Every year, students are eligible to apply for a Norton Fellowship supported by the Norton Center for the Common Good. The fellowship provides students with a grant to create projects that match their interests while also bettering their local community. To apply, potential fellows send in an application detailing everything from their motivations to the overall proposal.
“We don’t choose projects that seem to have the most potential to change the world, we choose projects that seem to allow the fellow to have a lot of personal growth and to become a leader in community engagement. We obviously want projects that will impact their home community in some significant way, but that’s not necessarily the primary goal,” Mr. Eric LaForest, Director of the Norton Center, said.
While the Fellows have been selected, Covid-19 has mildly changed the course for their projects. “The pandemic caused us to extend the deadline for two weeks. We’re also asking fellows to meet with us before school ends in order to put in contingency plans. We will play it by ear, but we’re used to pursuing Plan B, ” Mr. LaForest added. This year, with an applicant pool of 17 students, four fellows were chosen.
Cole Alleyne ’22
Cole will interview a variety of people in the Greater Hartford community to explore COVID-19’s effect on individual lives and their experiences throughout the pandemic. He plans to consult healthcare and other essential workers, Hartford public school students, foreign students, and recovered COVID-19 patients, in order to garner a wide range of stories. Cole hopes to explore how each person’s race, socioeconomic status, age, country of origin, gender, and current location affects their experience in the midst of a pandemic.
Cole will ultimately produce a film, hopefully shown in Fall 2020, that will open people’s eyes to how the pandemic has changed the world. He hopes the film will answer the question\; what does community mean in this strange “new normal” of staying home, sheltering in place, and social distancing?
Kennedy Anderson ’21
Kennedy will provide free private SAT tutoring to high school juniors in the Metro-Detroit area who are not able to afford this type of help. She hopes to share the advantage of private tutoring for standardized tests, so underprivileged students can have the same opportunity to get into adequate colleges.
Kennedy will work with Math4Success, a Detroit based tutoring program, in order to provide tutors that will virtually assist students. Due to COVID-19, the June SAT has been cancelled and schools have been going test optional. Kennedy hopes that this news will not be detrimental to her project and that students will be just as motivated to take the SAT regardless of these measures.
Eamon Moylan ’21
Eamon plans on running a camp in a public park that will give inner city kids a chance to learn leadership skills and team bonding. Through his church, he hopes to provide a healthy lifestyle option for the kids by offering fresh lunches and fun outdoor activities such as soccer, basketball, and football.
Eamon enjoys working as a team and hopes to share that with the kids at his camp. He truly views team cooperation as an important skill and believes that getting outside, meeting new people, and staying fit will be beneficial for the children as they grow up.
Jordan Korn ’22
Jordan will be interviewing refugees who are either middle school or high school students within the Greater Hartford area. She was inspired by the immigration work done by her temple and wanted to become more involved with educational issues.
“Because students spent so much time at refugee camps where they didn’t have access to education, they could be a few grades behind students in the US and may not even know English,” Jordan said.
Jordan wishes to transcribe the interviews and publish them to available podcast platforms. She hopes for there to be an in-person interaction component, which could possibly be tutoring, between Loomis students and refugees. However, due to the tentative future created by COVID-19, she does not know whether that will still be a possibility. The logistics for her project are up in the air, but the foundations have been set in stone.