2023 Napier Awardees
MICHELLE MUTURI – Pitzer College
Michelle will make eco-bricks from used plastic bottles filled with sand/plastic in order to beautify the environment of three schools on the outskirts of Nairobi, Kenya. The project, done by volunteers and students in the schools, will include the creation of benches, decorative fences, tree guards, and flower planters, in order to improve aesthetics and to create a joyous, child-friendly environment. In addition, fruit trees will be planted to provide fruits to help boost the students’ diets. The project takes advantage of a local Competence Based Curriculum that encourages learners to be creative in using locally available materials. The partnering agency, the Rongai East Rotary Club, will continue the project once it has been launched by Michelle.
ELISA VELASCO – Pomona College
Elisa will implement a summer program, Historias de La Gente, with 15-20 Latinx high school students, in Norman, Oklahoma, meeting once a week for eleven weeks. In this program the students can explore their identity, learn the complex history of Latinx people in the United States, create a supportive network of friends and mentors, engage with local and national organizations and leaders, and create their own community-centered projects. Partnering with Dream Action Oklahoma (DAOK), an organization that empowers the immigrant community through advocacy and education, Elisa will engage with DAOK’s Adelante Leaders Fellows, a group of Latinx youth who will plan and co-teach with her in Historias de La Gente.