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2015 Napier Awardees


Hong Deng Gao - Pomona College

Hong has developed a project called Health Bridges, envisioning a world in which immigrants, regardless of their linguistic skills, income level, or legal status, face no barriers to timely health services. The pilot project is being established at Pomona Valley Hospital Medical Center, which has a large low-income immigrant patient population and limited translation capacity. Hong will give extensive training to bilingual volunteers from the Claremont Colleges to assist patients who do not speak English in navigating the hospital system to obtain health resources for which they are eligible. Hong herself speaks three dialects of Chinese, Spanish, and Japanese. She has been giving leadership at the Draper Center for Community Partnerships and in tutoring programs for local schools. She has done research on the immigrant experience and was a communications intern for Legal Services NYC and development and marketing intern for the American Italian Cancer Foundation, NYC.



Joyce Nimocks - Pomona College

An environmental analysis major, Joyce has created a series of alternative, sustainable cosmetic workshops for Black women on the south side of Chicago. She is experienced in making cosmetics from natural ingredients, avoiding the heavily advertised toxic, potentially carcinogenic cosmetics to alter skin tone and hair texture. She used Napier funds to secure local spaces to promote dialogue among women in low-income communities about potential dangers in commercial cosmetics and the use of non-toxic ingredients. Napier funds have purchased sustainable ingredients for the women in the workshops to use in crafting their own cosmetic products. Joyce has evoked conversation about self-love, self-care, and education as tools for empowerment and social justice. She will sustain the project by creating a community blog to connect participants in the workshops and continue the conversation about sustainable and healthy beauty practices among African-American women.



Jacob Shimkus - Claremont McKenna College

Jacob has helped lead a team of students at the College of the Marshall Islands in tailoring climate adaptation curriculum to local youth (ages 10-14) and support them in refining and presenting an environmental education program throughout the Marshall Islands. As a series of small, low-lying islands, the Marshall Islands are on the front lines of climate change. Involving everyone from local leaders to youth in climate adaptation is therefore crucial to the nation's future. Drawing on Jacob's work with Living Islands, the US-Marshallese nonprofit development organization, this project creates a direct link between Marshallese youth and older Marshallese students, encouraging them to engage one another in these important issues and to become community leaders in sustainability and climate adaptation. Jacob has done similar work in the US and development work in Kenya and Peru.

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