Social Change Grants awarded to five undergraduate students

The Community Service Office of the Gephardt Institute for Public Service has announced five winners of three Social Change Grants, awarded annually to students pursuing innovative ideas that serve the common good in the spirit of social entrepreneurship.

The three grants have a total value of $18,000.

Sisters Thanh Phuong Nguyen, a senior and double major in finance and psychology in Arts & Sciences, and Thuy-Linh Nguyen, a sophomore biology major in Arts & Sciences, were awarded the $3,000 Stern Social Change Grant to raise awareness of family planning, women’s health and infant health care in rural Vietnam.

Established in 2000, the Stern Social Change Grant provides Arts & Sciences undergraduates with the means to pursue creative and meaningful activities aimed at finding solutions to society’s needs.

With a $10,000 award from 100 Projects for Peace, sophomores Priya Sury, a double major in anthropology and Spanish, both in Arts & Sciences, and Fidel Desir, a biology and French major, both in Arts & Sciences, will work to curtail the spread of HIV through an education and research initiative that will provide AIDS prevention education to underserved populations in Santo Domingo, the capital of the Dominican Republic.

Established with a $1 million gift by philanthropist Kathryn Wasserman Davis, 100 Projects for Peace funds 100 American college students who create and implement their ideas through projects that will build world peace throughout the 21st century.

Senior Claire A. Wolff, a psychology major in Arts & Sciences with a minor in photography, received the Kaldi’s Social Change Grant. The $5,000 award will help Wolff, a student in the George Warren Brown School of Social Work’s 3-2 program, establish a coffee shop — the Urban Arts Cafe — designed to foster community building in the urban neighborhood Old North St. Louis. In addition to serving coffee, the cafe will host art exhibits, musical performers, book clubs, neighborhood potluck dinners and tutoring programs.

The Kaldi’s grant was established in 2005 to enable students to develop sustainable community projects in the St. Louis region. Awarded to one undergraduate student each year, the grant supports full-time work to implement a community project over the summer as well as part-time work to sustain the project over the following academic year.

The Community Service Office provides mentorship and support to prospective grant applicants in the development of their project proposals and to grant recipients in the implementation and wrap-up of their projects.

For more information about the grants, go to community