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2023 Napier Awardees

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MICHELLE MUTURI – Pitzer College 

Michelle made 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, included 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 were planted to provide fruits to help boost the students’ diets. The project took 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, continues the project launched by Michelle.

ELISA VELASCO – Pomona College

Elisa implemented a summer program, Historias de La Gente, with 21 Latinx high school students, in Norman, Oklahoma, meeting once a week for eleven weeks. In this program the students explored their identity, learned the complex history of Latinx people in the United States, created a supportive network of friends and mentors, engaged with local and national organizations and leaders, and created their own community-centered projects.  Partnering with Dream Action Oklahoma (DAOK), an organization that empowers the immigrant community through advocacy and education, Elisa engaged with DAOK’s Adelante Leaders Fellows, a group of Latinx youth who planned and co-taught with her in Historias de La Gente.

For more information about these projects click here

Napier Initiative

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