Chapel Hill Carrboro Peacemaking Scholarship
2015 Peacemaking Scholarship Recipient
My name is Leah Simon, and I am one of the two recipients of this year’s Peacemaking Scholarship. I would like to thank you for providing such a wonderful scholarship as well as a meaningful connection to a beautiful community and cause that keeps giving.
Before I explain my future plans, I would like to highlight my most recent peacemaking accomplishment that I was unable to discuss very much in my application as it hadn’t happened yet. With the great assistance of a close teacher, mentor, and friend of mine, Mr. Hite. I have successfully raised close to $19,000 for a Dominican Republic Water Project which will provide running water to the homes of the community I stayed in over the past two consecutive summers. We just had a silent auction on Tuesday from which we were able to raise $6,000, which brought us to our goal of at least $15,000 to complete the basics of the project (providing running water to the homes of the community of La Cumbre).
With the extra money left over a new generator and power line system to provide steady electricity to many of these homes will be installed and the water project will be extended to another community. Additionally, Mr. Hite and I are hopeful to travel to this community this summer to see this project in the works after it commenced a couple of weeks ago.
This coming year I will be taking a gap year after being awarded the Global Gap Year Fellowship from UNC. During my gap year I aspire to expand my peacemaking efforts through the service I will be doing. I am not completely sure yet what I will be doing over the course of my gap year (I have submitted one proposal that is very subject to change), but I have hopes in doing public health related volunteer work, animal rescue work, and teaching/coaching youth.
Additionally, I am very interested in helping refugees in Burma/Thailand. In the coming weeks I will be planning the details of my gap year through a series of proposals that must be ultimately approved by the UNC Global Gap Year Fellowship Committee.
In the meantime, before I leave and in the midst of all this planning, I hope to continue volunteering with Habitat for Humanity, working at the Green Beagle Lodge, playing pickup soccer/preparing for a half marathon, and serving as a counselor at a Spanish Immersion camp. Additionally, this summer a cultural exchange is taking place in which students I connected with in my trip to the DR this past summer are coming to live with host families in the Chapel Hill Durham region. For many of these students this will be their first time leaving the country let alone coming to the U.S. Needless to say, I have a lot to look forward to. I am so happy that my efforts have not gone to waste; I hope this new connection will serve as a constant reminder of that. Thank you all very much.
~Leah Simon, 2015 Peacemaking Scholarship Recipient
Young adults are naturally idealistic and hope-filled about creating a better world. Youthful energy, enthusiasm and idealism are precisely the qualities needed to build a future that is sustainable and life-giving. This Scholarship seeks to encourage those who are drawn to this challenge. This Scholarship is available to graduating seniors who live or go to school in Chapel Hill or Carrboro and who are intending to pursue college education. A minimum of one $500.00 scholarship will be awarded to the student who best qualifies.
For more information, please download the information on the scholarship HERE and the Peacemaking Scholarship Information and Application form.