Bard Students Win Two 2015 Davis Projects For Peace Awards
Bard College students have won two 2015 Davis Projects for Peace Awards, which provide $10,000 in funding for proposed projects. Zoe Kasperzyk ’15 (from Seattle, Washington) and Julia Vunderink ’15 (from Austin, Texas) have won a Davis grant for their project, “Breaking Barriers: Health Services to Rural Indigenous Communities,” to facilitate collaboration between urban health clinics and rural indigenous communities in Oaxaca, Mexico. In collaboration with Fundación En Vía, an Oaxacan organization dedicated to improving the lives of impoverished women, their project will bring healthcare representatives and other resources to rural village centers, where basic health classes will be offered to local women. Workshops will include water purification, basic hygiene, family planning, pregnancy complications, nutrition, prevention of communicable diseases, response to domestic accidents, and indoor air pollution.
Four Bard Conservatory students Avery Morris ’18, Alexzandra Morris ’18 (twins from Pacific Palisades, California), Rylan Gajek-Leonard ’16 (from Salt Springs Island, British Columbia, Canada), and Daniel Zlatkin ’16 (from Westport, Connecticut) have also won a Davis grant to bring their Trustee Leader Scholar project, “Sounds of Social Change,” to Cali, Colombia, where they will work closely with the Orquesta Sinfónica Infantil y Juvenil de Siloé and Fundación Sidoc to teach and collaborate with young musicians living in poverty in Cali, Colombia. Currently, there are 115 children enrolled in this program, and it has proven to be transformational in the Siloé barrio of Cali. By teaching youth how to play musical instruments and organizing performances within the community, the Orchestra helps to provide important skills (personal goals, collaboration with peers, self-confidence, cultivating passions, etc.) enabling a greater chance of success later on in life. In particular, youth are given a significant activity to concentrate on outside of the streets. The Davis grant will also initiate the Fundación’s first ever Music and Listening Library. By providing the students access to world-class recordings of the best musicians, the library will supply context to the students’ musical studies and feed their passion for music.
Projects for Peace is funded by the Davis family to honor Kathryn W. Davis, who died in April 2013 at the age of 106. A lifelong internationalist and philanthropist who earned a B.A. from Wellesley College, an M.A. from Columbia University, and a Ph.D. from the University of Geneva, she was the mother of Shelby M. C. Davis, who funds the Davis UWC Scholars Program currently involving 90 American colleges and universities. Kathryn Davis believed that today’s youth—tomorrow’s leaders—ought to be challenged to formulate and test their own ideas. For further information, visit www.davisprojectsforpeace.org.
Bard Press Contact:Jennifer Wai-Lan Huang
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