Elisa Velasco ’23, a 2023 Napier Award for Creative Leadership recipient as well as a Projects for Peace awardee, designed and implemented a nine-week program called Sin Límites (Without Limits) last summer for 21 Latina/o high school students in her hometown of Norman, Oklahoma. The program emphasized community engagement, Latina/o history and college access, and provided transportation and meals. Nine students earned small college scholarships through the program.
The Napier Award provides $20,000 to carry out a social change project, while Projects for Peace grants $10,000 to “pursue innovative, community-centered and scalable responses to the world’s most pressing issues.”
The Napier Initiative is a partnership between the Pilgrim Place community in Claremont and the five undergraduate Claremont Colleges to encourage leadership for social change. Members of the Napier Initiative council with ties to Pomona include Paula Martin Hui ’67 P’01 P’07, Richard “Dick” Johnson ’66 P’96, Emerita Professor of Sociology Jill Grigsby, Draper Center Assistant Director Rita Shaw and honorary member David Menefee-Libey, the William A. Johnson Professor of Government and professor of politics.
Amanda Eric ’25 has been awarded the 2023 Obama-Chesky Scholarship for Public Service, which provides students with up to $50,000 in financial aid, travel experiences and a network of mentors and leaders to support them.
A cognitive science major from Delaware, Eric plans to focus on helping to transform front-line communities facing challenges from global climate change. “I aim to utilize cognitive justice to advance climate resiliency in communities with limited resources, capacity, safety nets and bureaucratic power,” she says.