A recent College graduate has received a $10,000 grant from the New England Electric System to fund a multi-cultural education program for Los Angeles youngsters.
Yea-Lan Chiang '95 received the Samuel Huntington Public Service Award last week for her educational work in Los Angeles with third through sixth graders.
Four years ago, Chiang began a program called SAMPLE--Social Action within a Multicultural Program in Language Enrichment--in response to the violence she observed in Los Angeles during the 1992 riots.
"What started out as a simple idea borne out of my frustration with the violence that was destroying my hometown has now grown into a viable program with great potential," Chiang said.
As the executive director, Chiang has organized a team of 24 high school students who serve as teachers to help grade school children improve their English skills, according to Karen Berardino, spokesperson for the New England Electric System.
The teaching team also exposes children to cultural and civic interests through one-on-one tutoring, field trips to cultural institutions and community service projects.
Chiang said she hopes to make SAMPLE financially self-sufficient in the near future, and open another branch in an area of the city more directly affected by the riots.
Presently, the program relies on grants like the Samuel Huntington Award and on parent contributions, as well as independent fundraisers.
The Huntington Award was created in memory of Samuel Huntington, former chief executive officer of New England Electric. Huntington was a public service advocate who taught mathematics and science in Nigeria for one year.
Competitors for the award are judged on academic achievement, personal achievements and the ability to carry out their public service proposals.