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Our Selection Process

Winners of the President’s Engagement Prize have demonstrated extraordinary exemplification of the Penn Compact 2020’s commitment to local, national, and global engagement.  In selecting winners, the President meticulously examines each project’s potential impact as well as the strength of the applicant’s commitment to engagement.

This year's application deadline is January 25, 2019.

This Year's Winners

Chicago Furniture Bank

Griffin Amdur (W'18), James McPhail (C'18, W'18), and Andrew Witherspoon (W'18)

Amdur, McPhail, and Witherspoon are collecting gently used furniture from the elderly and giving those donations to vulnerable populations, including women and children facing domestic violence, recovering addicts and the formerly homeless. Their project will become the first furniture bank in the Chicago metropolitan area.

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Healthy Pequeños

Alaina Hall (Nu'18)

Hall’s nonprofit project is a nurse-led multi-interventional health-promotion effort that aims to address the global health problem of infectious disease in children. Working in partnership with the Nuestros Pequeños Hermanos orphanage in Miacatlán, Mexico, Hall will work to improve health education for children and their caregivers, strengthen infection screening and identification processes, and reduce exposure to infection-causing pathogens by providing filtered water and repairing damage to local sewage structures.

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Peter Wang Hjemdahl and Svanika Balasubramanian

With the President’s Engagement Prize, Wharton graduates Peter Wang Hjemdahl and Svanika Balasubramanian will boost wages for low-income workers while simultaneously diverting thousands of tons of waste from landfills.

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Homeless Health and Nursing

Marcus Henderson (Nu'17) and Ian McCurry (Nu'17)

Henderson and McCurry are integrating innovative healthcare case management into the current program of homeless services offered by the Bethesda Project, a Philadelphia-based nonprofit that provides proactive case management and housing services to the homeless population. Through their work with Bethesda and other key partners, Henderson and McCurry seek to decrease health disparities and increase access to high-quality, person-centered healthcare for this underserved population.

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Lanzando Líderes

Yaneli Arizmendi (Nu'17), Alexa Salas (C'17) and Camilo Toro (C'17)

Lanzando Líderes (Launching Leaders) is an afterschool youth leadership development program for Latino high school students. The program equips students with the knowledge and skills to become leaders in their own lives and in their communities.

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Project Y.V.E.T.A.: Youth for Vocational Education and Training in Agriculture

Antoinette Zoumanigui (C'17) and Selamawit Bekele (C'17)

Zoumanigui and Bekele are spearheading Project Y.V.E.T.A., Youth for Vocational Education and Training in Agriculture, a school that will empower the marginalized youth of Senegal called Talibés. In partnership with the Senegalese Ministry of Agriculture, Project Y.V.E.T.A. will provide Talibés with an education focused on improving numeracy and literacy skills while also providing technical training in agriculture.

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Coming Home to Continued Care

Kriya Patel (C'16)

Patel is helping women about to be released from Riverside Correctional Facility, an all-female facility in Philadelphia, apply for and secure health insurance and identification prior to release. The health insurance will allow these women to stay on their much-needed medication, which will aid in the reentry process.

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Reaching HEALthy

Melanie Mariano (Nu'16)

Mariano is partnering with the Free Library of Philadelphia to assist library patrons in obtaining health information, medical counseling, and preventive health services. Her project employs a “one-stop-shopping” approach that will actively disseminate health information, provide care, and allocate resources in an efficient way.

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NESARA Agriculture Extension

Vaishak Kumar (C'16)

Kumar is utilizing cost-efficient technology and novel research to help farmers in India boost their productivity. He is using mobile technology to improve farmer education in India, where the plight of farmers — who represent a significant portion of the country’s labor force — continues to be of great concern.

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Katlyn Grasso (W'15)

Grasso is using the President’s Engagement Prize to further her work with GenHERation, a national female empowerment network for high-school girls. GenHERation works to positively impact girls’ confidence and personal development.

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Home, Heart, Health

Jodi Feinberg (Nu’15)

Feinberg is designing, implementing, and evaluating a comprehensive cardiac rehabilitation model for home care, with the support of the New York University Langone Medical Center and the Visiting Nurse Service of New York.

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Tarkwa Breman School

Shadrack Frimpong (C’15)

Frimpong is establishing the Tarkwa Breman Model School for Girls and Community Clinic in his poverty-stricken home village of Tarkwa Breman, Ghana. The school and clinic will also serve citizens in the surrounding seven villages.

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Adrian Lievano (EAS’15) and Matthew Lisle (EAS’15)

Lievano and Lisle are developing and implementing Everwaters, a rainwater catchment and purification system and Kimana, Kenya. Once they install the system, Lievano and Lisle will engage the Kimana community through ongoing support and education.

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