's disease. 5.2 million are aged 65 and over. ..and this number is expected to increase 30% by 2025 and triple by 2050." I intend to create a subdivision within the Joshua Medical Internship Program that aims to reduce depression and feelings of despondence amongst seniors through close interactions between senior-JMIP intern pairings and teaching seniors how to use technology to help them connect with family members and organize their medical records. It is important for society as a whole to continue to move progressively and advocate against an age-segregated community. This program aims to enhance the lives of the elderly and bring generations together. The technological aspect of this project creates a platform for a lasting relationship between the senior-student pairings beyond activities within the senior apartments. This experience will be fulfilling for seniors because it will enrich their lives socially, mentally, and physically.
Valara Villanueva - UCM
Project Title: Reading for a Better Tomorrow: Helping Families through Literacy - Show Summary
Reading for a Better Tomorrow: Helping Families through Literacy is program that will partner with local Merced college students and the Valley Crisis Center. The focus of the program is to have local community college student volunteers provide a story time for the children of women/guardians attending group therapy. The goal is to alleviate added burdens on the survivors of domestic violence, and sexual assault, by having a safe and nurturing environment for their children. Reading for a Better Tomorrow will utilize local students from the social sciences clubs in order to create community awareness and give the students an opportunity to give back. With the help of the Strauss Foundation, Reading for a Better Tomorrow will provide children's libraries in both the Merced and Los Banos offices for the story time that will also include multi-cultural books in order to serve our ethnically/racially diverse clientele of the Valley Crisis Center. Reading for a Better Tomorrow, The Valley Crisis Center and The Strauss Foundation will create a multi-faceted public service program that will provide comfort and may change the lives of many children.
Jade Zamorano - UCR
Project Title: Change in Scientific Importance for Youth (shared project) - Show Summary
We propose a self-sustaining outreach program at UC Riverside, which will bridge the educational opportunity gap in the Inland Empire by inspiring underrepresented youth in high school to pursue higher education and careers in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) fields. This goal will be reached through career presentations at local schools by UC Riverside SIFY members. Our goal is to establish and sustain a dynamic peer network with high school students, where we provide mentorship about STEM careers, scholarships, financial aid, and admissions to college. We will focus our workshops at local high schools who are challenged by resources and typically do not send many students into science programs. We will partner with other clubs on campus to sponsor an annual STEM Exploration Day that will provide high school students the opportunity to visit UCR, attend talks given by professionals in STEM fields, who will share their experiences, talk to UC Riverside students, who will speak about internship and volunteer opportunities, as well as discuss the research that they are currently involved in, and participate in inquiry-based science experiments. Our goal is to make a lasting impact not only on the lives of the students, but also to foster a self-perpetuating love for STEM in the culture of the community.

2014 Project Awards

Sanna Alas - UCLA
Project Title: The College Hotline: Answering Educational Disparities in LA - Show Summary
In California, there are 935 students for every guidance counselor. This astounding figure is symptomatic of deeply rooted educational disparities in our communities. The College Hotline is a user-friendly, convenient project that will mobilize a great number of students to help provide support and access to students pursuing higher education. It seeks to tap into the rising culture of technology usage by high school students to provide them with an easy and accessible way to get their questions answered. It will first be implemented at Jordan High School and then expanded to the sites of other access programs. The College Hotline will not only be a resource for students, but also activists seeking to make change in the community. In order to answer the educational disparities of our community, there must be a call to action…by dialing the College Hotline!
Jennifer Anaya - UCM
Project Title: IGNITE: Inspiring Great New Ideas Towards Education - Show Summary
The I.G.N.I.T.E. project is aimed at Freshmen English Language Learners and their families at Merced High School. This project aspires to empower these students by providing them with tools and information they need to know in order to become eligible to attend an institution of higher education. This project also aims to ignite the participant’s desire and motivation to attend college by exploring the benefits that a college education brings to them. The students, together with their families, will see college as a true possibility in their life and in their fellow peer’s lives. Students will spread this message along to other students on campus when they create the IGNITE club. This club will ensure that students for many years to come will be able to receive this powerful message, creating a cultural shift among English Language Learners at Merced High School to one where students believe in themselves and their ability to succeed academically.
Hasmik Baghdasaryan - UCSB
Project Title: Operation Reconstructing the Future - Show Summary
The purpose of this project is to renovate, furnish, and help re-launch a kindergarten in the village Tsaghkaber, located in the northwestern part of Armenia. The project will be implemented during the month of July; within two weeks, the kindergarten will be renovated and furnished. In addition, village children will be motivated and inspired to learn during a weeklong educational summer camp held by university students from the United States of Armenia. The goal of this project is to help increase the literacy in the village, expand the social skills of the village children, help promote the village economy, and motivate and empower the generation. Furthermore, re-launching of this kindergarten will provide several village teacher and child-care professionals with jobs. Finally a partnership with the newly established Teach for Armenia will introduce to the village several motivated and inspirational teachers from all around the world whose experiences and perspectives will enrich the education of the village children.
Nathalie Folkerts - Pomona
Project Title: Gourmet Garden: Fighting Childhood Obesity with Local Cooking and Farming Initiatives among Elementary School Students - Show Summary
Childhood obesity is a quickly escalating problem across the United States, particularly among children from low-income families, impacting children’s health, academic achievements, and many other factors. Numerous studies have established a correlation between income and obesity, and this is evident in the Claremont and Pomona area, particularly among schools like Vista del Valle, where 74% of students are on free or fee-reduced lunches. I hope to create a program to help combat this problem by developing a cooking club that seeks to reconnect elementary students with wholesome and healthy foods while further educating the community on the inequalities and injustices related to food access. I will do this by establishing a school vegetable, fruit, and herb garden that will eventually provide all the food for the weekly cooking club. Students will also travel to local farms and to the Pomona College Organic Farm to learn about farming practices, growing food, and other farm-related activities. Students at the Claremont Colleges will also be engaged through on-campus events that seek to increase student awareness of the food access problems that exist in the surrounding area as well as across the US.
Sanchay Gupta - Stanford
Project Title: Drug donatiions and recycling - Show Summary
Despite the fact that millions of uninsured or medically underserved individuals in the United States cannot afford to fill their prescriptions, over 5 billion dollars worth of unused and unexpired prescription drugs are destroyed on an annual basis. This wasteful practice is detrimental to the environment, and needless to say, is contributing to our nation’s rapidly rising health care costs. In an attempt to address this inefficiency, an organization known as SIRUM developed an online platform that links facilities with drug surpluses to safety-net pharmacies—instead of destroying unused drugs, health professionals and medical suppliers can mark them for donation through the online platform and watch as they are delivered to clinics serving low-income patients. Through this fellowship, I will help expand SIRUM’s impact by working closely with Assisted Living Communities to set up new drug donation programs in the state of California.
Karen Herrera - Pomona
Project Title: La Puente Youth Arts Enrichment Program - Show Summary
The La Puente Youth Arts Enrichment Program will work to create an alternative art making space for at risk low-income youth in the city of La Puente. Our primary objective will be to provide a safe environment for approximately 25 high school student participants as an alternative to gang and drug culture. IN partnership with La Puente High School, the program will implement weekly workshops for program participants consisting of studio time to train students in the process of oil painting, photography, found object sculpture, and printmaking. Pomona College students will mentor students as they learn to translate their experiences into works of art. Studio time will be supplemented by social justice workshops – the two workshop components will work to develop art as an accessible medium of social change.
Ashley Miller - UCB
Project Title: Maji Yaje Kwanza: Piped Water and Sanitation in Kaloleni, Kenya - Show Summary
Our project, Maji Yaje Kwanza, aims to establish WASH (water, sanitation, hygiene) curricula/behavioral practices in the coastal province of Kenya (Constituency of Kaloleni), through the enactment of water and sanitation access in public primary schools. The two schools with which we are intending to work, Mihingoni Primary and Kinani Primary, are currently using rainwater catchment systems as their sole source of water, making the water supply very inconsistent, impacting educational participation and gender equity. The larger goal of this project is to not only satisfy the need for water but to take a social justice approach in bringing sustainable solutions to water security. Water and sewage plants are currently being renovated in the coast through the Vision 2030 campaign, yet little planning has addressed how those without infrastructure already enacted will benefit from these reforms. We intend to connect the schools with pipes to the municipal water source, and create a public-private partnership with the district water engineer, Coastal Water & Sanitation Board, Ministry of Education, and Ministry of Water, to ensure this project’s continuous success. Given that our team is ¾ Kenyan (with two members from the coast), and we have direct liaisons at each school willing to coordinate bureaucratic logistics and the overseeing of WASH implementation, we feel this project will bring a refreshing, local approach to this work, and that the changes will prompt stronger civic participation in political processes and rights.
Cassie Nguyen - UCR
Project Title: Spotlight On Hope Film Camp - Show Summary
Spotlight on Hope Film Camp is a film program that took place at UCLA School of Theater, Film & Television for cancer patients from Children’s Hospital of LA. My ultimate goal is to make the film camp (not an actual camp, but five-hour daily classes) a year-long program for several years to come, but funds are needed to make that happen. I raised the money needed for the first Spotlight on Hope Film Camp to take place by collecting donations through cancer bracelets that were made for me as I battled cancer. The class, taught by director Ramon Hamilton and producer Jennifer Fisher, allows patients to explore the arts of green screen and special effects filmmaking, work collaboratively in groups to create a short, green screen and special fx film and gain knowledge of story/character development, camera technique, video and fx editing and much more. At the end of the program, a special red carpet World Premier Film Screening event is held for the students and their families. Scholarship assistance is greatly needed to keep Spotlight on Hope Film Camp running year-round so that cancer patients can enjoy and learn from the class and from each other.
Crystal Owings - UCSC
Project Title: Bridging the Digital Divide: Chicana Latina Foundation and Beach Flats Community Center. - Show Summary
Almost half of the Latinos in Santa Cruz County are not connected to computers or the Internet at home. As more services move to the Internet, the need to access computers has become much greater. The Bridging the Digital Divide project would work to connect Latinos in the Santa Cruz community to computers while helping workshop participants develop the tools needed to navigate the Internet effectively. These age group themed computer workshops would take place at the Familia and Beach Flats Center, a program of Community Bridges (CB) on a biweekly basis for the different groups while workshop materials and the Chicana Latina Foundation will make low-cost computers available to families in need. To outreach to the greater Santa Cruz community this project will also include planning Get Latinos Connected events in neighboring cities, where low cost computers and other resources will be offered as well as engaging elected and community leadership for further action with this digital divide.
Anna Peare - UCD
Project Title: Amigos de las Americas: Backyard Program - Show Summary
I propose a youth leadership and community development program with sustainable and exponentially increased impact in the greater Sacramento and Davis regions. The Backyard Program will be a youth-led, grassroots approach to program development. I will bring curriculum, training and resources to the service learning process. I will team up with Amigos de las Americas (AMIGOS), an organization with 50 years of youth empowerment and community development experience. A successful pilot of this program could lead to adoption on a national level by AMIGOS, who will expand the program in scale and scope.
Christine Pham - UCI
Project Title: My Healthy Start: An After School Program for Santa Ana Elementary Students - Show Summary
Obesity has become a flagrant problem amongst children and adults in the U.S. for the past 30 years. Research has shown that children from low socioeconomic neighborhoods are more susceptible to being obese or overweight than children from well-off backgrounds. Santa Ana is a city in Orange County where 20% of the population lives below the poverty line and 78.2% are Hispanic, a minority group that has a high prevalence of obesity. Approximately 34.8% of children living in Santa Ana are obese, the highest in California and double the national average. This excess body fat can lead to health problems such as heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes and certain types of cancer, some of the leading causes of preventable death. I intend to create a sub-group within Student Health Outreach taking action to curb obesity rates through the creation of an after school program. The My Healthy Start after school program will educate students from the thirty-six elementary schools of the Santa Ana Unified School District and their parents on proper nutrition and physical activity on a monthly basis. By focusing on simple habit changes for proper nutrition and physical activity, this program works to empower families to take care of their health.
Dalton Rogers - UCM
Project Title: Law Students for Restorative Justice, Merced Youth Court - Show Summary
Merced County has one of the highest juvenile crime rates in California. The Law Students for Restorative Justice, Merced Youth Court program will create a system of early intervention for first-time, nonviolent juvenile offenders by providing an alternative to the juvenile justice system with constructive sentences and mentorship. Alternative sentences include community service hours, educational workshops, substance abuse counseling, jail tours, and many others. Youth courts are legally recognized alternatives to the juvenile justice system with adult volunteers serving as judges, and college and high school students serving as attorneys and jurors. Youth courts have a proven record of dramatically decreasing juvenile crime and recidivism, and guiding troubled youth to become productive citizens. This project is supported by the Merced County District Attorney and many other significant community leaders.

2013 Project Awards

Kaylan Agnew - UCSD
Project Title: Community Hope Project: Sustainable Water Solutions for Sierra Leone - Show Summary
I have been working with the student-based Community Hope Project (CHP) which assists a community in Freetown, Sierra Leone. Hill Cut Women's Organization shared their concern for their water, which comes from higher elevations where populous communities contaminate it. CHP would like to team up with the Africa Manzi Center to provide the Hill Cut community with training and materials to construct multiple biosand filtration water systems. Dr. Leslie Lewis, a professor of Public Health at UCSD, and founder of CHP, will run a workshop on the importance of clean water, sanitation and hygiene.
Rebecca Barber - UCLA
Project Title: Health Education: The Heart of Healing (shared project) - Show Summary
The newly founded Flying Samaritans at UCLA is driven by the mission to provide medical aid and health education to an underprivileged small community. Specifically, our organization will improve the healthcare of a small community on the outskirts of Tijuana, Mexico, called Colonia Margarita Moran. We strive to improve the community's education about healthy living and empower them to take their health into their own hands. Through hard work with fellow Bruins and U S health care providers, all sharing the common passion for universal care, we will integrate ourselves into the community of Colonia Margarita Moran, becoming a strong force and a constant reminder of healthy living. From recruiting medical providers to obtaining medical supplies, and most importantly to planning our health education seminars, we are all working hard to reach our end goal. We hope to soon become that driving force for the people of Colonia Margarita Moran and give them the vigorous life every human deserves.
Anna Diaz - LMU
Project Title: Back on Track - Show Summary
Back on Track is a self-sustainable, educational initiative to equip the former gang members of Homeboy Industries with goal-setting, financial literacy, and self-empowerment instruction. These men and women have encountered enormous barriers to leading a normal life, including poverty, substance abuse problems, a limited education , an adolescence spent in locked facilities as well as an absence of healthy mentors and role models. For this community, Back on Track will serve as an exit ramp off the freeway of street life. Homeboy Industries' staff members and LMU students will be integral to the execution of my project. In Phase 1, I will team up with Homeboy Industries to create an in-house curriculum that will train their selected staff and LMU student volunteers as instructors of Back on Track classes. This will help insure that the program is sustainable and content is communicated in an engaging and relevant manner to the audience of former gang members. Once completed, Phase 2 of the program will begin, and classes will commence. Along with instruction, classes will feature periodic guest speakers, individuals who have successfully graduated from Homeboy Industries. Guest speakers will share hope and lessons learned from their new lives, serving as role models for students. Phase 3 involves evaluating and adjusting instruction as necessary so that Back on Track flourishes. In summary, my program will use a combined strategy of instruction, role models, and ongoing assessment to create an inclusive, effective learning system. My goal is to motivate former gang members to begin a journey of transformation, turn their lives around, and successfully get "Back on Track".
Lyolya Hovannisyan - UCLA
Project Title: Health Education: The Heart of Healing (shared project) - Show Summary
The newly founded Flying Samaritans at UCLA is driven by the mission to provide medical aid and health education to an underprivileged small community. Specifically, our organization will improve the healthcare of a small community on the outskirts of Tijuana, Mexico, called Colonia Margarita Moran. We strive to improve the community's education about healthy living and empower them to take their health into their own hands. Through hard work with fellow Bruins and U S health care providers, all sharing the common passion for universal care, we will integrate ourselves into the community of Colonia Margarita Moran, becoming a strong force and a constant reminder of healthy living. From recruiting medical providers to obtaining medical supplies, and most importantly to planning our health education seminars, we are all working hard to reach our end goal. We hope to soon become that driving force for the people of Colonia Margarita Moran and give them the vigorous life every human deserves.
Siduo Jiang - Caltech
Project Title: Empowering Parents of Young Students through Computer Literacy and Learning Program - Show Summary
The Pasadena School District serves over 18,000 students in 26 schools, in which nearly 80% of these students are minorities coming from disadvantaged backgrounds. The vast majority of parents are Spanish-speaking with limited English ability and no skill in computer literacy. This program strives to provide a platform and an educational environment where parents of elementary school students can learn computer, as well as English skills, and become more actively involved in their children's education. An added benefit is that this program will provide parents the basic skills to become competitive in the job market. This program is a collaborative effort with the Pasadena School District, and a future platform at Caltech will be established for the continued sustenance of computer education and quality teaching.
Natasha Magness - Scripps
Project Title: Educational Outreach to LGBT Evangelicals in Orange County - Show Summary
The main objective of this project is to host a series of educational events supporting LGBT students and religious congregants in Orange County. To accomplish this goal, I will arrange small events at local church congregations wherein participants may dialogue about LGBT identity and Christianity. I will also coordinate larger events featuring respected religious leaders to educate attendees on topics such as the Bible and homosexuality. Focusing on highly conservative areas of Orange County, my goal is to offer LGBT Evangelical Christians currently unavailable resources, and to foster understanding of LGBT identity in their religious communities.
John O'Neill - Occidental
Project Title: Social Media Training for Leaders of Local Social Justice Organizations - Show Summary
I propose to hold six monthly one-day Political Social Media Trainings for 25-30 leaders of local social justice activism groups. Each conference will occur on a Saturday at Occidental. I will invite different local social media experts to speak each month, and each week's topic will build on previous trainings. Over the course of the six trainings, I aim to: 1. Provide attendees with a basic to intermediate understanding of both the theoretical and practical use of political social media, 2. Assess the effectiveness of trainings and individuals' implementation by observing social media profiles and variations in agreed upon metrics 3. Promote relationships in real life and through social media between attendees to encourage ongoing learning, 4. Connect attendees with local social media experts.
Rebecca Peters - UCB
Project Title: The Pachamama Project: Creatively Addressing Human Rights to Water, Sanitation and Gender Equality in Bolivia - Show Summary
The word Pachamama means "mother world" in the Aymara and Quechua languages, and Pachamama is the goddess associated with fertility, land and good harvests in the Andes. The Pachamama Project seeks to contribute to the realization of the human rights of gender equity and access to clean water and sanitation in Cochabamba, Bolivia, with the goal of improving female health through the hygienic management of menstruation. The lack of hygienic menstrual management (MHM) including the sanitary disposal of absorptive materials and clean water for girls to wash with, is connected to urinary and reproductive tract infection and illness, contributing to the stigma of menstruating girls as "dirty". The Pachamama Project, in collaboration with the organizations Fundacion Cantaro Azul and Water for People, will lead MHM education initiatives, facilitate discussion of women's health in relationship to water and MHM, and compile information regarding MHM into a Spanish and Quechua language report for use as an educational tool by government agencies, NGOs, and community groups. By framing MHM as a human rights issue, the Pachamama Project taps into larger discourses of justice and gender equality instead of sidelining MHM from the global water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) development agenda. By fostering community discussion, education, and participation in MHM activities, I hope that this project will broaden understandings of the human right to water, sanitation, and gender equity.
Rodrigo Ranero - Pomona
Project Title: The Reclamation of Xinka: Returning the Language to the Community - Show Summary
The Xinka language of Guatemala is now extinct, but the community has launched a systematic reclamation project to revive the language and ensure the preservation for future generations of this otherwise lost knowledge. The project's first phase, during the summer of 2012, received an overwhelmingly positive response, due to the publishing of high quality pedagogical material and the introduction of Xinka into the school system of Santa Rosa. This continuation of the project will achieve two goals in order to ensure long term sustainability: to promote the usage of the language beyond the classroom setting and to expand the coverage of Xinka to all geographical areas where it was once spoken. During the period of May 2013 - April 2014, the Xinka language will be brought back to the community through interactive workshops designed specifically to both teach the language in a practical way and to educate the people on the importance of reclaiming the language as a means of strengthening group identity and solidarity. We predict that language attitudes will grow even more positive and that Xinka will eventually be revived. The success of this project will therefore set a valuable precedent for the preservation of endangered languages in Guatemala and other countries.
Raeesah Reese - LMU
Project Title: Al-Khadija Women's Empowerment Program - Show Summary
Through a faith-based approach that is encompassing, tolerant and empowering, I hope to provide a space for youth, specifically women, to not only identify the societal impediments to their success, but also to strive for their own liberation within the context of economic stability, educational freedom, and personal relationships. My intent is to contribute to the unification of the community through a socially stimulating program consisting of workshops on issues and topics relevant to the lives of young women of color and ultimately create a co-operative that will support an empowerment scholarship fund. My approach is rooted in the Islamic philosophy and concept of Ummah which can be understood as a form of community organizing or unification that allows the participants to work toward empowering each other regardless of race, class and religion.
Axana Rodriguez-Torres - UCD
Project Title: Reaching Out to the Latino Community in the Central Valley through Diabetes Awareness - Show Summary
Diabetes and conditions related to metabolic syndrome have severely hit the US population in the last decades, and the Latino community has been badly and increasingly affected. Education and awareness on these topics are more needed than ever by a community that lacks access to free and culturally-aimed information. The Diabetes Interest Group (DIG)is an educational Program that was started by a student in the past, and takes place every Saturday at Clinica Tepati, one of the U C Davis student-run free clinics in the heart of Sacramento, CA. However, these classes can only reach the 25 or 30 patients that can be seen at Clinica on a given Saturday. Clinica has not taken in new patients since 2009. This makes it even more difficult for the increasingly under-served Latino community to obtain important information on health issues. With the new Project "Reaching Out for the Latino Community in the Central Valley Through Diabetes Awareness", the resources offered by DIG would be extended out to the community as a whole, without requiring people to be Cinica's patients. At the same time, more qualified undergraduate students would be given the opportunity to serve their community and develop leadership skills to successfully continue this Project in the future. This project will create both a more educated community in diabetes awareness and students with leadership skills as well as passion and love for their careers. Implementing a thorough approach as well as having this Project under the umbrella of Clinica Tepati will ensure sustainability for this Project even after the first year completion.
Ei Theint - Scripps
Project Title: Grassroots Community Project for Ethnic Youth Leaders in Myanmar - Show Summary
This project will prepare underrepresented ethnic youth in Myanmar who have strong interests in initiating community development projects to be able to carry out their dream projects. This project will develop leadership, critical thinking and communication skills of these ethnic youth leaders through a comprehensive program that consists of grant writing and volunteer management workshops, guest speakers, English skills trainings, library visits, and Touchstones discussions.These resources have been out of reach for ethnic students financially and socially because they have been disadvantaged in the country due to ongoing political conflicts between ethnic nationalities and government armed forces. This project is important because a project like this, carried out by Western-educated students, would have been impossible until recently, due to the harsh political situations of Myanmar. This project has been assessed by Myanmar educators and CONNECT Myanmar team, to have significant long-term impacts to address the frustrations of ethnic nationalities by encouraging youth-initiated community development projects. I am in a unique position to carry out this project due to the educational projects and the growing student network of CONNECT Myanmar, and its strong team that is enthusiastic to support me to make this project a success.
Amanda Timoney - UCSC
Project Title: Street Outreach Supporters: Increasing the Health & Wellness of Injection Drug Users in Santa Cruz County - Show Summary
I will be working with the volunteer-based organization, Street Outreach Supporters (SOS), to provide services proven to increase the health and wellness of Injections Drug Users (IDUs) and the community of Santa Cruz County. I will create and mediate three separate projects with the help of the Strauss Scholarship. I plan to first purchase a used van in order to increase the space and privacy participants receive when they are receiving HIV/HEP C tests or being counseled on safer drug use practices. The van will also increase the amount of time volunteers are able to distribute services within the community. Secondly, I plan on purchasing ~450 sharps containers in order to provide a safer way for IDUs to dispose of their used needles without dumping them into the surrounding community. Lastly, I will lead 14 Harm Reduction Workshops from October - April to provide a safe space for IDUs to come and seek education, acceptance, leadership skills and a sense of "ownership" for their community.
Katherine Tsai - UCR
Project Title: Mini Medical School: An Approach to Patient Empowerment in Riverside County - Show Summary
At the start of the 2012-2013 school year, Mini Medical School (MMS) was created under the advisement and supervision of Dr. Emma Simmons, Associate Dean of Student Affairs at U C Riverside, School of Medicine, by Katherine Tsai and 3 other undergraduate students. Mini Medical School will deliver a series of medically-related interactive workshops to help Riverside County residents conscientiously make healthier lifestyle choices and to empower individuals from disadvantaged socioeconomic backgrounds. The goal of MMS is not to replace the essential role of physicians, but rather to provide supplemental information to fill in the major gaps resulting from the low physician to patient ratio and limited physician-patient interactions time. Furthermore, with proper guidance and well-received support, this student-led project will expand and play a vital role in the pre-professional training of undergraduate students working in conjunction with post-baccalaureate, medical students, U C R School of Medicine and Graduate School of Education faculty.

2012 Project Awards

Sara Estevez - Scripps
Project Title: The Community Library Program in Romblon - Show Summary
Partnering with the Center for Volunteerism in the Philippines (CERV-Philippines), a NGO fully run by Filipino citizens, this project aims to give the people, especially the children of Romblon island, the Philippines, a chance to be introduced to the wonderful world of books and reading. To do so, we hope to finish the construction of the public library started by CERV in the summer of 2011. Moreover, we would like to expand this project by introducing a bookmobile that would visit all the island's schools, facilitating the lending and borrowing of books. Our long-term goal is improving schools' enrollment percentages. Making reading and learning something fun and gratifying might encourage children and teenagers to stay in school, finish their education, and even obtain a degree at a higher education institution. Moreover, we hope that the increased access to education and educational tools will improve the quality of life of children and young adults in this region, bringing them out of poverty.Resources such as this library will begin a process of change in the Philippines, raising education levels, reducing poverty, and culminating in a more politically stable and peaceful country.
Caitlin Francoisse - UCB
Project Title: Sexual Health for Youth (SHY): Student-Lead Education in Juvenile Correctional Facilities - Show Summary
Sexual Health for Youth (SHY) will provide student-taught sexual health education to young women in youth correction facilities. The program will target a single juvenile hall and through a three part series of classes, empower young women to talk about their sexual health. The emphasis will be on the importance of safe sex and STI testing and we will provide safe sex resources to participants upon their release. Student volunteers will teach classes in the juvenile facilities and also meet weekly to reflect on their experiences and the larger issues affecting public health.
Shelby King - Occidental
Project Title: Tucson Summer Music - Show Summary
Tucson Summer Music (TSM) is a program which provides free private music lessons to children aged 6-12 from low-income families. During the months of June and July, participants receive 30-miute private music lessons from student volunteers currently studying at the University of Arizona and Pima Community College. Funding from the Strauss Foundation will allow the program to expand its influence in order to offer Mariachi lessons, music theory lessons, sheet music, greater advertisement, a scholarship for the most promising musician, and 501(c)3 status. The program has been in existence since 2009, but through help from the Strauss Foundation, TSM will formally launch as a nonprofit 501(c)3 organization this summer. The financial crisis had put dire strains on fine arts education, and through participation numbers the past two summers, it has become apparent that the Tucson community greatly needs a program such as TSM to make up for the deficits. Funding will help to institutionalize the program in the community permanently.
Kendra Knudsen - UCLA
Project Title: The Creative Minds Project - Show Summary
The Creative Minds Project aims to: 1) give individuals the resources they need to improve their mental health and self-esteem through visual arts therapy, drama, drumming, and poetry for individuals in Santa Monica affected by mental illness: and 2) connect UCLA undergraduate students within a community service mentorship network of graduate students who study drama and art as therapy. The clear and integral social impact of the Creative Minds Project includes: 1) expansion of evidenced-based mental healthcare experiential education; 2) increased mental health in the Santa Monica community through creative art therapies; and 3) community health partnerships, outreach, and undergraduate student committees for the sustainability of the Creative Minds project.
John Li - UCM
Project Title: Magic For Hope - Show Summary
Magic for Hope is an international project to help people recovering from natural disasters. such as earthquakes, tsunamis, or hurricanes. The mission of Magic for Hope is to help them restore hope and gain mental relaxation, by magic performance and learning easy magic tricks. The main target to serve is the orphans, especially handicapped orphans. who lost their parents through the disaster. View a growing list of volunteers in real time, and past performances:
Freddy Lopez - UCR
Project Title: Art of the P.O.O.R. (People Orchestrating Optimistic Renditions) - Show Summary
This program's main objective is to give underprivileged local middle, high school and college students who are interested in arts a place where they can congregate. Once there, they will be able to share, build, empower and expand their artistic skills, their self-esteem and their imagination, so that they can become more confident learners and more creative thinkers.
Anelah McGinness - UCSD
Project Title: A Free Dental Program for Chapultapec, Baja California - Show Summary
The student-run free clinic organized by the Flying Samaritans branch at U C San Diego currently only provides general medicine services. However, many patients do not have access to dental care and are unaware of the importance of oral health for overall health. Furthermore, most poverty dental interventions only do cleanings and extractions, leaving patients toothless. With the initial investment of basic hardware and the help of the Hispanic Dental Association, we will be able to start a dental office capable of administering filling and preventive measures, such as sealants for kids. The program will also be accompanied by public health education focused on prevention, given in the waiting room by Spanish-speaking students trained in oral health, with the objective of training women who are at the nodes of their social networks as promatoras who would share this knowledge with their families and friends. The establishment of a sustainable dental program would engage pre-medical, public health and pre-dental students in a hands-on project that would answer a severely neglected need in the Chapultapec community.
Ivy Nguyen - Stanford
Project Title: BuRST: Bolstering Rural Science & Technology Education via locally designed, sustainable water filtration solutions in Dong Nai province, Vietnam - Show Summary
Unemployment and lack of education pervade the communities along Vietnam's Dong Nai River, whose polluted waters make its residents too sick to work or attend school. My project aims to bring self-sustaining relief to this region using a three-pronged approach. The first part of the project introduces the use of low-cost, portable ceramic water filters to each family to remove the pathogens, heavy metals, and pesticides in the water that make these people perennially ill. Next, I will teach a science curriculum built around the ecology and chemistry of the polluted water and engage the community in designing additional ways to test for and remove the toxins and pathogens from their drinking water from the resources available to them. I will then train several residents in how to collect water quality data to allow me to monitor the quality of their filtered water remotely, in order to demonstrate the efficacy of such locally-initiated solutions for possible future expansion to other villages and countries. Finally, the residents' research will be combined with images and videos documenting their community's need. This information will then be turned into a multimedia campaign to lobby international aid groups for resources and financial assistance for the community to build a permanent water sanitation system to use in perpetuity.
Joshua Nomkin - Pomona
Project Title: Next Level Program: Set and Achieve Goals - Show Summary
The Next Level Program will work with Fremont Academy of Engineering and Design students to develop their visions for the future. Members of a peer group for high school and college success explore the pathway to post secondary education and the means of successful admission to a college or university. Together, students and mentors will develop self-identity, teamwork, and leadership, to see themselves as self-advocates and successful contributors to their own lives, their schools, and society in general.
Angela Sanchez - UCLA
Project Title: School on Wheels at UCLA - Show Summary
The School on Wheels at UCLA student group's purpose is to provide mentoring and tutoring services for homeless youth, grades K-12, at their residential shelters or designated public location. In addition to giving these children interaction with UCLA students and a greater level of academic guidance that they would not otherwise have, the School on Wheels at UCLA student group provides Bruin volunteers with a new social perspective that addresses the needs of disadvantaged youth in dire circumstances on both an individual and group basis. We are working collaboratively with School on Wheels, Inc., the non-profit organization that has tutoring sites throughout Southern California. Presently, our student group's tutoring services are focused on the West Los Angeles region. Bruin volunteers commit one hour, one day a week to tutor a homeless child they are matched with for the duration of the school year or however long the child and his family remain at the shelter or the designated mentoring site. Our primary objective is to make college more than just a pamphlet and into a reality for a better future.
Michael Tayag - Stanford
Project Title: Caregiver Research Project: Engaging Santa Clara County Caregivers to Take Informed Action - Show Summary
The Caregiver Research (CARE) Project will bring together (predominantly Filipino) caregivers and volunteers in Santa Clara County and train them to conduct qualitative research to capture the direct experiences of Filipino caregivers who work in Residential Care Facilities for the Elderly (RCFEs) in the region. This community-based participatory research will provide a greater understanding of the workplace conditions of these caregivers and the structure of this growing industry in the United States. Ultimately, the project aims to develop and expand the capacity, services, and leadership of existing grassroots workers' rights organizations through research and skills training; to establish a concrete base of knowledge for policy reforms at the local, state and/or national level for the protection of the workplace rights of caregivers; and to raise their workplace health and safety standards to a humane and dignified level. This work will add a new dimension (group care home workers) to the growing campaigns for domestic workers' rights in California, New York, across the United States and internationally.
Christina Weed - LMU
Project Title: Proyecto Hogar Sano: Good Health Starts At Home - Show Summary
Nicaragua, the poorest country in Central America and the 2nd poorest in the Western Hemisphere, is an area that can greatly benefit from the implementation of public service projects. While one cannot solve all of the social and economic difficulties that the country presents, community health is one area that is worth tackling. Working with local professionals and community leaders, Proyecto Hogar Sano is an initiative to bring health education into the homes of the community via charlas, or short educational presentations about actions that can be taken to protect one's good health such as proper food preparation and hand washing. Additionally, opportunities to learn CPR will be provided to the communities as a component of the project curriculum. Education based preventative healthcare is something that is both sustainable and low cost - two necessary components for a successful program initiative in such an economically disadvantaged nation. Additionally the concept of the universality of the importance of quality health education will be explored through the implementation of similar projects in the Los Angeles area as a continuation of the goals of increasing preventative healthcare knowledge to under-served communities. Education empowers community members to take positive actions to ensure the good health of themselves, their family and friends, proving that good health does, indeed, start at home.
Olivia Wong - UCSB
Project Title: Inspire a Child: Building Resilient Communities Through Soccer, Scholarship and Peace Education in Nepal - Show Summary
Inspire a Child is a non-profit initiative that will build an environmentally sustainable soccer field and conjoining classrooms, organize student to student mentor-ships, and design a peace curriculum for the Sarswati Peace School in the remote and impoverished village of Arupokhari-1, Gorkha, Nepal. In the late summer of 2012, Inspire a Child will send approximately 20 university student volunteers for 4-6 weeks to the village to construct the facilities, stay with local families, and participate in a mentor-ship program.

2011 Project Awards

Charles Anderson - UCD
Project Title: Fighting For Those Who Fought: Homeless Veteran Advocacy - Show Summary
Fighting For Those Who Fought will be a student-run organization focused on administrative advocacy for homeless veterans of the U.S. Armed Forces. Students will become proficient in determining a veteran's eligibility for federal, state, and local benefits, then hold workshops at shelters, food-banks, churches and hospitals to assist with applications. Volunteers will learn about governmental functions, legal processes, and social justice, all while using their university-level skills in reading comprehension, critical thinking, and vocabulary to help a truly deserving population.
Rahaf Baker - UCI
Project Title: Shifa Clinic: Bridging the Gap between the Uninsured Community of Garden Grove and the Healthcare System - Show Summary
The goal of the project is to address prevalent health problems in one of California's under-served populations: Garden Grove. The grant will be used to transition the clinic from the current screening, education, and referral model to the diagnosis and treatment model in order to provide acute care for common health problems such as diabetes and hypertension, in a culturally sensitive manner.The clinic will provide free quality care that is accessible. Shifa clinic has the potential to significantly improve patient outcomes in the under-served communities, provide unique learning opportunities for students, and empower community members through prevention and education.
Nanor Balabanian - UCSB
Project Title: The Hidden Road Initiative: Using Internet to Connect Roads and Bridge Issues - Show Summary
Living through a snowy cold winter on the mountains of Armenia, the villagers of Aghbradzor are isolated for six months every year. They have no roads, no transportation, no markets and no doctors. With the establishment of an Internet connection, the villagers will have a virtual road that will give them access to communication and resources outside their village. My project will install an internet connection in Aghbradzor and engage Armenian students from the capital to run educational training workshops, particularly targeted towards the young generation of students and teachers. In the long run, this project can be an innovative way to combat poverty, connect the villagers to the rest of the world, empower the new generation of students, promote democratic development and encourage civic engagement and government transparency.
Margaret Chapman - Stanford
Project Title: Rural Electrification in Vista Alegre with Micro Hydro and LED Lighting Technology - Show Summary
I propose to establish the Vista Alegre Undergraduate Student Volunteer Program to help provide the rural village of Vista Alegre in Northern Peru with electricity, using LED and Micro hydro technology. This program will provide Stanford undergraduates with the unique opportunity to apply engineering for social impact by working in Peru during the summer of 2011 and during school vacations the following year.Students will 1) collect data to investigate environmental impact of the system, 2) research potential LED supply chains from Lima to remote villages, 3) define the community's electricity needs, and 4) help village leaders initiate electricity training programs for residents. The Volunteer Program will contribute to social good by improving the standard of living in rural communities as well as encouraging young people to pursue careers in public service.
Gabriel Friedman - Pomona
Project Title: Music Mentoring for Pomona Valley - Show Summary
Music Mentoring for Pomona Valley will provide underprivileged and at-risk children with instruments as well as voluntary lessons from students at the Claremont Colleges. Currently, most families in the Greater Pomona Valley region have limited access to musical instruments and private lessons are simply unaffordable. Yet, for any child new to music, an instrument represents a means of personal development, creative expression, and heightened self-esteem. At a time when emerging research is starting to show the cognitive and social benefits of playing music, budget cuts in Pomona Valley are forcing school districts to eliminate music programs. Therefore, children who are currently mentored with the local non-profit organization, Uncommon Good, will be matched with an expert college musician for weekly lessons. Through this scholarship, the Strauss Foundation will set in motion a program that harnesses the skills of college musicians and gives these children the gift of music for years to come.
Ryland King - UCSB
Project Title: Environmental Education for the Next Generation - Show Summary
Environmental Education of the Next Generation (EENG) is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization I founded in August,2009, that brings environmental education to elementary school classrooms through an innovative youth-teaching-youth education model. In one year, the program has expanded from one classroom to 24 classrooms reaching over 400 students, been endorsed by high-level administrators in both the Goleta Union and Santa Barbara School Districts, and augmented its college-student volunteer base from three to sixty. Our committed Director Team, comprised entirely of college-age individuals, plans to act upon the program's success by expanding operations to Cal Poly San Luis Obispo and surrounding elementary schools for the 2011 academic year.
Tasha Russman - Scripps
Project Title: Building Leaders - Show Summary
This project uses principles of Asset-Based Community Development to tackle issues of dependency in Kilifi, Kenya. I will lead approximately 15 marginalized girls through a process in which they will learn to reflect upon themselves and their communities, and then develop, organize and implement their own projects in the Kilifi community. My overarching project emphasizes the value of listening and being mindful of oneself, others, and the local community while discovering room for growth. By the end of this process, participants will have benefited their community directly through the projects they created. More importantly, they will have learned how to approach the issue of change, and will have empowered themselves to create positive change in the future.
Vineet Singal - Stanford
Project Title: Utilizing the Power of Text-Messaging Technology to Increase Patient Compliance in Free Clinics - Show Summary
Nearly 1000 free clinics in the US (serving over 1 million under-served patients annually)do not provide access to quality health education for their patients. Anjna Patient Education, a nonprofit I founded and currently lead, aims to correct that statistic. A majority of these clinics, however, also lack outreach systems for their patients that are crucial to increasing patient compliance with medication and adherence to the recommended protocol. I propose utilizing the ubiquity and simplicity of text messaging (SMS) technology to provide free clinics with an effective monitoring, outreach and educational tool for their patients. Such technology, while hitherto not utilized at free clinics, has been shown to improve health outcomes in other settings. Using the existing Anjna network (currently over 40 free clinics), I plan on implementing a pilot project at Schuman-Liles clinic in Oakland, CA, and engage over 75 Anjna volunteers and translators to work with me on the project. Following results from the pilot project, I plan on working with various organizations to scale this project to free clinics in high need areas nationwide.
Nashely Veronica Delgado - UCSD
Project Title: Higher Education Center, Castle Park High School: Empowering Underrepresented Students for their Future - Show Summary
High Schools densely populated with minority students from low-income backgrounds are in dire need of vital resources to help reduce the minority education gap. Castle Park High School (CPHS), located minutes away from the US-Mexico border, needs more human and economic resources to support its students in gaining access to institutions of higher education.The establishment of a Higher Education Center at CPHS will positively contribute to the city of Chula Vista by providing a space for high school students and their parents to obtain free internet access, receive workshops and seminars, and also provide one-on-one tutorials about the college application process. In addition, this center will be in charge of organizing and funding a college fair located at CPHS, field trips to UCSD and providing information booths for parents at different locations throughout Chula Vista. In collaboration with the students and faculty of UCSD, SDSU, and CPHS, my vision is to see the ideals and methods of the Higher Education Center expand to other high school campuses throughout San Diego County.
Berenice Villela - Scripps
Project Title: Empowering Youth and Strengthening Families - Show Summary
This past fall, national media reported on the eight youth who took their lives as a consequence of anti-gay bullying. Many of these youth suffered from violent forms of bullying at home, in school and in their communities. New research conducted by the Family Acceptance Project (FAP), with whom I will be working, indicates that youth whose families exhibit rejecting behavior are nine times more likely to attempt suicide. This research also suggests that families are capable of exhibiting accepting behavior. For this reason, I propose developing an urgently needed curriculum with educational materials and online resources for lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans (LGBT) youth and their allies, equipping youth with the language , concepts and tools to address and resolve family conflict. I will use these new materials as well a community organizing strategies to reach out to youth-servicing organizations such as nonprofits and universities in the San Francisco area as well as in Southern California. I will further my work by designing and implementing family-oriented community fundraisers that will present youth with these new materials, create stronger bonds between LGBT youth annd their families and raise funding and awareness for this new youth-oriented program.
Andrew Whitman - UCSC
Project Title: Preserving Biodiversity and History: Creating a West Coast Seed Library at UC Santa Cruz - Show Summary
Biodiversity plays a key role in keeping any ecosystem healthy. Today, our food system is quickly losing much of its biodiversity as a result of massive monocultures and the industrialization of agriculture. Monocultures are highly susceptible to blights and disease, require massive amounts of fertilizers and pesticides, and make farmers reliant on contracts with seed companies and genetic engineering companies. To stem the massive loss of regional heirloom varieties and the organic industries' seed stocks, I propose UCSC house a seed library for the Central Coast. A seed library is a place where plant genetics, in the form of seeds, are stored for research purposes and use for the public. UCSC is in a unique position to offer seeds to regional small to mid-sized organic farmers, conduct more groundbreaking research with the Center for Agroecology and Sustainable Food Systems, and implement biodiversity into the environmental studies department to aid student research. A seed library also provides the public with an avenue for obtaining seeds to start local community gardens and urban farms. Facilitating research, promoting community, saving treasured genetics, and having a stockpile of diverse seeds are only a few benefits of having a local seed library.

2010 Project Awards

Yuriana Aguilar - UCM
Project Title: Improving the Health and Success of Tomorrow's Leaders - Show Summary
As the whole world faces health issues related to obesity and the lack of a healthy lifestyle, more research points toward a preventative approach to solving this problem. Targeting children is the key because it has also been shown that children carry their obesity into adulthood. Health issues jeopardize the success of tomorrow's leaders, not to mention their cost to society. For this reason, an intervention program at an early age that targets children and aims to help them develop a healthy lifestyle would be beneficial. The "Amazing Life" program at the Boy's and Girl's Club of Merced County will incorporate nutritional and physical components in a fun and exciting class for children.
Priscilla Ankrah - UCB
Project Title: A Place in the World English Access Project - Show Summary
To ensure that the growing, yet largely unserviced African population in San Francisco have the opportunity to navigate through different spaces of the city, and assert their presence when necessary, A Place in the World English Access Program seeks to implement a consistent English as a Second Language Class that provides functional English training as a short term goal. In the long-term, however, clients will be trained to be fluent in English, work on resume-building and familiarize themselves with the basic functions of the computer. Employing the wealth of skills in various the U C Berkeley student groups and Bay Area NGOs for the African population, A Place in the World seeks to create one short-term and one long-term teaching curriculum catered towards the primary African groups that populate San Francisco. Student volunteers bilingual in English and Fulani, Amharic, Tigrinyia, Ga, Arabic or French will be trained to teach ESL. A Student-led seminar featuring potential clients of A Place in the World will be taught in the spring semester of 2011 to foster awareness about the perils of immigration and to highlight the different cultures.
Rick Barlow - UCSC
Project Title: Empowerment Through Education: Breaking the Poverty Cycle at the Santa Cruz Homeless Services Center - Show Summary
Empowerment Through Education is a program that aims to address the cycle of poverty through education.The core of the project is to use the success of the MESA program as a catalyst for engaging homeless youth in their education by integrating MESA Curriculum into the after-school program at the Homeless Services Center in Santa Cruz,CA. The program is innovative in that it takes a proactive approach to poverty, challenging the homeless youth to take control of their education- and their future. It will introduce them to positive college role models as well as assisting them in their academic endeavors, with the ultimate goal of using education to permanently disrupt the poverty cycle.
Evelyn Castle - UCSC
Project Title: eHealth and Information Systems: Nigeria - Show Summary
In Northern Nigeria, a deteriorating health system has resulted in one of the world's highest rates of maternal and infant deaths. This dire situation is only amplified by the lack of an effective health information system, leaving hospitals and clinics to make decisions about patient care with only uninformed guesses about medical history. In 2009, I implemented an electronic medical records system using OpenMRS for the Family Health Unit of the Shehu Idris College of Health Science and Technology (SICHST) in Kaduna, Nigeria. The three-month process resulted in the creation of electronic forms, which greatly reduced data duplication and created a monthly reporting process that takes minutes instead of days. This system provides not only access to the first patient-based health indicators in Nigeria, but also shows the potential to overcome the harsh computing environment. My goals are to expand the project scope to reach more patients by installing additional clinical systems in high maternal mortality areas in Northern Nigeria, increase usability of the clinical systems with touch screens, patient ID cards, and mobile OpenMRS devices for community health workers, and develop training and academic curriculum for the SICHST staff, and staff at supporting NGOs and clinics. Testing and proving the feasibility of an integrated eHealth system using mobile devices is a vital next step to increasing access to health care services.
Paul Chander - UCLA
Project Title: General Relief Advocacy Project - Show Summary
Skid Row, in Los Angeles, contains the largest concentration of homeless people in the country. The Department of Public and Social Services (DPSS) office, which disburses state and federal benefits, is uncooperative and the regulations are too complex to address the immense number of homeless people. As a result, many people do not receive the public benefits for which they qualify.The result is a never-ending spiral into irreparable poverty. To correct this situation, the General Relief Advocacy Program (GRAP) will train and organize undergraduates to advocate for homeless people in Skid Row to help them receive benefits from DPSS. In conjunction with LA County Public Counsel, a public interest law firm, the training will educate volunteers to advocate for clients. This experience will develop long-term interpersonal skills, while instilling a desire to aid the under-served.
James Chu - Stanford
Project Title: The ValueEd Project: Helping Migrant Students Explore New Life Paths - Show Summary
Imagine moving from South Dakota to New York City and discovering that your daughter cannot legally attend high school. Similarly, rural-to-urban migrant students in Beijing are unable to test into normal high schools when they graduate from middle school. Some directly enter the labor market, but quickly lose confidence in their limited abilities. They come to resent their poor salaries, lack of job mobility, and restricted knowledge and access to future opportunities. To address these problems, we partner with the Dandelion middle swchool for migrant youth, Chinese and American professors, as well as students from Tsinghua University to provide career and education information to graduating students. Furthermore, we tutor students in mathematics and English to pass fate-determining entrance examinations to alternative schooling routes. By both inspiring and equipping students to pursue their options, we empower migrants to explore rewarding life paths.
Jacob Cohen - Pomona
Project Title: Catalysts for Educational and Environmental Justice: Training Youth Community Organizers in New Orleans East - Show Summary
The Catalysts for Education and Environmental Justice (CEEJ) training program will promote positive social change in the low-income neighborhood of Village de L'Est by building civic leadership capacity among a dedicated cohort of passionate high school and college-aged students. The program will be hosted at the Vietnamese American Young Leaders Association of New Orleans (VAYLA-NO) with the support of the organization's staff. My primary goal is to empower youth as community organizers - leaders who can bring people together to identify educational and environmental problems, craft solutions, and pressure appropriate decision makers. Obviating the need for advocates, intermediaries and external forms of leadership, this proposal seeks to bolster the formation of grassroots, youth-driven coalitions capable of envisioning concrete changes and demanding justice from the city's political and economic structures.
Annie Freitas Phoenix - Scripps
Project Title: Building Confidence and Breaking Down Barriers - Show Summary
Oakland School for the Arts is home to students from all backgrounds, races, and socioeconomic classes. Many OSA StudentFB 1/28/2022 Annie Freitas, a 2010 Strauss Scholar from Scripps College , led the project titled Building Confidence and Breaking Down Barriers. The Oakland School for the Arts is home to students of all backgrounds, races, and socioeconomic classes. Many students from OSA will go on to become the first in their families to attend college but have unfortunately not been given proper access to information about applying to higher education. Annie also wanted to provide artistic inspiration to help these students tell their stories, and present them in a public performance. The program's original goal was to work with the same group of students to pursue both goals. However, it became clear that the two had to be treated as separate programs. College prep class was more beneficial to the older students, and the focus of their personal journeys was written in concrete and practical terms. But for the artistic expression, Annie brought in accomplished artists from all over the Bay Area to offer workshops in poetry and creative writing as well as dance. Annie served in Teach For America and became a highly qualified teacher in Louisiana. She had been interested in University- prison partnerships since her college days and had seen the effect incarceration of family members was having on her students. She decided to enter a doctoral program in City, Culture and Community at Tulane University, and quickly started working towards prison system reforms. She co-founded Operation Restoration, a New Orleans organization supporting women who have been incarcerated. The organization also actively works with lawmakers to change policies that impede formerly incarcerated people from reentering society and gaining an education. Annie Freitas Phoenix, PhD recently founded Rosewater Advisors, a social justice consultation service to non-profits. Check out this post about Operation Restoration and see the video of Annie discussing legislation to “ban the box”, the question about previous arrests on college applications.…/spri…/operation-restorations will be the first in their family to attend college and have not been given access to information about higher education. Through an interdisciplinary, college preparatory curriculum, I hope to provide these students with the academic resources they require to succeed, as well as the artistic inspiration to tell their stories, while extending this empowerment to the community through public performance. By presenting these students' work to the public we not only promote OSA and these individuals, but also emphasize the importance of higher education for young people. In a time in which Oakland's youth suffer the consequences of economic difficulties and decreased access to artistic programs, it is important that we, as a community, fill this deficit and assure students that their achievements and well-being are still a priority.
Alison Jebrock - UCD
Project Title: Connecting Hope: Empowering Detained Undocumented Youth while Developing Tomorrow's Leaders - Show Summary
The Youth Empowerment Program (YEP) provides a network of support and hope to immigrant children held in federal custody at Yolo County Juvenile Hall by connecting them to student role modes from U C Davis. Far from loved ones, family members and any support networks they may have, unaccompanied immigrant children face many challenges within and outside their cell walls. YEP uses a five-month curriculum to help the youth develop teamwork and leadership skills, reflect upon the past and make positive plans for their future while connecting with college student mentors. YEP provides an extensive leadership training program for volunteers by bringing in experts in social work, psychology, and legal fields with the purpose of building future leaders for social justice. YEP volunteers utilize their leadership immediately by working with the children in Juvenile Hall every other week and engaging in direct community outreach. YEP's awareness campaign, which includes an official website, by-monthly newsletter and a culminating campus event, sheds light on what unaccompanied immigrant children experience in the United States. To ensure sustainability of the program, YEP will file for incorporation as a non-profit organization and secure long-term leaders who will facilitate the continuation of the program.
Montae Langston - UCLA
Project Title: Higher Education Summit: Repairing the Broken Pipeline - Show Summary
To improve the educational outcomes of foster youth, I propose a new program that matches foster youth in their junior year of high school with mentors identified by the UCLA Bruin Guardian Scholars Program. The Higher Education Summit will offer a series of college readiness workshops, which will culminate in a university application seminar, and will pair the participants with college or graduate level mentors.
Daniel Low - Pomona
Project Title: HIV/AIDS Peer Education in Babati, Tanzania - Show Summary
In order to curb the spread of HIV in Babati, Tanzania, I will implement a sustainable approach to HIV/AIDS education. Using song, drama, sports and lecture, secondary school students in Babati will take leadership roles in employing a peer education system so that locals will lead the education for years to come in the primary schools, secondary schools, and the larger community.
Jonathan Wang - UCB
Project Title: Map Delft: Community Building Through Participatory Map Making - Show Summary
Project MapDelft is a community development project designed to involve residents of Cape Town's informal communities in the process of participatory mapping. This is a multi-phase, community mapping project which seeks to involve international OpenSourceMap (OSM)volunteers, local community-based organizations, NGOs, and Delft community residents to produce the first detailed, publicly available street-maps of three of Cape Town's fastest growing informal settlements. As such, my project represents an innovative approach to public service, combining both short-term relief and long-term community building objectives to develop a highly flexible, easy-to-use mapping model that will produce an extremely vital and sustainable community resource for the residents of Cape Town's informal Settlements.
Qing Yu Weng - Caltech
Project Title: Teaching the Teacher: An Interactive Classroom Experience - Show Summary
My project aims to approach the science curriculum in disadvantaged primary schools through an interactive teacher-student experience. Encouraging individual student involvement is important for classrooms with an English language barrier, as ESL students are often left behind during classroom activities. Children should be exposed not only to textbook theory, but also to practical science in action to stimulate an early interest in the subject. Through field trips, experiments, and student-constructed models, students can learn about topics first-hand while also following the state-ascribed curriculum. I hope to create a program that matches Caltech volunteers with elementary school classrooms and maintain the benefits for future students.

2009 Project Awards

Viet Dinh - UCB
Project Title: Safe Water Storage in Rural Uganda: Improved Clay Pots with Plastic Spigots - Show Summary
In every home in Uganda, drinking water is traditionally stored in a clay pot and culturally, there is a tremendous preference for this method of water storage.Unfortunately, water stored through this method can become quickly contaminated from repeated hand contact. There is an unmet need for safe water storage for 23 communities in Uganda Village Project's (UVP) safe water program.Creating improved clay pots with plastic spigots provides an affordable, accessible, and culturally appropriate safe water storage approach for rural Ugandan communities.
Anne Erickson - Stanford
Project Title: Cervical Cancer Prevention in Mysore, India - Show Summary
The migrant community of Ekalaavyanagara, on the outskirts of the southern Indian city of Mysore, faces a daunting number of public health challenges. Extreme poverty, the absence of waste removal services, and a lack of basic health care make infectious disease, anemia, and chronic malnourishment common. Women lack reproductive health care, and are at an increased risk for sexually transmitted infections, including HPV (Human Papillomavirus) which can lead to cervical cancer. In partnership with the organization Project Prerana, I plan to design and conduct a cervical cancer education and screening program in the community of Ekalaavyanagara. The program will have three components: (1) Screening for cervical cancer using visual inspection with acetic acid; (2) Community-based HPV and cervical cancer education; and (3) Training of local women as peer health educators. Although the program will focus specifically on HPV and cervical cancer—critical issues for women throughout India—its ultimate goal is broader: to provide a safe place for Ekalaavyanagara’s women to learn about reproductive health, and to empower those women to become leaders and educators in their own community.
Elizabeth Fitzgerald - UCD
Project Title: The Gleaning Project: Creating and Connecting Communities Using the Power of Food (Shared Project) - Show Summary
The Gleaning Project’s vision is to continue creating and maintaining a group of passionate students and Davis community members working together to use the surplus of food produced on front lawns, backyard gardens, public spaces and research plots to strengthen our community and our partner communities, instead of letting it go to waste. Our members are fruit tree owners, gardeners and gleaners who collaborate to harvest and share the fruits of their labor with those in need. The produce that we harvest will be directed towards three different destinations. A portion of the food will be donated to the Food Bank of Yolo County, another portion will be transformed into canned goods (jams, sauces etc.) which will be sold to raise funds for our sister organizations, and the last portion will be used to prepare community meals for the residents of Davis. This powerful project will build reciprocal relationships, use surplus food resources to benefit other communities, and leverage our privilege for social change.
Britney Holland Teeple - LMU
Project Title: Increasing Advocacy & Support for Veterans - Show Summary
With approximately 23.5 million veterans in the U.S. and over 2 million in the state of California alone, there are numerous veterans’ issues to tackle at home. These issues include the increasing number of disabled veterans and their medical costs, the reintegration of military personnel into society, rising education costs for veterans returning to school, and staggering veteran homelessness and unemployment rates far above the national average. For my project, I plan to establish a student veteran group on Loyola Marymount University’s campus to take on these issues locally and nationally. This group will collaborate with the non-profit Student Veterans of America, to start a chapter on campus. The group will focus on aiding not only LMU veterans and their transition from military life to school, but on raising awareness and student involvement. We will collaborate with Veterans Affairs and other non-profits to work with local veterans who are homeless and those suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). The student veteran group will also team up with the Alternative Break Program to co-sponsor a domestic trip for LMU students over spring break. On this trip, students will assist wounded veterans by modifying their homes to accommodate the disability.
Kevin Hur - UCB
Project Title: The Hep B Project: Asian & Pacific Islander Capacity-Building Against Hepatitis B in Alameda County - Show Summary
Hepatitis B, also known as the “silent killer”, significantly affects Asian and Pacific Islanders (API) more than any other population and yet little progress has been made to screen and vaccinate APIs in counties that have a high percentage of APIs, such as Alameda County. The API community within Alameda County has been largely isolated from health services due to lingual, cultural, and socioeconomic obstacles. My project will jump start the fight against Hepatitis B by collaborating with existing organizations, government agencies, students, and people to work together to eradicate this disease. This project will 1) Educate the API population about Hepatitis B using volunteers, 2) Screen and vaccinate for Hepatitis B with the support of health professionals and free clinics, and 3) Establish a relationship between the API community and existing health services within the county. Through teamwork and cooperation, this project will tackle a major health issue in the API community. His project website is
Maggie Lickter - UCD
Project Title: The Gleaning Project: Creating and Connecting Communities Using the Power of Food (Shared project) - Show Summary
The Gleaning Project’s vision is to continue creating and maintaining a group of passionate students and Davis community members working together to use the surplus of food produced on front lawns, backyard gardens, public spaces and research plots to strengthen our community and our partner communities, instead of letting it go to waste. Our members are fruit tree owners, gardeners and gleaners who collaborate to harvest and share the fruits of their labor with those in need. The produce that we harvest will be directed towards three different destinations. A portion of the food will be donated to the Food Bank of Yolo County, another portion will be transformed into canned goods (jams, sauces etc.) which will be sold to raise funds for our sister organizations, and the last portion will be used to prepare community meals for the residents of Davis. This powerful project will build reciprocal relationships, use surplus food resources to benefit other communities, and leverage our privilege for social change.
Andrew MacNamara - UCSB
Project Title: Primary Education in California, Kenya and the World - Show Summary
I propose to establish a netbook classroom in a primary school in the Bunyala District of western Kenya. In addition, I plan to outfit my student group with some netbooks and marketing funding to accomplish its local efforts. These local efforts include creating a research manual resource for computer-based educational tool developers, creating educational tools for laptops that take research and cultural differences into account (to be aided by the Kenya classroom), and creating an organization resource model to help other students start their own public service programs.
Benjamin Moore - UCLA
Project Title: Education and Nonviolent Communication on the Thai-Burma Border - Show Summary
Recognizing the lack of classroom-based education for Karen refugees along the tense Thai-Burma border, I propose the construction of an elementary school with all necessary accessories, to serve 55 children and numerous adults in the first year. Situated near the village of Mae Sot, Thailand, the school will be built in a community that lacks such an institution and will be established in conjunction with Thai-Burma Civic Project (TBCP), a well-established NGO currently working in the region. Through their expertise, a local teacher will be hired and funded and curricula purchased. Throughout the 2009-10 academic year, I will develop curricula for classes based on the principles of nonviolence, building upon my experience writing similar material for a refugee population in Zambia two summers ago. Using the TBCP as a liaison, I will work with the input of the community leaders and teacher to adhere this curriculum to culturally relevant principles, exacting examples from local strategies for conflict resolution and peaceful interaction. In addition to the more universal classes offered in the school, it will also serve as a center for dialogue on nonviolence, as community members will be enrolled in Nonviolence classes taught when regular school is not in session. The ultimate goal can thus be reached in that the youth of the community gain access to an uplifting and valuable education while they and their community become well versed in nonviolence and conflict resolution. The result is a more able and effective community outlook, and a brighter future for all those involved, from the Burmese refugees to the local Thai population.
Long-Co Ly Nguyen - UCI
Project Title: Electronics Vocational School Project - Show Summary
The goal of the project is to build a vocational school with the intent to provide free electronics training to the young people who can not afford college in some of the poorest areas in Vietnam (Kontum, Gialai, Buon Ma Thuot, Qui Nhon, and the surrounding provinces). Intel has opened up a hi-tech electronics plant in District 9 of Ho Chi Minh City in Vietnam, and according to the Tuoi Tre Newspapers, it will need about 4000 employees of all disciplines. So far, it has found only 40 potential employees deemed to be qualified for positions in the engineering discipline. If a free trade school is built to offer training, many impoverished people can have the necessary skills to acquire one of these jobs so that they can ultimately raise their families out of their current impoverished lifestyle. Also, since several electronics manufacturing facilities are opening up in Vietnam, in addition to Intel, this can make a sustainable big difference in many families.
Oren Avram Ofer - UCSB
Project Title: Israeli and Palestinian Student Leaders Together in California - Show Summary
Israelis and Palestinians are in the midst of a complex struggle filled with hatred, destruction and bloodshed. Each side points a finger at the other and the situation continues to deteriorate. I believe that the majority of people want to live peacefully. I also believe that both sides, as human beings, are entitled to food, water, education, a sense of security and ultimately, a peaceful future involving coexistence and cooperation. On the sunny coast of Southern California, it is easy to feel detached from any of the turmoil. With a little distance, however, comes a heightened potential for empathy and dialogue, both vital factors in conflict-resolution. The aim of my project is to create an arena where Israeli and Palestinian student-leaders come together in a “safe space”, opening lines of communication and enabling the two to find common-ground through dialogue and shared experience. The students involved will be able to say that, if even for a short while, Israelis and Palestinians triumphed over differences and came together in a peaceful, productive situation, a concept that will trickle back to friends, family and leaders.
Jenny Reuter - Scripps
Project Title: Becoming Electronically Upward Bound - Show Summary
With the explosion of information technology, it is no secret that scholars, teachers and policymakers are looking to the possibility of technology-integrated learning strategies to improve an educational system fraught with testing difficulties, increasing high school dropout rates and limited funding opportunities. The Strauss Foundation is generously allowing me to expand the tutoring component of the Harvey Mudd Upward Bound Program by bridging educational technology with the distinct academic needs of its current students. Upward Bound is one of eight federally funded programs which increase educational opportunities for low-income, potential first-generation college students. Hosted at two- and four-year institutions of higher education across the nation, Upward Bound strongly encourages successful completion of high school as well as application to college. Although Harvey Mudd Upward Bound is highly successful as it stands, observation as a tutor as well as interpretation of the literature led me to believe that the program could significantly benefit from 1) increased access to tutors outside of prescribed study hall sessions, and 2) development of skills to independently navigate the internet and search for homework and research help. At the end of this project, 125 Upward Bound students will have had increased access to their personal mentor/tutor via supplemental online tutoring services and will have developed a set of internet research skills that will enable them to be self-sufficient in their future careers as high school students, college students and professionals.
Samuel Stone - Stanford
Project Title: Stanford U.S.-Russia Forum (SURF) - Show Summary
Relations between the U.S. and Russia have deteriorated to a low point not seen since the end of the Cold War. Growing anti-Americanism amongst Russian youth, coupled with a general ignorance of Russia amongst American students, threatens to perpetuate this downward spiral. I plan to use the Stanford U.S.-Russia Forum, a student group I founded in Moscow in 2008, to bring together U.S. and Russian undergraduates to explore new avenues of cooperation between our two countries. The students will attend virtual seminars on the history of our countries' relations, collaborate to produce policy proposals focused on U.S.-Russian cooperation, and convene at Stanford for a five-day conference in the spring of 2010. The results of the participants' work will be published and sent to individuals and organizations with an interest in improving U.S.--Russian relations.
Elena Vasti - UCD
Project Title: A.C.T. Adolescents at Risk: Communication and Theater - Show Summary
This theater program is designed to improve the communication skills of emotionally disturbed, abused or otherwise at-risk adolescents via theatrical workshops and cumulative production. The program emerged from meticulous research on the benefits of theater for cultivating empathy and is intended to nurture a safe environment for personal expression. In addition, the theater program would facilitate adolescents’ practice of pro-social and communicative skills. In sum, the mission of the coalition is to serve as a vehicle for role playing which can in turn be applied to the participant’s social interactions in their everyday lives. It is my hope that through assistance from the Theater and Dance Department through UC Davis, as well as local organizations in the Davis community, I can implement a sustainable program that could potentially serve as a template for future programs to extend to other regions of the west coast.
Jessica Yamane - UCR
Project Title: InHer Strength: Martial Arts for Healing and Prevention - Show Summary
InHer Strength is an organization that recognizes the perpetration of violence against women as one of the greatest challenges to women’s health and wellness in the 21st Century. Cognizant of this reality, InHer Strength offers Kenpo Karate classes to girls and women in the belief that the cycle of violence can only be abolished by empowered individuals who believe that they are fully capable of defending themselves from any threat. At the same time, Kenpo Karate is not only a means of self-defense but also an art form through which female survivors of violence can re-claim their personal spaces and identities. On that note, a powerful aspect of karate is its ability as an art form to serve as a “bridging language.” One of the primary purposes of InHer Strength is to serve as a resource for underserved populations in the Inland Empire Community. Accordingly, courses will be tailored to children from lower-income families and also rape survivors who come from ethnic backgrounds that aren’t typically addressed in the Inland Empire. The project will also provide courses for female university students at the University of California, Riverside. Not only will these college students learn methods of self-defense but they will also have the opportunity to serve as peer mentors to elementary and middle school age children from lower income backgrounds and as solidarity partners to women who are survivors of violence.
Tammy Zhu - Pomona
Project Title: The Food Rescue Project - Show Summary
Food Rescue is a project that salvages un-served and edible leftovers that would otherwise be thrown away from college dining halls and donates them to local food shelters and hunger-fighting agencies. Food Rescue is a 100% student-run, volunteer-based organization that partners with the Los Angeles Food Bank and Inland Valley Hope Partners for food donations. In addition, Food Rescue operates under the supervision of the college’s administration and dining services. Finally, the food donations are legal under the Federal Bill Emerson Good Samaritan Food Donation Act (1996).

2008 Project Awards

Isabel Arrastia Ebiner - LMU
Project Title: ESFUERZA: Empowering the Global Woman in the Fight Against HIV/AIDS - Show Summary
During the summer, we will work at the 17th biannual International AIDS Conference in Mexico City, fundrising and helping with a program that provides scholarships for impoverished women from around the world to attend the conference. Through this, we will help break the cultural silence surrounding AIDS, providing these women a safe place to speak about their personal experiences with the disease. Following this, we will create a similar space for young women at the Dolores Mission parish in East Los Angeles to discuss issues such as healthy sexuality, balanced relationships and positive female identity. Through these dialogues, we will empower these young women to develop confidence in themselves and thus become beacons of hope in fighting a disease that exploits gender inequality.
Jason Castillo - UCM
Project Title: Science In the Central Valley - Show Summary
I have been involved in many forms of Science and Leadership including Science Olympiad, Science Fair (State Level-5 years)and many AP Science courses. As a Central Valley native, I'm fully aware of the need for promotion of science and math in this area. My proposal involves the creation of a booklet outlining the various science related career paths and the steps an individual must take in order to reach that goal. These will be sent to the high schools from Merced to Fresno to give direction and inspiration to students. I will estalish a link beween the UC Merced Pre-Health Professional Club and the area high schools to increase interest and to help build the reputation of the UC Merced campus.I will host a science based Conference to which high school students will be invited.
Emma Crane - UCB
Project Title: B-Tech Community Media Project - Show Summary
Berkeley Technology Academy (B-Tech) is a continuation High School in West Berkeley that serves low-income African American and Latino youth. B-Tech students have histories of academic, social, and emotional difficulties, and are struggling to complete high school and achieve basic proficiency in California state standards. The B-Tech Media Project will work with at least three accredited classes to integrate community media and technological skills into the curiiculum and engage young people in school by linking students' out-of-school lives to curriculum.The central premise of this project is that understanding, discussing, and creating media about the experiences of B-Tech students and their communities develop the critical analysis and confidence necessary to challenge structures of inequality. This project also aims to close the "digital divide" by connecting students and their academic coursework to innovative uses of technology. The B-Tech Community Media Project places students in internships with local media organizations and provides a small stipend upon completion of the internship. I will also organize a "Tech Team" of B-Tech students to teach their peers how to use audio equipment and software. The end result will be the expansion of a small pilot project begun in Fall 2007 into a permanent, wide-reaching and sustainable community media program that acts as a vehicle for personal empowerment and community deveoplment at B-Tech.
Jesse Dubler - UCSD
Project Title: International Clearinghouse on Pelagic Plastics - Show Summary
The International Clearinghouse on Pelagic Plastics (ICPP) is an exciting and timely proposal which is being funded in part, by Algalita Marine Research Foundation (AMRF), a non-profit non-government organization. The ICPP is a free resouce designed to provide information on the science and social science aspects of the problem of plastic pellets polluting the marine environment. These plastic pellets function as a sponge for multiple endocrine-disrupting chemicals already floating in the marine environment. Marine organisms mistake these highly toxic pellets for food, and there is a bioaccumulative effect up the food chain to human beings. A clearinghouse for the private and public sectors would encourage collaboration and exchange of hard to obtain information. It will be a one-stop website and will be instrumental in forming the basis of an international conference to be held in Southern California in 2012, coordinated by AMRF.
James Frkovich - USD
Project Title: Bringing One Laptop Per Child to Sierra Leone - Show Summary
I propose to buy laptops from the "One Laptop per Child" program and set up a computer lab at the Roman Catholic School in Kailahun, Sierra Leone. I believe that doing this will help to address many of the developmental and educational problems that the community of Kailahun faces. I would like to raise awareness of the issues facing people in eastern Sierra Leone in the San Diego community by recording stories of the popele I meet and present them at educational events throughout the San Diego area. I'll also provide the opportunity for a letter writing campaign to ask the companies that mine diamonds there to provide more support for infrastructure in these communities. My ultimate goal is to set up a relationship between USD and the community in Sierra Leone, for future expansion by other USD students.
Andy Hoang - UCI
Project Title: Life Beyond Circumstances: Cerebral Palsy in a Developing World - Show Summary
Poverty and associated health, nutrition, and social factors prevent at least 200 million children in developing countries from attaining their developmental potential. Children with cerebral palsy in developing countries face a worse challenge. Functional therapy programs have been effective in ameliorating the living conditions of cerebral palsy in the US. However, the resources allocated to this problem are minimal in the Third World. As a result of shortages in human resources, the children of Phu My, an orphanage for abandoned, neurological-impaired youths in Vietnam, are forced to assume sedentary lifestyles starting from early adolescence or even during infancy. My project aspires to research and develop a cost-efficient, therapeutically-effective program that would offset the negative effects of the children's sedentary lifestyle. A local student organization will be established in Vietnam to address the shortage of human resources. A curriculum outlining the methods of care, the goals and the program, the current medical understnding of adolescent development , and the circumstances and prevalence of cerebral palsy in Vietnam will be established to ensure that a progressive understanding of cerebral palsy in Vietnam is sustained.
Michelle Mahanian Oheb - UCLA
Project Title: Pediatric Interaction Program - Show Summary
I aim to create a sub-program within Music to Heal, devoted entirely to musical education and music therapy for the young patients of the UCLA Mattel Children's Hospital. The program will have two primary goals: to provide musical instruments for the playroom of the Mattel Children's Hospital through Strauss Scholarship funds, individual and commercial donations, and fundraising efforts, and, to mobilize volunteer student musicians to provide weekly or bi-weekly interactive music lessons for the pediatric patients. Implementation of my proposal will involve an on-going collaboration with staff of the Hospital and with the Volunteer Office of the UCLA Medical Center. This collaboration will ensure the permanence of the pediatric Interaction Program. The musical education component tot he music therapy process is an innovative approach to pediatric healing, because it will give young patients the ability to heal themselves through their own musical abilities, even past the duration of their hospital stay.
Josh Nesbit - Stanford
Project Title: Expanding the Role of HIV-Positive Community Health Workers: A Communication Initiative in Rural Malawi - Show Summary
Southern African countries are faced with an unforgiving HIV/AIDS epidemic, an impoverished, rural landscape, and a severe shortage of medical professionals. One major rural Malawian hospital, St. Gabriel's Hospital, has turned to HIV-positive, drug-adherent volunteers to serve as Community Health Workers (CHWs)to supplement the hospital's small staff. They have become integral components of rural healthcare delivery and referral for the hospital, which serves a rural area of Western Malawi with 250,000 people and an HIV prevalence rate of 10-20%. This project will lead to faster response to patients' needs, increased voluntary enrollment and participation in the CHW progrm, and more accurate collection of statistics, fewer opportunistic infections due to treatment failure, and increased self-efficacy of CHWs. This project will propose a new model for the utilization of CHWs, both in Malawi and in other resource-limited settings worldwide.
Thomas Oliver - Caltech
Project Title: Intelligent Mobility: Turning Bikes Into Wheelchairs - Show Summary
Intelligent Mobility International is a non-profit corporation founded last year by students at the California Institute of Technology and the Art Center of Design. The goal of IMI is to provide a mobility solution that is appropriate for the developing world. IMI has devised a way of converting mountain bikes into rugged wheelchairs that can handle the rough terrain and treatment that they will face in developing nations. Through connections at Caltech, IMI is poised to open a shop in Guatemala. However, the solution needs to be scaled up. By making contacts at other universities, I hope to form teams that will investigate the logistics of opening up in other developing nations.
Hannah Segal - Scripps
Project Title: The Prison Garden Project - Show Summary
I am proposing to plant an organic garden inside the California Institute for Women, a prison in Chino, California. The garden will be cooperatively planned, built, and maintained by women inside the prison and outsie community members from the Claremont Colleges, the City of Claremont, Cal Poly Pomona, and the Women and Criminal Justice Network. The garden will offer educational and rehabilitative opportunities to the women inside. In addition,it will provide a forum for discussing environmental issues and their political, economic, and social significance.
Elizabeth Shaw - LMU
Project Title: ESFUERZA: Empowering the Global Woman in the Fight AGainst HIV/AIDS - Show Summary
During the summer, we will work at the 17th biannual International AIDS Conference in Mexico City, fundrising and helping with a program that provides scholarships for impoverished women from around the world to attend the conference. Through this, we will help break the cultural silence surrounding AIDS, providing these women a safe place to speak about their personal experiences with the disease. Following this, we will create a similar space for young women at the Dolores Mission parish in East Los Angeles to discuss issues such as healthy sexuality, balanced relationships and positive female identity. Through these dialogues, we will empower these young women to develop confidence in themselves and thus become beacons of hope in fighting a disease that exploits gender inequality.
Karina Vanderbilt - Occidental
Project Title: Education to End Hunger - Show Summary
Although many Eagle Rock and Highland Park residents in East Los Angeles face food insecurity, currently there exists no community strategy to address hunger. I propose to bring a team of Occidental students to teach weekly lessons on food insecurity and other social justice issues in a aclassroom at Franklin High School, located in Highland Park. The Occidental teaching team will focus on food insecurity in Los Angeles County and bring in speakers and experts from government and policy groups as well as NGOs working to fight hunger locally. Franklin students will gain practical knowledge in class topics through monthly volunteer trips to local soup kitchens, missions and other social justice organizations. At the end of the class, students will create proposals on how to end hunger in Eagle Rock/Highland Park. By bringing together high school students, Occidental students, and community members to focus on hunger, this class will facilitate community dialogue and commitment to create a plan to end local food insecurity. This class will become a permanent branch of Project EDEN, a soup kitchen project run by the Center for Community Based Learning at Occidental College.
Samantha Wilson - UCR
Project Title: From Child Labor to Child Leader: Empowering Students and Parents in South India through Education and Micro Finance. - Show Summary
My proposal is to develop a self-actualizing, self-governing student leadership organization under the direction of a microfinance institution (MFI) for children who were once child laborers in South India. The institution, Activists for Social Alternatives Grama Vidiyal, located in the Indian state of Tamil Nadu, is an MFI which also provides community services for its members and their communities. More specifically, they provide free education for students who were once child laborers. This project will consist of three main phases including a "Child Leader" Camp (which includes leadership workshops, mediation workshops and a literacy campaign for students), a California fundraising tour (to create an endowment that would generate large enough interest to leave as a source of scholarships for the students in these schools) and a final "leadership field trip" for the selected "child leaders" to an institute of higher education in Chennai. This proposal connects the power of micro finance and the power of a holistic and leadership-oriented education as a grassroots effort against poverty. It challenges students, empowers parents, and provides opportunities for wide, international community involvement - including communities in South India as well as Southern California.
Lillian Wilson - UCSC
Project Title: Creating a Sustainable Future: Greening America's Jobs for At-Risk Youth - Show Summary
THe Ella Baker Center for Human Rights is an organization in Oakland that works with youth both in and coming out of the prison system. Their newest campaign, Green For All, is helping youth find suitable work opportunities, while building the "green" economy. My Strauss project will consist of three different parts. The first will be to coordinate youth participation in the public launching of the oakland Green Jobs Corps in July 2008, a model program for the whole nation. The second part will be to develop promotion and outreach materials to help create a network of businesses that are willing to employ the trained workers. And lastly, I will work with local Oakland and Bay Area youth to create a presentation about the relevance of climate change to everyone, aimed at middle and high schools.
Gabriella Wong - UCD
Project Title: Community, Mentorship, Outreach and Retention among Deaf and Hard of Hearing Students - Show Summary
This community service project is two fold. I am passionate about establishing a community organization that focuses on the deaf community of students here at UC Davis. I will create a network that solely focuses on connections betweent the deaf, and hard of hearing people and understand our common causes and purposes. I will also create a mentorship, outreach , recruitment program that allows UC Davis students to go to various schools such as the California School for the Deaf, mainstream middle schools and high schools, and community colleges to hold presentations in order to motivate and encourage these students to pursue an education at UC Davis.

2007 Project Awards

Nina Braynina Young - Occidental
Project Title: Hurrican Katrina Relief: Keeping Our Eye on New Orleans - Show Summary
I propose to create an informational guide in the form of a DVD and brochure to raise awareness about volunteering options for college students in New Orleans, LA. I plan to travel to the city for two months during the summer of 2007 to document the work of three major volunteer organizations: Common Ground, ACORN, and Habitat for Humanity. I will film footage of the work and volunteer living conditions that students would experience at each organization, in addition to filming interviews of residents, volunteers, organizers, and public officials. I also plan to create a website to advertise my guide and to provide means for students to ask questions about volunteering. An associated blog would serve as a forum for discussion among students about New Orleans and the sociopolitical and emotional issues that are an integral part of the volunteer experience. I plan to promote and distribute my guide through the three organizations I will document and through existing national college student networks. While other documentaries about New Orleans have focused on government failures, my video will show the positive work that organizations are doing to help rebuild the city, and what individuals can do to help. I aim to provide a resource for college students to volunteer in the city in order to help bring immediate relief to residents and to draw national attention to the plight of the city's poor communities.
Vamsidhar Chavakula - Caltech
Project Title: Giving Science a Chance - Show Summary
Giving Science a Chance strives to introduce elementary school children to the wonders of hands' on scientific experience, which is oftentimes not provided extensively enough in the classroom setting. Through sessions at local after-school centers, I aim to provide enrichment for young students so that they may gain a fuller understanding of the concepts and materials that constitute scientific learning. The purpose of the project is to develop, test, and implement a basic curriculum of scientific experiments that can be used to expand student's horizons, and introduce them to the wonders of science. A byproduct of the above research will be a low cost 'science toolbox' that can be handed out to every child in the program, and will be the basis for conducting the curriculum's scientific experiments. I aim to spread this 'scientific toolbox' across the country so that schools and after-school centers around the nation can provide unique and coherent scientific experience for kids. In addition, the project strives to bring college students in the sciences into interactions with kids by enabling the former to setup, facilitate, and explain science to kids via these experiments.
Jenna Harvey Woods - UCD
Project Title: Instrumental in Developing Young Musicians - Show Summary
Instrumental in Developing Young Musicians is a proposed musical instrument supply program that would distribute instruments to students with financial need. To the average person, they would think that a program is already in operation, but dig a little deeper and you may find some surprising facts. There is a one year 'first-time' program that allows a student to lease an instrument for $20.00 for their first year, then it is up to them to provide an instrument if they would like to continue. Many families cannot afford multiple activities which forces the child to chose or to quit. Instrumental in Developing Young Musicians will have easy access to the local community with a quicker response rate, and while partnering up with two Jr. High Schools in need of this program, anything is possible to lead these students to a better quality of life through integrating music into their lives.
Allen Ho - UCSD
Project Title: Project Nicaragua - Show Summary
International health opportunities outside of Mexico with an emphasis in clinical medicine are hard to come by for undergraduates at UCSD. By targeting the Managua, Nicaragua through a non-profit undergraduate service organization, and collaborations with other international health organizations, Project Nicaragua will offer such an opportunity. Nicaragua 's health system is ranked 71st in the world by the World Health Organization. At the turn of the millennium, nearly half of Nicaraguans were living in poverty, and nearly a fifth in extreme poverty. Although the country continues to renovate its National Health Policy, it remains a developing country and is clearly in need of any sort of international health relief. The aims of the Project Nicaragua are twofold: to bring first world quality healthcare to the medically underserved populations of Managua, Nicaragua, and eventually the rest of the country, and to provide a unique international health related service experience for undergraduates that involves genuine exposure to medicine in a third world setting.
Luis Lara - UCI
Project Title: Dreams of Education: Inspiring our Future while Educating our Present - Show Summary
Dreams of Education is a community program project designed to inspire young children and youth from all low-income communities to pursue the paths of higher education, while helping their parents to learn how to best provide support and encouragement to their children to continue their education during and after high school. The program will consist of after school activities and programs designed to inform children about higher education, mentoring and homework tutoring. The program will work together with volunteer students from UC Irvine, Cal State Fullerton, and Santa Ana College; teachers and community members will also be encouraged to participate. The program will then establish a link between the program volunteers and staff, the on-going work of the Santa Ana Partnership and the women, men and children from the immigrant families of Santa Ana. The project will be centered at the higher education center at Saddleback High School, which will be home to the project and will serve as the demonstration site for sustainability and replication. Also, through the Dreams of Education Books and Website, the voices of the youth of the disadvantaged communities will be heard and their publication will serve as future sources of inspiration for other children and adults to develop dreams and aspirations to follow the paths of education and accomplish their goal.
Trinh My Luu - UCI
Project Title: Reconstituting Community in Contemporary Vietnam - Show Summary
Vietnam, with its odd concoction of cultural sceneries situated in the background of 'modern' developments, has long been a destination for many tourists. However, as dreamlike landscapes and hypnotic night-clubs enthrall many visitors, a large piece of Vietnam's mosaic has been callously erased so that its facade of economic and social progress may exist. Small villages pocketed in the outskirts of urban centers have been sacrificed many times over, rendering their inhabitants irrelevant to the national composite and thus forgotten in its history. Consequently, villagers are mired in perpetual poverty, relying on small farms and livestock for subsistence. But perhaps the most heart-wrenching reality of it all is the deplorable lack of educational opportunities available to the children of these villages. This project focuses on a village outside of Hue, where I spent nine years as a child. It seeks to ameliorate the dire conditions there by 1) repairing the dilapidated school to provide a new, nourishing academic environment, 2) provide the students with ample academic necessities to ease the financial burden placed on their parents, 3) establishing a library to foster the students' intellectual interests, 4) providing teachers and students with technological knowledge and internet accessibility to interact with the national/international community. In these ways, I hope to first widen the children's intellectual interests and career possibilities as they connect and share with the global body. Second, the project would grant the villagers voice and the village-experience visibility in the nation's social and cultural composite. And finally, I seek to capture et one more version of the often ignored realities to add to our vision of humanity.
Brittany Murlas - UCB
Project Title: Instilling Service in the Freshman Experience: The Service Living-Learning Program - Show Summary
The Residential Service Community (RSC) aims to instill a public service commitment in the UC Berkeley Residence Halls, a highly influential yet overlooked campus environment. In its pilot year, RSC will involve 40 students, living in the same residential unit, in a service-learning seminar. RSC students will meet weekly, delving into various social issues (such as homelessness and environmental justice) in order to explore the communities they are part of—the dorms, the Cal campus, the city of Berkeley, and even our global community. The course syllabus is integrated with the several service projects, some of which the RSC students will organize themselves. Building upon its first year, RSC will become a service-focused Residence Hall Theme Program in Fall 2008.
Allyna-Renee Nguyen - LMU
Project Title: Leprosy:Documenting a Modern Taboo - Show Summary
I'd like to shoot a documentary film in Vietnam about leprosy and the hidden population who suffers from it. Curing leprosy is easy and inexpensive, and the World Health Organization donates drugs to block transmission, prevent disabilities, and cure the disease. However, these drugs cannot reach the people they are intended to help if infected individuals don’t know where to go or fear rejection from society once they admit to the illness. After filming my documentary, I hope to air it on Vietnamese television programs and to show it in rural areas. I will also screen the same film in the United States, both at my university and at film festivals, so that Americans know the disease still exists today. My documentary aims to educate Vietnamese people about the cause and spread of leprosy, eliminate the taboo on the disease to allow infected people to be accepted by society, and encourage those afflicted by leprosy to seek timely help in order to prevent disfigurement.
Christiane Pailo Touma - UCM
Project Title: Reaching for Scientific Dreams - Show Summary
(Shared Award with Kshiti Vagehela)This project aims to both enlighten and maintain science curiosity in children. As time moves forward, we see a decline in interests and goals that are related to science. This is mainly due to inexperience with hands-on experiments as children. In order to recapture the fascination of science for the younger generation, we will start bi-monthly science clubs at local elementary schools. We also plan to form a team of UCM students who will facilitate and manage the clubs thus giving the opportunity to expand locally. Along with this we will plan two major field trips for the children: a night out with stars and telescopes and a trip to San Francisco’s Exploratorium. Again, the goal of this project is to expose and mature young minds into this magnificent world of science.
Mark Raymundo - UCR
Project Title: Acquisition of Safe Drinking Water via Rainwater Catchment Systems - Show Summary
Water is a necessity to live. Numerous people in third world countries die each year due to dehydration and poor water quality. Building water systems to deliver ground water to communities are expensive and thus limited. However, ground water is not the only source to obtain potable water. The project I am proposing will be to harvest rain as the source of water via Rainwater Catchment Systems. The construction of this system will benefit an African community called Kidera in Uganda, Africa. By storing water during the rainy season, the community will be able to have a water supply for personal and economic uses, such as farming. By providing safe water, this system will help reduce the chances of dehydration and water-borne diseases that prevails in the community.
Adena Schutzman - UCLA
Project Title: Generation to Generation - Show Summary
'Generation to Generation' (GG) is a program designed to reverse stereotypes, build human connections between two unlikely age groups, and preserve the special and diverse history of Los Angeles. The basic premise of 'Generation to Generation' is to create a dialogue and generate further understanding between college students and the elderly. Students will be responsible with capturing the personal history of their aged counterparts and in return offer their personal stories, experiences and insights. The rewards of such a program are abundant.� First, in a society that practices pervasive age discrimination, this project provides a forum and companionship for those excluded in the community due to their age. Second the relationships that students build will cause them to rethink and challenge classic stereotypes denigrating the elderly and prompt them to question their own life goals beyond those stressed by youth. Lastly, the anecdotes and personal stories collected from this project will contribute to the oral history of Los Angeles, providing a narrative on social, cultural and ethnic change. By bridging a generational gap in the form of an oral history project, 'Generation to Generation' serves to fill an unaddressed public need artistically, intelligently and sensitively.
Ariel Tenenbaum - UCSC
Project Title: Renaissance High School Gardening for Health - Show Summary
(Shared Award with Justin Wiley) The importance of a healthy diet and its effects on all other aspects of life is an issue that is increasingly at the forefront of our society. For many complex reasons, certain demographic groups in the United States are especially at-risk for nutrition related health problems like obesity, heart disease, and diabetes. Latino communities are one such group that have been experiencing increases in nutrition related disease. To reverse this trend, support must be available to educate Latino youths about the importance of a healthy diet. Additionally, healthy school food options must also be more available to students and families in these communities. The Renaissance High School (RHS) Gardening for Health project seeks to improve student health and achievement in the predominantly Latino community of Watsonville, through the establishment of a school garden and after-school nutritional education program. This program will teach students about nutrition and empower them to take direct action toward improving their access to healthy food options at school and in their community. This project will also create a greater sense of community by connecting RHS students and students from our university, UCSC, so we may work together to understand, deconstruct, and begin to improve some the inequalities in our society pertaining to health, nutrition, and food distribution.
Kshiti Vaghela - UCM
Project Title: Reaching for Scientific Dreams - Show Summary
(Shared Award with Christiane Pailo)This project aims to both enlighten and maintain science curiosity in children. As time moves forward, we see a decline in interests and goals that are related to science. This is mainly due to inexperience with hands-on experiments as children. In order to recapture the fascination of science for the younger generation, we will start bi-monthly science clubs at local elementary schools. We also plan to form a team of UCM students who will facilitate and manage the clubs thus giving the opportunity to expand locally. Along with this we will plan two major field trips for the children: a night out with stars and telescopes and a trip to San Francisco’s Exploratorium. Again, the goal of this project is to expose and mature young minds into this magnificent world of science.
Justin Wiley - UCSC
Project Title: Renaissance High School Gardening for Health - Show Summary
(Shared Award with Ariel Tenenbaum) The importance of a healthy diet and its effects on all other aspects of life is an issue that is increasingly at the forefront of our society. For many complex reasons, certain demographic groups in the United States are especially at-risk for nutrition related health problems like obesity, heart disease, and diabetes. Latino communities are one such group that have been experiencing increases in nutrition related disease. To reverse this trend, support must be available to educate Latino youths about the importance of a healthy diet. Additionally, healthy school food options must also be more available to students and families in these communities. The Renaissance High School (RHS) Gardening for Health project seeks to improve student health and achievement in the predominantly Latino community of Watsonville, through the establishment of a school garden and after-school nutritional education program. This program will teach students about nutrition and empower them to take direct action toward improving their access to healthy food options at school and in their community. This project will also create a greater sense of community by connecting RHS students and students from our university, UCSC, so we may work together to understand, deconstruct, and begin to improve some the inequalities in our society pertaining to health, nutrition, and food distribution.
Jane Wilson Mitchell - Stanford
Project Title: The Inmate Outreach Project - Show Summary
Of the 2.3 million incarcerated adults in the United States today, a deplorable 75% have not received their high school diploma. To address these gaping educational disparities, I propose the Inmate Outreach Project. This project aims to help student leaders at American universities create their own student-run organizations dedicated to assisting educationally underserved inmates. These student groups will have two main objectives: first, to improve the education level of inmates by providing one-on-one GED and literacy tutoring services; and second, to raise awareness of incarceration issues across college campuses.
Jamie Zimmerman - UCLA
Project Title: Heart of Africa: Using Film to Bring Refugees' Stories to an American Audience - Show Summary
There are currently more than 12 million refugees worldwide. However, awareness about the issues they face, as well as their daily reality is extremely limited. Thus, following in the footsteps of Steven Spielberg's Shoah Foundation (which uses film to permanently document the stories of Holocaust victims), I will spend two months living in a refugee camp in Africa, conducting videotaped interviews with refugees of all ages and backgrounds. Additionally, I will document the daily realities of 'Life in Kala Camp'. Upon return, I will utilize the footage to launch a multimedia awareness and education campaign at UCLA and beyond.

2006 Project Awards

Catie Bereznay - LMU
Project Title: Farmer's Market for LMU - Show Summary
College students have some of the worst diets in the country according to the American Medical Association. While LMU offers its students a dynamic meal plan, we still have little or no access to fresh produce on campus. At a school that prides itself not only on its commitment to students, but also to social justice, a Farmer's Market is simply the perfect answer. As well as the obvious fresh produce, the LMU Farmer's Market will have tables from American apparel and the Syracuse cultural workers which will bring often hard to find, socially conscious consumer items right to students' (and faculty and staff's) fingertips. Each month, different social justice organizations on campus will be able to request tables to highlight their cause. As students shop around, their eyes will be opened to the many issues that face our world today. The market will bring together students who may have otherwise not met, and will encourage and inspire conversation and action.
Jonathan Choi - UCB
Project Title: Policy in Action - Emergency Preparedness - Show Summary
Policy in Action will encourage civic development at Cal through intensive workshops, speaker series, publications and community outreach. PIA's first year will focus on addressing the issues exposed by events such as Hurricane Katrina, specifically these events effect on the greater California Bay Area. In doing so, PIA will create awareness, give students the tools to create lasting change, address the roots of problems rather than symptoms, and encourage engaged citizenship. PIA will empower students to become socially conscious leaders and active life-long citizens; serve as a conduit for collaboration between key policymakers, experts, and local and state officials; and create a network with local communities by helping them develop emergency preparedness plans.
Lucy Eagleson - USD
Project Title: Bridging the Gaps: Providing After-School Activities for High School Students with Intellectual Disabilities - Show Summary
Bridging the Gaps is designed to bring on-campus after school activities to students with intellectual disabilities at a nearby high school. It is intended to foster a fun, friendly atmosphere, where USD student volunteers can facilitate art and recreational activities. The program gives high school students who are often over looked, the opportunity to have a sense of belonging in their school environment. It will foster inclusion, and provide special friendships.
Josh Franco - UCM
Project Title: Students for the Central Valley - Show Summary
The Students for the Central Valley will capitalize on the strategic partnership between the University of California Merced and the Great Valley Center and work towards replenishing the Central Valley's brain power. SCV is a student-run organization to be formally established at UC Merced and its mission is set up, sustain and expand a network of Central Valley high school and college students, inform students about the significant public policy issues facing the region, and provide students with the tools needed to successfully get involved and make a difference within their community and throughout the region. The vision of SCV is to engage, empower and enlighten students about the Central Valley and encourage students to commit to a life of public service in the Valley. Ultimately, students must get involved and action must be taken now to ensure a better future for the people of the Central Valley.
Kenny Loo - UCI
Project Title: Images of Humanity:Empowering Youth through a Global Lens - Show Summary
Of the growing 6.3 billion people in today's world, America's youth sits as the future's most powerful group of innovative leaders, having the ability as 'global citizens' to address the crucial international issues of tomorrow. However, as globalization exponentially ties the world closer together, America's youth remains reluctant and apathetic to becoming leaders of the international realm that is becoming increasingly more important. By engendering a visual, emotional, and personal connection, Images of Humanity: Empowering Youth through a Global Lens sets to bridge the gap between today's youth and our shrinking world by capturing the essence of humanity and the problems faced around the world. To achieve this purpose, disposable cameras will be distributed across the world and then collected to create an international image gallery. Descriptions of the conditions and issues pertinent to the images will also compliment the powerful gallery, which will travel to elementary, middle, and high schools around Orange County, California. By doing so, this project will achieve three main objectives: 1) directly empowering the youth, as 'global citizens', to think critically and constructively about solutions to global issues, 2) promote tolerance and respect of various cultures, ideas, and people of the world, and 3) humanize the global experience by compelling students to relate to those outside the United States an individual level.
Saurabh Mishra - UCSC
Project Title: TB in Bihar, India: Project to fund disease treatment and education - Show Summary
The focus of my project is treatment and education regarding Tuberculosis (TB) in Bihar, India. I am proposing a project where I can help leverage the purchasing power of the dollar raised in the United States to help fund a small local TB treatment and education project in India. My idea is to start a non-profit organization in Santa Cruz and through fund raising by this non-profit, I can provide funding for several start up projects in Bihar.
Seepan Parseghian - Stanford
Project Title: Association of International Diplomacy in Artsakh - Show Summary
AIDA seeks to promote peace through education within the Armenian youth of Nagorno-Karabakh. With an Armenian-language peace education curriculum at the core of the program, AIDA organizes a class on negotiation diplomacy and leadership for Karabakh high school students. The classes culminate in a simulation conference of the Karabakh negotiations, allowing the students to apply the critical thinking and leadership skills they have learned. Incorporating research, oratory, and writing skills into the program, AIDA strives to produce the next generation of leaders that will maintain the tradition of peace in Karabakh.
Emily Rasmussen - Occidental
Project Title: Arts Music Program - Show Summary
This project seeks to instill in Garvanza Elementry School children an appreciation and understanding of music, through the creation of a music education class based on the Rhythm Band Instrument System. The class will be part of the Arts for Appreciation and Achievement (AAA) Program presented through the Center for Community Based Learning on the Occidental College campus, and will be a wonderful compliment to the dance and theater courses already in place at Garvanza through AAA.
Joelle Rosser - UCSD
Project Title: Educating Americans & Africans Together - Show Summary
Excitement and understanding about Africa will be fostered in Californian middle school students through a social studies curriculum and partnership with a Tanzanian secondary school. The partnership will simultaneously augment English language studies and printed resources in Tanzanian secondary schools. The program involves a series of seminars, a Cultural Festival, pen pal exchange, book drive, and teacher exchange. By the end of the first year, a teacher's manual will be created and other schools will be invited to participate in the program.
Areo Saffarzadeh - UCSB
Project Title: Youth Mentoring through Music - Show Summary
This 'Youth Mentoring Through Music' program entails UCSB graduate and undergraduate students providing free individualized music lessons and homework tutoring for students at the I.V. Elementary School. The purpose of this program is to promote academic success and productive habits by introducing music to children at an early. This program will give the youth an opportunity to meet talented college students who can act as a mentor and a role model.
Rebecca Seagle - UCR
Project Title: ADD: Fostering Comp. Approach to Academic Success - Show Summary
The purpose of my project is to create a video and accompanying pamphlet for distribution by the Redlands School District for families with children who had been diagnosed with ADD in any of its varieties. While there is no dearth of information on ADHD, differentiating fact from fiction and science from pseudoscience has become a major hurdle. I propose to make a video in a creative, interesting, and informative format incorporating animation and dramatizations, which would give parents a solid foundation of knowledge from which to seek the best comprehensive treatment for their ADD child. In addition, the video would be used for educators to learn the latest medical information and treatment modalities for the ADHD student. The educator can adapt these methods to his or her classroom to optimize the student's ability to succeed at all levels of the educational journey. many of the disruptive symptoms, it would be years before I realized that there were other aspects of treatment just as vital for his long term success in academics and life. Lastly, the video would help the ADHD child himself in understanding the biological basis of his disorder. It is vital to the child's sense of self that he or she understands that what is wrong is not a matter of character or intelligence. This knowledge empowers the ADHD child to assist his parents in choosing the best treatment for him, as well as finding methods that help him succeed in school and at home. This video would be offered free of charge through the Redlands Unified School District to parents with children who have been diagnosed with ADHD. It would also be used for continuing education for the teachers of the district.
Diana Tehrani - UCLA
Project Title: Hearts for Minds: West Hollywood's Homeless Mental Health Attention, Assistance and Advocacy (AAA) - Show Summary
While only four percent of the general U.S. population has a serious mental illness, at least 20 percent of those who are homeless are chronically mentally ill. The UCLA Mobile Clinic operates to provide basic health care by setting up a makeshift clinic on a street corner in West Hollywood each week. However, the mental health needs of the population are largely unmet. I intend to establish a mental health services subgroup within the structure of the current UCLA Mobile Clinic. In cooperation with the graduate programs for public health, social welfare, and psychiatry at UCLA, I will organize the system to incorporate students to come to the clinic each week to volunteer for the mental health division of the UCLA Mobile Clinic under the guidance of attending supervisors. These students are required a certain number of field hours to obtain their degree; Hearts for Minds will be one option by which to fulfill these hours. Students educated in mental illness and our healthcare system will be able to talk with clients about their situations and seek specific services available to the individuals in need. Additionally, by partnering with several mental health organizations in various parts of the city, Hearts for Minds will obtain joint support to administer mental health services through the UCLA Mobile Clinic. Through their support, volunteer clinicians will be obtained to collect information, identify symptoms, make diagnoses and suggest therapeutic treatment plans reasonable for the homeless clients. Hearts for Mind's will work in the best interest of West Hollywood's homeless by acting as compassionate advocates for a population terribly underserved.
Eli Winkelman - Scripps
Project Title: Challah for Hunger - Show Summary
Challah for Hunger (CfH) is a student-run organization that is committed to raising awareness of and relief funds for the victims of the genocide taking place in Darfur.� At the Claremont Colleges, CfH raised more than $10,000 and collected hundreds of letters to public officials in a year and a half through weekly sales of homemade challah bread. The goal in the upcoming year is to expand to other campuses around the country, raising more tens of thousands of dollars, making the anti-genocide message even louder in Congress, and creating a large network of students acting on a weekly basis to do something about the situation.
Eisha Zaid - UCD
Project Title: Managing Diabetes: Empowering Shifa Community Clinic Patients with Education and Self-Monitoring Tools - Show Summary
Shifa Community Clinic, a student-run clinic affiliated with the UC Davis School of Medicine, offers free primary healthcare services to diverse ethnic populations, including a large Middle-Eastern and South Asian population. A majority of Shifa's patients come from low-income immigrant populations who lack access to healthcare due to socioeconomic, lingual, and cultural barriers. In addition, seventeen percent of Shifa's patients suffer from type II diabetes, a disease characterized by a high blood glucose levels due to an insulin production deficiency or due to an insulin resistance. In order to improve diabetic case management in Shifa's diabetic patients, a self-monitoring program will be developed that will provide glucometers and test-strips, along with language-specific educational material to Shifa patients. Patient blood glucose levels in patients participating in the program will be monitored over a six-month period to assess the effectiveness of the self-monitoring and education program. By providing diabetic patients with glucometers and educational material, we hope to empower our patients with the tools and knowledge to control diabetes. We also hope to implement the program into the clinic and share the program design with other clinics that serve underserved diverse populations. In addition, we would expand the program by applying for grants to maximize the benefits our patients receive from self-monitoring and education.

2005 Project Awards

Kara Deyhle - UCSC
Project Title: Creating Contact Across Borders, Chiapas, Mexico - Show Summary
Creating Contact Across Borders is a project that will organize at least 4 events in order to educate students and professors about the lives of indigenous women in Chiapas, Mexico, and ways they have organized to better their situation. It will bring representatives from the Mexican NGO, K'inal Antzetik, and the Mayan weaving cooperative, Jolom Mayae'tik, to at least 4 universities in the United States to do presentations about their organizations and their vision for a better world. The objective goals of this project are the following: first to raise the consciousness of people in the United States about fair trade options and the experiences of the indigenous women of Chiapas, second, to give Jolom Mayae'tik and K'inal Antzetik the opportunity to network with US organizations, and thirdly, to sell the artwork of the cooperative so that they will have capital to reinvest in more work.
Jeric Huang - UCLA
Project Title: Public Affairs Society (PAS) - Show Summary
The Public Affairs Society is designed to promote the full participation of underrepresented groups in public service through leadership roles in civic institutions serving domestic and international affairs. Students will learn about the career prospects in public policy through guest lecturers, essay contests, and scholarship opportunities. In addition, PAS will promote an interest in public service at the UCLA campus through the publication of our annual policy journal. Finally, PAS will also focus on preparing students to apply for Master in Public Policy programs through graduate school workshops and internship fairs.
Leslie Lang - UCB
Project Title: Fulfilling the American Dream: Language Access to Employment Services - Show Summary
In collaboration with the Alameda County Social Agency, I will be organizing a group of bilingual student volunteers to interpret between social service workers and non-English speaking immigrants to help them find appropriate employment opportunities. The volunteers will be divided into two groups, with some assisting the eligibility division in screening applicants, and the others interpreting for the workforce division. Eligibility workers will first conduct thorough interviews for potential social service recipients, in which student interpreters will serve a vital role in determining the status of non-English speaking individuals. Those eligible for workforce development will then be assisted by a second group of volunteers who will interpret at job counseling sessions, workforce training, and employment fairs. My goal is that upon completing the employment programs, immigrants will be in a better position to obtain economic independence in America.
Joo Ae Lippe-Klein - Occidental
Project Title: Tutoring and Creating Higher Education Opportunities for the Youth of the Los Angeles Garment Workers' Center - Show Summary
With the support of the Donald A. Strauss scholarship and with strong support of the Garment Worker Center, I will be developing a tutoring and social justice curriculum to be presented for the Garment Worker Center's children ages ranging from middle school to high school. There will be three other Occidental College student volunteers assisting with tutoring every Saturday between 12:00-4:00 p.m. the time of the Garment Worker Center member meetings and workshops. One Saturday a month will be dedicated to a fieldtrip to a college or university in the Los Angeles area, to begin to expose the young participants what options are available to them after high school. The first three weeks are 'getting to know you' activities to build relationships between the children and tutors, the next six weeks will be dedicated to the college application process workshops, financial aid application information sessions, and college guidance and encouragement. Following we will begin the social justice curriculum. I will add, alter, and amend current information on the labor movement I have acquired through my work with United Students Against Sweatshops, and the labor curriculum used in various high schools in Los Angeles. The goal of the project is to give opportunities to garment worker's children since they have little access to higher education or the means to get there. I hope through this project that some of the participants will pursue higher education and possibly at Occidental where they can continue their education and possibly the sustainability of this project as tutors.
Kimberly Martin - UCR
Project Title: A Garden for Hacienda: An International Collaboration for the Sustenance and Enrichment of the Children of Hacienda Orphanage - Show Summary
My initial proposal was to promote the quality of life and sustenance of the children at Hacienda Orphanage, by having American volunteers initiate a foodstuff garden on the grounds of the orphanage. Continued garden maintenance by volunteers and the orphanage's children will give them an opportunity for enrichment in science, and values such as cooperation, teamwork, and ownership. While implementing the garden, I realized that a play area for the children could be greatly enhanced by paving and adding playground structures, like bars and swings. It was very gratifying that the Foundation allowed me to expand and change my project.
Brian McInnis - UCD
Project Title: University of California: Increasing Voter Participation - Show Summary
The University of California students is a migratory population, annually moving in large numbers from home to home. Every time a student changes their address they not only need to re-register they also may find themselves in a new polling precinct, with only twelve hours on Election Day to cast their ballot. To ensure long term voter registration of students at the university this proposal includes efforts to establish online voter registration processes incorporated into existing online University of California official forms and applications. This proposal also aims to alleviate both time and location issues by creating county-wide polling sites which would remain open for up to five days. These Early Polling Stations would be operated and maintained by UC campus student associations which would annually work with the Secretary of State and local County Elections offices. Through these innovations we bring the polling place and the election closer to young voters than ever before.
Vivek Mehta - UCI
Project Title: 'Estoy Bien' Educational Seminars Targeting Obesity in Youth...Bridging Ideas in Eating and Nutrition - Show Summary
My goal is to provide health education seminars to patients at the Share Our Selves Medical Clinic in Costa Mesa, encouraging them to think about nutrition, diet and the eating habits of their children and family as a whole. In Spanish, 'Estoy Bien' means 'I am well'. A central part of wellness should be physical health, but recent trends in childhood obesity do not suggest a bright future for children. Studies at the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University have found that childhood obesity rates have more than doubled in the past two decades, and now affect 15% of children. A National Health and Nutrition Exam Survey found that Mexican-American children are disproportionately venerable to being overweight and obese, by as much as 200%. Obesity and being overweight correlate with a variety of diseases including diabetes, cardio-vascular disease, dyslipidemia, and hypertension. Therefore, programs which address obesity and proper nutrition in children should be promoted to encourage healthy eating habits and overall health at an early age. The Share Our Selves Free Medical and Dental Clinic is a non-profit, comprehensive chronic care medical facility in Costa Mesa, California that has been in operation for over 30 years. Serving an average of 1000 patients each month. Share Our Selves is the primary care facility for the indigent population of Newport Beach, Costa Mesa, Santa Ana and surrounding Orange County cities. By providing education about healthy foods and diet we aim to reduce the incidence of childhood diabetes and hypertension, as well as a variety of other diseases associated with obesity in children. Estoy Bien will provide monthly dietary, nutrition and health seminars to parents and children who are patients at Share Our Selves.
Jamelia Morgan - Stanford
Project Title: S.M.A.R.T.S.: Strengthening Monetary Acquisition and Responsibility with Teachingand Support - Show Summary
In order to equip low-income individuals and families with the tools they need to improve their lives financially, I plan to establish the S.M.A.R.T.S program in Brooklyn, New York's Kings County. S.M.A.R.T.S, which stand for Strengthening Monetary Acquisition & Responsibility with Teaching and Support, focuses on building financial acumen and enforcing sound wealth-building initiatives. This project's mission is three-fold: (1) To equip low-income individuals and families with financial knowledge in order to empower them with the ability to improve their economic status; (2) to engage youth in sound financial practices that will improve their financial situation later on in their lives; and, (3) to address and help reform discriminatory policies and practices that result in the exclusion of low-income groups from the pursuit of economic well-being and livelihood.
Aram Nadjarian - LMU
Project Title: A Second Chance - Voices of Juvenile Hall - Show Summary
Troubled youth in Southern California's juvenile detention centers are some of the most articulate, creative and intelligent human beings you will ever meet. Most want to change their ways, but the reality is many of them can't. Most of the time, they just don't have the resources or the outreach available to them to do so. I propose a new, revolutionary education /service program call A Second Chance. Within this, I propose a series of education summits called Voices of Juvenile Hall Changing Their Lives that not only incorporates a summit held at a juvenile hall facility with youth mentorship, career and community outreach, but so much more. The day-long summits will bring together community and educational resources together with juvenile hall youth and provide peer mentoring, career development support, resources for life after they are released and referrals for various educational and service opportunities. These summits will work towards the larger project of a video series program aimed at educating young people about the dangers of the juvenile system and how to avoid going down the wrong path.
Alex Quick - UCSD
Project Title: Donor Dudes and the National Youth Coalition on Donation - Show Summary
Americans die every day due to a shortage of lifesaving donors including organ and tissue, blood and marrow. Two years ago upon my arrival at UCSD I founded 'Donor Dudes,'a student organization that promotes lifesaving donation. Our first campus event, funded by the Student Council, invited Olympic Medalist snowboarder Chris Klug, a liver transplant recipient, to 'trade signatures' with UCSD students who sign donor pledge cards. Since then Donor Dudes has been on five campuses and at other community events. Working the donation issue on campus, I have learned that there are many small student groups across America that promote donation. I seek Strauss Scholarship resources to: (1) grow Donor Dudes; and, (2) establish a website to create the first national/international 'youth coalition on donation' that will serve as a crossroads for possibly hundreds of local student organizations that promote lifesaving donation. The coalition, patterned somewhat upon the national Coalition on Donation, will share contacts, best practices and other information. The future success of Donor Dudes will be measured by our number of events, materials distributed, blood collected and media coverage. The future success of the Youth Coalition on Donation will be measured by the number of campus organizations that join the website and the volume of website traffic.
Frances Ray-Earle - USD
Project Title: LISTA: Linguistic Interactive Student-Training Advantage - Show Summary
The Linguistic Interactive Student-Training Advantage aims to develop a Spanish Language Internship Program as a branch of the University of San Diego Spanish Department. LISTA seeks to provide University of San Diego students with the career advancement opportunity of applying Spanish linguistic skills in a daily work or community environment. In conjunction with San Diego businesses, non-profit community organizations, and the San Diego Public School System, LISTA participants will intern for organizations that aim to aid and promote the advancement of Hispanic and Latino community in San Diego.
Alexandra Thurston - Scripps
Project Title: 2K Kids - Show Summary
Currently, there are many programs providing supplementary activities for disadvantaged high school students. Although such resources are undoubtedly beneficial, they are implemented too late in the students' lives to have maximum efficacy. It is crucial that children are exposed to appropriate academic stimulation at a much earlier age, at home as well as in the classroom. I propose to implement a program as an extension of Jumpstart, a nonprofit organization for underprivileged preschool children, by bringing computer learning to the homes of these children The title of my project, 2K Kids, reflects our technologically-driven society in which computer literacy is becoming increasingly vital. The primary goal of the program is to equip children with the computer skills essential to their future success in the new millennium.
Adrienne Tygenhof Page - LMU
Project Title: 'The Four Children Gazette': A Multi-Campus Progressive Publication - Show Summary
The goal of this project is simple: to educate university students on issues of justice and peace and to promote a life of service and solidarity. Not only will the paper focus on campus-wide justice issues (such as fair trade coffee, efollet sweatshop products, and fair wages for outsourced labor), but we will also concentrate on justice issues relevant to the entire Los Angeles community. I hope that this publication will help bring justice issues to the forefront of academic discourse. In addition to printing investigative and editorial pieces, I also hope to feature student poetry, short stories, and other artwork. In this sense, the paper will draw contributions from students of all backgrounds and interests with a common interest in social justice. Perhaps one of the most exciting aspects of the proposal, however, will be its multi-campus distribution. In addition to distributing papers to LMU students and faculty, we will also distribute at Mount St. Mary's and Marymount College. Eventually, I hope to have a multi-campus coalition of staff writers reporting on a wide range of issues pertinent to both readers on their own campuses and across town.
Daniel Zoughbie - UCB
Project Title: The Diabetes Micro-Clinic Project: Community Awareness and Ownership in the Developing World - Show Summary
During a stay in the West Bank, I identified a staggering diabetes problem with serious gaps in treatment delivery and diabetes education. Consequently, using my Strauss Award, I established approximately twenty 'micro-clinics' composed of small groups of diabetic patients. I have continued developing this effort to prevent the explosive growth of chronic diseases, using an innovative approach to health enhancement, leadership development, and multidisciplinary global health research that varies significantly from other "top-down" models. Leveraging the resources of premier research universities, local governments, NGOs, and social capital, The Global Micro-Clinic Project (GMCP) creates a powerful program—preparing faculty and students to collaborate with local community organizations working on diabetes prevention and management in regions of the world characterized with high rates of illness as well as poor economic growth and instability. We plan to implement contextually appropriate micro-clinic (MC) health projects globally. GMCP is presently expanding its operations in Jordan and India.

2004 Project Awards

Maria Amon - USD
Project Title: The Missing Art of Sports: Bringing Theater Arts and Sports Curriculum to Inner- City Students - Show Summary
There is evidence that girls between the ages of 10 and 12 are increasingly becoming inactive and consuming cheap junk food, which has resulted in the incidence rate of childhood obesity to reach near-epidemic levels. Children in low-income communities are not getting the nutritional information they need to help them live healthy lives. Funding to low-income schools has consistently and progressively been reduced; theatrical arts and sports curriculum were the first programs to be cut. I will create an after-school program for girls in grades 4-6 at Central Elementary that uses theatre, nutritional education, and sports to teach these girls the benefits of healthy habits. Through collaboration between resources from Girl Scouts and Central Elementary, and volunteers from Sweetwater High School and the University of San Diego, program participants will play six sports such as kick-ball, soccer, and basketball with special sessions on swimming, ice-skating and roller-skating. Participants will have educational sessions on topics such as not smoking, creating healthy snacks, and preventing osteoporosis. Theater will provide an opportunity for participants to solidify their learning through creative expression, the girls will create a play on the topics they have learned to present to their parents. This program will nurture self-confidences and foster a love of sports and theatre linking girls to a brighter future.
Jackie Chattopadhyay - UCI
Project Title: Students Mentoring Students - Show Summary
College preparatory information should not have a price tag attached. Students Mentoring Students (SMS), a program I designed and began to implement in September 2003, therefore seeks to provide low-income, Orange County high school students with cost-free guidance in applying for college admission by connecting them to UCI undergraduate students, writing experts, honors program and financial aid staff. Compared to students who can afford to hire private counselors, students who rely on families and high school counselors for college preparatory guidance receive limited and late information about the academic, community service, and leadership efforts they need to make during high school to be competitive college applicants. This inequity is especially true for student from low-income and immigrant families and families lacking histories of college participation. SMS seeks to help equalize the resources available to such students in applying for college.
Molly Franson - Occidental
Project Title: Herb Garden Education Center: To Learn Abroad & to Teach at Home - Show Summary
I propose to complete a case study on the success of Cuba's urban herbal, natural medicine gardens. Once I return to Los Angeles I will apply my finding to Delavan Elementary school urban garden, where I will create an herb educational center that seeks to incorporate current school curriculum with the benefits and use of herbal natural medicines in daily life. There is a need for stronger health care amongst low-income populations in Los Angeles. Therefore, I will organize student's parents to participate in the herb garden education center. Success will be measured by the degree of change in participants awareness of the connection between the environment and personal health.
Virginia Frauenthal - UCD
Project Title: Educate and Enlist: Yolo Cnty SPCA Animal Shelter Volunteer Outreach/Animal Adoption Program - Show Summary
The purpose of the Yolo County SPCA and Animal Shelter Volunteer Ourtreach/Animal Adoption Program is to 1) inform fellow U C Davis students and Yolo County community members about the animal overpopulation epidemic, responsible adopting and humane animal treatment through pamphlets and speeches, and 2) enlist their involvement in shelter beautification, animal socialization and increasing the number of adoptions, both on and off site, for the Yolo County Animal Shelter and SPCA.
Tim Galarneau - UCSC
Project Title: Exposing the Backbone of California Agriculture: Farmworkers and their Plight - Show Summary
This project will research the Central Coast agricultural region's farm practices (including environmental and social components) and their effect on farm workers. In an effort to provide public education a website, documentary film, and newspaper editorials will be created during the course of the project. In addition a symposium will be held in Santa Cruz in February of 2005. The forum will bring together farm workers and owners, leaders of non-profit organizations dealing with farm worker rights and sustainable agriculture, union and governmental representatives, as well as distinguished academics. The symposium will explore social and environmental justice for the farm worker, constructive policy changes, and statewide initiatives that could provide the farm worker with greater agency and autonomy in their role as food providers for our kitchen tables.
Samantha Heindl Porter - LMU
Project Title: Campus Justice Initiative- CJI - Show Summary
I propose to create the Campus Justice Initiative, or CJI, a collaborative group of students, faculty and staff who are dedicated to promoting fair trade on the Loyola Marymount University campus. CJI would work to solidify the efforts for fair trade on our campus and to create an effective line of communication among all members of the university community. The goals of CJI are threefold. First, CJI would organize an effective on-campus education campaign about fair trade. CJI would create individualized campaigns to encourage student organizations on campus to support fair trade and take on an active role in the campaign. Secondly, CJI would promote fair trade coffee and sweatshop-free apparel. Finally, CJI would work to collaborate with national organizations and create a personalized campaign for LMU using tools from these larger organizations. In the Spring of 2005, CJI would host a national fair trade conference and present all collected campaign materials to other universities who would like to begin a similar program.
Ryan Houk - UCB
Project Title: Student Advocates for the Homeless: Education Through Social Action - Show Summary
Homelessness is a large and growing problem facing our nation and, in particular, the Bay Area. Through significant volunteer experience, I have been witness to the homeless service gap, which has worsened as a result of California's current economic situation. In response, I have created a service-learning course on homelessness at U C Berkeley and, hereby, propose the creation or a street outreach project, through which educated student volunteers may distribute essential food, hygiene supplies, and service referrals to members of the homeless community.
Ravneet Kaur - Stanford
Project Title: South Asian Community Health Project (SACH) - Show Summary
SACH means 'truth' in both the Hindi and Punjabi languages. The SACH Project is a concerted effort for education and outreach that aims to tell the truth about the prevalence and prevention of heart disease in the general South Asian population and the importance of screening for cervical and breast cancers in the female South Asian population concentrated within the urban areas of New York and New Jersey. The project accomplishes its education initiative on two levels: 1)Dissemination of translated materials from the American Heart Association, National Institutes of Health, and American Cancer Society , 2)Instructing high school-aged youth in the community about heart disease and cancer: training them to check for hypertension (high blood pressure) a common, preliminary marker of heart disease, and teaching them how to talk with the community about heart disease risk and healthy lifestyles. SACH outreaches involve 1)Working with local physicians, medical students, and clinics to provide free consultations and screenings for high cholesterol, diabetes, and hypertension to the general South Asian population, and 2) Working with physicians on a mobile health van to provide free female cancer exams for women in the underserved and underprivileged South Asian community.
Minh Phan-Ho - UCSD
Project Title: The Homeless Suffrage Initiative - Show Summary
The Homeless Suffrage initiative aims to encourage and help offer opportunities for homeless to vote. Through students volunteering to register, drive and hold information sessions, I feel that this will enable homeless people to vote, and therefore leading to political empowerment and representation for the homeless community.
Siddarth Puri - UCLA
Project Title: HEAR (Hepatitis Education Awareness and Research): Giving Voice to 'The Silent Killer' - Show Summary
Hepatitis C (HCV) rates are rapidly increasing in the monolingual Spanish speaking population because of the difficulty in diagnosing this asymptomatic infection. I aim to increase the awareness of this infection within that community by creating a manual, presentations and pamphlets that they will understand and remember. I will make a manual and introducing it in training days for medical translators where they will learn how to convey the symptoms and treatment of HCV to patients. I will then make pamphlets with diagrams and pictures in Spanish illustrating the symptoms of HCV for people with limited medical knowledge. These workshops and pamphlets will be presented statewide.
Shawn Shah - UCI
Project Title: Technology Tutors - Show Summary
Technology Tutors is a program I envisioned that partners Irvine's Technology Sector, Santa Ana Unified High Schools, and computer-savvy UCI students in an effort to motivate underprivileged high school students to achieve a college education or, if college is financially unreachable, prepare them for a promising job in the computer industry. In an effort to keep their computers as up-to date as possible, technology companies replace older components in their computers fairly often. Those spare components are useless to that company that wants only the fastest computers, but they are quite useful for a high school that does not have such requirements. However, those components need to be assembled into a working computer for them to be of any use. Technology Tutors aims to recruit motivated and technologically knowledgeable UCI students by encouraging Computer- and Engineering-related student organizations such as the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM), the Institute of Electronic and Electrical Engineers (IEEE), Eta Kappa Nu and Tau Beta Pi (both are engineering honors societies), The goal of Technology Tutors is to regularly bring volunteer students from UCI to teach SAUSD high school students how to assemble those part into a functional computer for their school. My hope is that the experience of building a computer will inspire students to achieve a college education in a technology-related field or, at least, endow them with the skills to attain a great job in the technology sector.
Nicole Silverman Butts - Scripps
Project Title: Bridging the Gaps: Community Outreach and Research to Further the Knowledge, Awareness, and Understanding of Breast and Ovarian Cancer - Show Summary
The project goals are: (1) to increase the public's knowledge of breast and ovarian cancer and help facilitate community resources and activities that foster effective communication between at-risk women and their family and friends both within and beyond the Scripps community, and (2) to design and implement an empirical research study that will further the current understanding of perceptions of genetic testing decision-making for breast and ovarian cancer susceptibility and clarify the role that social support plays in this process.
Ana Soltero Lopez - UCSB
Project Title: Education for Empowerment Workshops - Show Summary
In summary, my project proposal aims at educating and informing parents about the school system. One objective includes increasing participation of parents in their child's education. In regards to the students, my project aims at helping them make a positive transition into high school, keep them college oriented in their choice of courses and provide them with encouragement that they can succeed at whatever they set their minds to.
Andrea Vasconcellos Granstedt - Caltech
Project Title: Lives in Photos - Show Summary
Low self-esteem is a problem that especially affects underprivileged children, and is often reflected in decreased motivation to learn. Poverty, therefore, contributes to behavioral and academic problems. Pasadena is a city affected by these issues of child poverty. The goal of my project is to address these concerns by developing a program targeted to fifth grade children in Pasadena of lower socio-economic backgrounds, which will increase the children's motivation for learning by encouraging them to put together an art display of their lives. Cameras and film will be provided to document photographically the issues that surround them, as well as their dreams for the future. They will then create a collage of these pictures, and the final display will be exhibited on the Caltech campus. The ultimate ambition of this project is to build self-esteem and confidence in the children as they make a concrete accomplishment in the arts, and, in addition, promote creativity and assertiveness to help the children cope with their environment and succeed.

2003 Project Awards

Gregoria Barazandeh - UCI
Project Title: Increasing Disability Awareness - Show Summary
I conceived, developed and wrote a Disability Fact Sheet Handbook for students with disabilities, faculty and staff at UC Irvine, and conducted a workshop concerning its use to the Disability Services Center (DSC) staff. I want to expand my project and su
Stephen Beckham - UCR
Project Title: Connections - Show Summary
Inspired by a recent medical tragedy in my family, my proposal focuses on alleviating the strain of gaining access to medical social services. Many uninsured individuals who find themselves with the burden of trying to pay for medical expenses are often confused and unsure about where to go or who to ask for help. As I recently discovered, simply finding relevant information and getting connected to greatly needed resources is a daunting task. To address this problem on a local level, I have proposed plans for the creation of a hospital based volunteer program that will function as an information resource for those in need. Working on the level of a consultation service, patients and their families will have the opportunity to have a volunteer meet with them in the hospital and explain the various public benefit programs that are available. Hopefully, this will serve to help them navigate the often confusing world of social services and act as point of reference for them to seek out financial aid options.
Diego Cevallos - LMU
Project Title: Guarding the Future of Our Youth - Show Summary
This program intends to create opportunities for underprivileged youth in the Los Angeles community by allowing them to develop life skills through participation in a lifeguard training program. The project I propose will not only focus on teaching life-saving skills, which can later be used to obtain a potentially well paying job, but it will also focus on promoting techniques that will enhance a participant's confidence, foster leadership, and develop employability. As a secondary objective, this program will also attempt to fill the local shortage of lifeguards that has plagued our cities for the past four years. In doing this, we will provide an opportunity for the underrepresented minorities to gain access to the jobs that have typically been held by middle and upper class citizens, who have been able to afford the initial investment for this type of training.
Kathleen Feehan - UCD
Project Title: Serving Deserving Davis Students (SDDS) - Show Summary
Serving Deserving Davis Students (SDDS) aims to create a permanent, formal mentor program between U C Davis and the local alternative high school. By housing the program in Human Corps, the U C Davis Community Service Office, U C Davis mentors will have the opportunity to spend more time with their high school students because Human Corps will allow mentors to earn academic credit and transcript notation for extensive time commitment dedication. The mentors and high school students will participate in social activities and already solidly established Human Corps community service programming. Lastly, Strauss funded Human Corps student advisors will assist in incorporating the mentor project into the Human Corps Office's permanent programs.
Alacoque Hinga Nevitt - USD
Project Title: Ending Silent Suffering - Show Summary
Ending Silent Suffering aims to create a Peer Advocacy Group for Eating Disorders. Educating the student body about how to prevent, detect, and help a person with an eating disorder is the primary objective. Through the distribution of helpful resources, workshops, and events, Ending Silent Suffering will be able to combat the destruction of eating disorders at The University of San Diego. In effect, this will create an educated campus community that can lead a healthy life.
Johnny Madrid - Stanford
Project Title: The Stanford Foster Care Reform Project - Show Summary
The Stanford Foster Care Reform Project (hereafter, The Project) is designed for students who want to understand, live, and shape the foster care reform movement. It will train and develop a select cohort of 12 - 16 student advocates through research, training, and real-world practice in Sacramento. By first equipping these select Stanford students with a core set of advocacy skills, The Project will launch a competent cadre into the statewide process of formulating foster care policy.
Mark Michalski - UCLA
Project Title: Creating Communications Infrastructure in the Schools of the Himalayan Mountains - Show Summary
My project would implement a wireless Ethernet connection in the Nepali mountain region, which would help several villages enhance education at their schools and attain an increased standard of living.
Evelin Montes - Occidental
Project Title: The MacArthur Park Collaborative Project - Show Summary
The purpose of the MacArthur Park Collarborative is to: 1) establish an organizing committee of nonprofits, community-based organizations, and community members (the stakeholders) who will work together to identify the main issues concerning the MacArthur Park community; 2) continue to build on the 'asset mapping' process of identifying the various associations, nonprofits, and institutions in the area; and 3) facilitate the process by which community stakeholders develop skills and prepare for the next phase of implementing a direct-action civic campaign.
Hilary Papendick - Scripps
Project Title: Environmental Education in Coastal Ecuadorian Towns: Puerto Lopez and Machalilla - Show Summary
I propose to create a comprehensive interactive environmental program for grades 1 to 6 in and around the Coastal Machalilla National Park. My goal is to raise awareness about the importance of environmental conservation and appreciation for the National Park.
Kristin Shantz - Caltech
Project Title: Caltech Junior Engineering Design Competition - Girls only - Show Summary
Women are an incredibly underrepresented minority in the engineering field; this fact has inspired me to develop a project to encourage more girls to become interested in this field, letting them know that it is not just for the boys! The proposed plan is to coordinate a design competition, where groups of middle school girls work with a female Caltech student mentor to develop a rubber-band powered airplane that will fly the farthest along a designated track. This will be an invaluable opportunity for the girls, for not only will they learn that engineering is fun, but they will develop relationships with their mentors who will act as role models, providing inspiration to the girls that they too can be engineers someday!
Nathaniel Singer - UCB
Project Title: BeeTV: Creating Educational Television for Middle School Students - Show Summary
The project's mission is to create interesting educational television programming to help keep children's minds open to learning through the middle school years by teaching understanding and inspiring creativity.
Lydia Son Lee - Harvey Mudd
Project Title: Hugging the 'HUG HOUSE' - Show Summary
Hugging the 'HUG HOUSE' aims to strengthen and beautify the Hug House. The project will focus on security, maximization of current space, restoration of equipment, increase in personnel, and providing a variety of creative activities for the youth of the
Aurora Winslade - UCSC
Project Title: Farm to School Garden Project:Connecting Plants and People - Show Summary
The purpose of this project is to help re-establish the link between soil and people by engaging underprivileged 4th, 5th, and 6th grade students at Martin Luther King, Jr. Middle School in Salinas, CA in all aspects of growing food and caring for the land through the development of an on-site garden project. The garden will supply produce to the school cafeteria, directly improving the health of the participants. Education programs including projects related to food production, cooking, nutrition, health, and ecology; guest speakers and farm visits trips will complement the garden. A major goal is to facilitate communication between students, teachers, school administrators, farmers, parents, and the community. I will document the project and work to build community support for similar projects so that this model may be replicated throughout the Salinas Valley.
Emily Yee Dubois - UCSD
Project Title: Raise Your Voice: Student Action for Change - Show Summary
This campaign is a grass-roots type movement that strives to increase student involvement in public life through service, activism, education and awareness. We want to connect these actions with a larger student movement around civic engagement. We plan to mobilize higher education in a way that empowers students to create positive changes in their communities and makes civic engagement central to student learning.

2002 Project Awards

Anna Altshuler - UCB
Project Title: Hepatitis Services for people in NEED
Poppy Anderson - UCD
Project Title: Exceptional Soccer Program
Tess Bridgeman - Stanford
Project Title: Building Bridges to Community Health in Underserved Areas - Show Summary
I plan to work with women in marginalized communities in the state of Oaxaca, Mexico, to define health and development concerns and to look for solutions that can be reached either by utilizing existing assets within the community or connecting community members with Oaxacan organizations. I will conduct workshops and trainings so that these women have the resources and sustainable infrastructure necessary to act as health promoters in their communities.
Corey Chapman - UCLA
Project Title: After-School Writer's Workshop Palms Middle School
Jenoa Cohn Morgan - Scripps
Project Title: Financial Literacy Program Disadvantaged Women
Morvarid Ebrahimi - UCSC
Project Title: U-KAN,Kids Afterschool Network
Benjamin Foster - UCI
Project Title: Equal Opportunities for College
Sofia Larsson - UCSB
Project Title: Surfacing - Anorexia awareness
Paul Lin - UCSD
Project Title: Connecting Project Dulce w/ Diabetes
Ankur Luthra - UCB
Project Title: Bridging the Digital Divide
Rosie Poitra-Chalmers - Scripps
Project Title: Breaking Down Boundariews with Language: Building Community & Social Justice with Day Laborers
Roshanak Ramezani - UCSD
Project Title: Promotoras de Salud & Binational Prevention of the Spread of AIDS
Oleh Romanenko - LMU
Project Title: Kids Living with HIV/AIDS in St. Petersburg, Russia: Let Them Dream Their Possible Dream
Naomi Tomimatsu Woodard - Harvey Mudd
Project Title: Jackie's Wish: Project UP

2001 Project Awards

Sarah Averbach - UCSD
Project Title: Helping Hands Women's Clinic: Khandbari,Nepal
Nicole Bazell - UCSC
Project Title: Students Towards Achievement in wRiting Success (STAIRS)
Emily Beighley - UCD
Project Title: Legacy of the Humane Child: Healing Begins with Compassion
Danielle Boucher Quinto - LMU
Project Title: Express It! Art Education for Elementary School
Han Kang - UCI
Project Title: En-Act to Enable: Using the Performing and Visual Arts to Communicate HIV/AIDS Information for Youth
Ken Levin - UCLA
Project Title: Lives of the Invisible Through the Eyes of the Invisible: Portrayals of Southern California Queer Youth
Cindy Lin - Stanford
Project Title: Raising Awareness About Antibiotic Resistance: A Public Health Education Project Targeting School Children & Parents
Alicia Llora - Harvey Mudd
Project Title: AquaDome: A Water Conservation Museum
Tarek Maassarani - UCSB
Project Title: The Baobab Valley Project - Show Summary
After a year abroad at the University of Cape Town in 2000, and traveling around Africa presenting HIV/AIDs workshops at schools, Tarek became acquainted with the struggle of some poor villages in Tanzania. He saw that burning wood was a major problem for living sustainably on the land. Through a chance meeting, Tarek toured an ambitious project on donated land that could house a clinic, a school and community-shared facilities with some resources and hard work. Tarek proposed to help them with this and also to counter environmental degradation by planting trees, installing an irrigation system and introducing alternative energy sources to heat water. His experience was deeply satisfying, and he adapted to many unforeseen demands. Upon his return to UCSB, he developed a framework for a yearly cycle of students to be sent through the Environmental Studies internship program and he continued to fundraise for the project.
Haley Mellin - UCB
Project Title: Urban Agriculture in Oakland, CA: Turning Empty Lots Into Community Gardens
Florian Merkle - Caltech
Project Title: Understanding Autism: An Educational Outreach Initiative
Natalie O'Conner Holdren - UCSB
Project Title: United Friendship Exchange: A Friendship Program for Physically and Developmentally Disabled Youth
Megan Rogers Levitan - Scripps
Project Title: Gear-Up: Academic Mentoring Program
Andrew Saito - UCB
Project Title: The Inclusion Initiative - Show Summary
Personal Assitant training and recruitment for the Disabled.
Nico Slate - Stanford
Project Title: Bridges to Home - Show Summary
International Travel for Underprivileged Undergraduates.
Emily Teplin Fox - UCB
Project Title: The Inclusion Initiative - Show Summary
Personal Assistant training and recruitment for the Disabled.

2000 Project Awards

Zoe Bradbury - Stanford
Project Title: Common Ground Conservation: Building Community through Participatory Resource Management
Naomi Campos Chavez - UCSC
Project Title: Step-to-College Program
Jeff Carroll - UCSD
Project Title: Computers and Books to Improve Primary Education
Lindsey Debaets - UCLA
Project Title: UCLA Friends Outside Children's Program
Christopher Faist - UCSB
Project Title: Meet our Oceanic Neighbors
Jessica Hayes - LMU
Project Title: Voices from the Heart: Partnership Between Recording for the Blind & Children's Hospital
Anne Hsii - UCR
Project Title: Safety Awareness Day
Alicia Johnson - Stanford
Project Title: G.I.R.L.S. Group: Growth, Integrity, Respect, Learning, Self-esteem
Deborah Lagutaris - UCSB
Project Title: Computer Accessibility and Training for Victims of Battering
Ronalee Lo - Harvey Mudd
Project Title: The Ripples: Continuing Leadership
Shawn Mattison - UCB
Project Title: 'Safe Space' : A Free Clinic for Homeless Youth - Show Summary
There are gaps in services to homeless young adults, many of whom were foster children and who don't trust traditional social service organizations. 95% of them were victims of verbal and physical abuse at home, and one-third of them faced sexual abuse. Their needs go beyond emergency healthcare. Shawn founded the Youth Clinic, where homeless youth could relax with student volunteers and members of the social service and medical community. The Youth Clinic is now a joint project between UC Berkeley and UCSF Medical School, and one of three drop-in centers of the Suitcase Clinic.
Monica Rani - UCD
Project Title: Legal Aid to Sacramento's Underrepresented Immigrants
Laura Swanson Tompkins - Occidental
Project Title: Encourage and Enlighten Students in the Lincoln Heights Community to Seek a College Education
Matthew Tompkins - Occidental
Project Title: The Implications of Research, Development and Deployment of Ballistic Missle Defense - Show Summary
This project began in 1999, a year before George W. Bush would return the missile defense debate to the forefront of foreign policy debates. The project assessed the current publicly available information on missile defense policy and technology, and attempted to encourage a more informed public debate of the issue.
Diep Ngoc Tran - UCI
Project Title: Agents of Social Change: Leadership Training for Vietnamese Students

1999 Project Awards

Emilie Bard - Stanford
Project Title: 'Spaces': HIV/STD Pregnancy Prevention for Homeless Youth
Fernando Cazares - Occidental
Project Title: Impact of Stable Affordable Housing on Children's Academic Achievement
David Chiu - UCI
Project Title: Creation of a Website of Service Events for Student Volunteers
Amanda Cundiff - UCB
Project Title: The Children's Environmental Education Project
Todd Gloria - USD
Project Title: Gay Awareness and Understanding - Show Summary
Todd Gloria, a 1999 scholar from USD, is one of the pioneering individuals who has advanced freedoms for a minority population. When Todd was a student at University of San Diego, a Catholic University, it was particularly challenging to be a gay student. The purpose of his initiative, the Gay Awareness and Understanding project, was to dispel stereotypes surrounding LGBTQ+ people, counter homophobic attitudes on campus, and open up channels of communication between USD campus and the gay community. He helped to open peoples' minds and make the world a better place for the LGBTQ+ community . Todd's strong organizing and leadership skills have served him and San Diego well, as he recently was elected Mayor!
Eduardo Gutierrez - Occidental
Project Title: Literacy After-School Program for Limited English Students
Emily Hill - Harvey Mudd
Project Title: Saving the World: a Preparation and Field Test
Jennifer Lee - UCSD
Project Title: Preventive Health Education Korean Americans
Gregory Magnuson - UCLA
Project Title: Abused Children Healing Through the Arts
Kimberly Rehrer Petok - LMU
Project Title: Fine Art Workshops for Public School Students
Brooke Roundy - UCD
Project Title: Support Services for Cancer Patients
Coleen Scott - UCSC
Project Title: Gallery 37, Santa Cruz - Outreach and Community Involvement Through the Arts
Matthew Spence - Stanford
Project Title: Democratic Partners: Student Leader Exchange Post Communist Russia
Emily Street - UCSB
Project Title: DATE-Dating Violence: Awareness, Treatment & Education
Devra Bachrach Wang - UCB
Project Title: Reducing Barriers to Buying Green Electricity - Show Summary
Devra wanted to try to reduce the barriers that non-residential customers- who use ⅔ of the total energy in the state- face in switching to green power. She joined the City of Berkeley Energy Commission, which advises the City Council, researched and recommended a plan, which was adopted in April 2000. She also tried to help the Presidio of San Francisco switch, and while educating the staff, she was introduced to the frustration of dealing with such a bureaucracy. Devra decided to interview key actors who had switched their companies to renewable energy sources and wrote case studies of their experience- including obstacles. This helped potential customers prepare for the experience.

1998 Project Awards

Amy Cantor - UCB
Project Title: Casa Rosada: Establishing a Health Serveillance Program in Santa Barbara, Honduras - Show Summary
Create and teach a simple record keeping and data analysis computer program for Casa Rosada. It's establishment helps community members develop and implement basic interventions to reduce infant mortality and childhood diseases.
Rodney Clara - UCSB
Project Title: Establish A Student Outreach Program for Drug & Alcohol Abuse
Heather Dean - Caltech
Project Title: Coordinate and Implement an Alternative Spring Break Program in Arizona for Student Volunteers
Sandra Gallardo - Occidental
Project Title: Market Basket: A Healthy Start
Evelyn Gutierrez - UCD
Project Title: Dental Hygiene and Nutrition Education Project
Leah Katz Ahmadi - UCSD
Project Title: Organize Student Volunteer Outreach Program for Senior Citizens Without Family or Friends
Gloria Jin Lee - Stanford
Project Title: The Korean American Youth Community Service Project
Delaney Malkemus - UCR
Project Title: Creation of an Interactive, Multi-Media CD-ROM Program for H.S. students in Environmental Science
Benjamin Markum - Harvey Mudd
Project Title: Mentoring Program for At-Risk High School Students
Christopher Martinez - UCB
Project Title: Student Tutorial Endeavor Program - Show Summary
A student at UC Berkeley, Chris had moved to a low-income neighborhood in West Oakland to find cheaper rent. As he spent time in the new community, he realized that the community could use some help. Two churches had established an afterschool drop-in recreation program for children in the neighborhood, the Samaritan Neighborhood Center. Christopher wanted to add a program to encourage academic excellence so that they could achieve better futures and provide good role models. He recruited UCB students to tutor the children and after struggling for funding, applied for the Strauss Scholarship for his project Student Tutorial Endeavor Program (STEP). By the end of the year, STEP was working with over 140 children from low-income families between 5-18 years old. Christopher’s program still thrives, as students at UC Berkeley earn academic credit by being volunteer tutors. This component is vital to the mission of SNC, whose services are funded by donations, and has proven invaluable since they can provide quality programs at a fraction of the cost due to the Cal student volunteers.
Loulena Miles - UCSC
Project Title: Feedback is Empowerment - Battered Women's Surveys
Jenny Millinger - Scripps
Project Title: Designing & Testing Middle School Curriculum using Play Readings, Rehearsals & Productions - Show Summary
Jenny Millinger developed a middle-school arts curriculum that uses drama to enhance learning. She designed it for students at Project Excellence, a program for at-risk, inner-city children at a school in Phoenix, Arizona. Her methods used the process of play, rehearsal, and production to improve their language and communication skills and boost their self-esteem. They produced a Shakespeare play. Her program consisted of three components: vocabulary games, reading comprehension, and creative writing exercises. The vocabulary games involved using improv games as teaching tools where students would act out the meaning of a word. During the reading exercises, students would extract the key elements of a plot to create a summary of a story they read. The writing assignments were meant to build on their creative response to the rehearsal process. Jenny has managed to have a career in arts education and is the Associate Artistic Director at Childsplay, a theater company for children.
Zuhairah Scott - UCLA
Project Title: Student Volunteer Tutoring Program
Andrea Tazioli - LMU
Project Title: Volunteering & Helping Children with Cancer and Their Families
Doug Vasquez - UCI
Project Title: Create & Present 45 Minute Broadway Musical Theatre Revue in Nursing Facilities, Convalescent Homes and Senior Citizen Centers

1997 Project Awards

Jhumki Basu - Stanford
Project Title: In the Shelters of Moscow and on the Streets of St. Petersburg: The Health of Homeless Children in Post-Communist Russia - Show Summary
I surveyed and interviewed 86 children (half of whom lived on the streets, and half fo whom lived in shelters) to compare their reports of health problems, access to health care and perceptions of disease. The last section of the project report focused on the design of health care facilities for street children, which was presented to UNICEF-Geneva.
Jeffrey Ben El-Bdour - UCSB
Project Title: 1998 Isla Vista Spring Break Recreation Program
Amber Bosin Young - UCI
Project Title: Create a Sound, Rhythm, Movement and Coordination Class at Western Medical Center's Pediatric Department
Thomas Duncan - UCD
Project Title: Create Program to Assess Ways in Which Lives of Urban Youth May be Improved by Participation in Horticulture Projects , i.e. Urban Gardens
Carlota Garcia - UCLA
Project Title: Tutorial Program that Functions as Child Care for Children of Adults Participating in Evening Classes in South Central Los Angeles
Wendy Goldstein - UCB
Project Title: Design and Implement a College Office in Oakland City High Schools to Serve as a Guidance Center for Information on Colleges
Abigail Hampsmire - Harvey Mudd
Project Title: Recruit and Train Volunteer Tutors to Encourage 7th Graders to Prepare for college
William Lamothe - UCR
Project Title: Create a Website to Provide Information to the Community About Air and Water Pollution
Michelle Renee Valladares - UCSC
Project Title: Land and Water Conservation Fund: Action Based on Knowledge
Ginny Tal - UCLA
Project Title: Create a Program to Provide Services to Battered Women Which Addresses Their Cultural and Ethnic Sensitivities

Project Awards

Nina Macdonald -
Project Title:

366 records found.


Encouraging young leaders from 14 pre-selected California Colleges and Universities to undertake a high-impact project in public service or social change in their junior or senior year.



The Donald A. Strauss Scholarship Foundation
5001 Birch Street, Newport Beach, CA 92660
Phone: 949.955.1930