Harvard President Drew G. Faust honored the first 10 recipients of the newly initiated Presidential Public Service Fellowship Program, a program that provides funding for summer service projects, at an award luncheon last Wednesday.
The fellowship, which Faust created with financial assistance from a single anonymous donor, offers grants of up to $5,000 for undergraduates or $10,000 for students of any of Harvard’s graduate schools.
Faust, who noted she wanted to create “a cohort of individuals” who could become a leadership team for public service in the Harvard community, said the idea for the fellowship arose last year when the University was featuring public service.
“We thought it was important to have a signature program supported by the president, representing the whole University,” Faust said, noting that many of Harvard’s schools have their own public service programming.
This year’s 10 fellows will use their funding for a variety of different projects, including efforts in voter outreach, education and legal services for underprivileged communities, the formation of environmental and international policies, community organizing, and the implementation of health care information technology services in rural areas.
David H. A. LeBoeuf ’13, a Worcester, Mass. native, is a founding member of Coalition for Educated Options, a non-partisan group dedicated to voter outreach, get-out-the-vote efforts, and voter protection in historically low-turnout precincts. LeBoeuf’s project will focus on increasing voter information in his hometown.
LeBoeuf, who is also a Crimson news writer, said he hopes to help the cause of underrepresented communities and to “make candidates recognize that there are a lot of different populations in the city besides the typical people they campaign after.”
Carolyn W. Chou ’13, another fellowship recipient who will work at the Boston Refugee Youth Enrichment Summer Program in Dorcester, Mass., said her personal focus will be on “embracing the cultures [the children] come from and introducing them to the new place they’re living while making them feel empowered to have a voice in that new community.”
A teacher of English, math, science, and civics at BRYE since her freshman year, Chou works with students aged 6 through 13 who immigrated from at least 12 countries including Vietnam and Uganda.
“I’m grateful that there is this new funding source to help the camp provide the best services possible,” she said.
—Zoe A. Y. Weinberg contributed to the reporting of this article.