This past summer, nine Garrison Forest students traveled to different parts of the world for community service projects as part of the school’s Jenkins Fellows program. Funded by the Elsie "Muffie" Foster Jenkins '53 Community Service Endowment, the Jenkins Fellows program allows rising sophomores, juniors or seniors to apply for funding to create their own in-depth service projects or connect with an existing service program of their choice over the summer.
Over the last 13 years, the Jenkins Fellows program has funded more than 70 Fellows to immerse themselves in community service, which has been one of the hallmarks of a Garrison Forest education since the school’s beginnings. Guided by Barb Ackerman, Jenkins Coordinator, applicants for the Jenkins Fellows program must research the project, interview with potential agencies/mentors, write and submit an application, prepare a budget and travel, typically independently and often around the globe, to reach their service location. Recent past projects have ranged from caring for marine animals in Sarasota, Florida to helping with archaeological digs in Peru to helping in neonatal units in India. From caring for elephants in Sri Lanka to providing health services in Bolivia, the nine 2018 Jenkins Fellows selected this year detailed their life-changing experiences to an audience of fellow students, faculty and alumnae in October. Proud family members attended the sessions, as did classmates and friends of Muffie Foster Jenkins.
The projects this year reflect the passions and interests of the Fellows:
• Lizzie Baratta ’19 volunteered at Cerecare Wellness Center, a center for children with cerebral palsy and other developmental disorders, in Shanghai, China.
• Selena (Yurong) Han ’20 and Ivy (Yixiao) Li ’20 cared for pandas with GoEco Volunteering in Sichuan, China.
• Monica (Yingke) Mao ’20 and Candy (Ge) Shi ’20 conducted research on educational equity for migrant children with a research team at Shanghai University of Finance and Economics in Shanghai, China.
• Irene Sul ’19 worked with Projects Abroad to provide health services to individuals living in remote areas of Bolivia.
• Ciara (Ziqian) Tang ’20 and Jenny Zhao ’20 cared for elephants with Rustic Volunteers in Pinnawala, Sri Lanka.
• Josie Tidmore ’20 volunteered at Casa de Pan, a foster home for children, many of whom have suffered from domestic violence and abuse, in San Jose, Costa Rica.