Each endowment recipient gave a short talk about where they went and/or what they created, and what they gained from their summer projects.
Caroline Laskin, recipient of the John R. Lower Memorial Endowment Award which funds participation in a wilderness program, traveled to Red River Gorge, Kentucky, to participate in outdoor sport climbing, one of her passions.
“Climbing in the gym is a great way to train, but actually getting the opportunity to climb outside is what makes you better,” she said. “Through this opportunity, I returned confident in my abilities. I pushed myself to mental and physical limits through difficult climbing.”
Avery Maynard and Quin Timmerman, recipients of the William “Bill” Reeves Renaissance Student Award, created a mindfulness garden outside of the Sharp Academic Commons. The Reeves Award is given to a student who exemplifies consistent compassion for others, love of learning, intellectual integrity, high interest in interdisciplinary studies and moral leadership.
The pair said they were inspired by former Collegiate mindfulness instructor Alex Peavey, who taught both students as 9th Graders.
“Quin and I sought this award to create a peaceful, mindfulness space on campus,” Avery said. “We also hoped to revitalize what Mr. Peavey had started.”
Caliyah Bennett, recipient of the Samuel D. Jessee Leadership Endowment Award, led a literacy workshop in Tema, Ghana. The award funds a student to continue growth in leadership through advanced training or experience in order to foster the capacity to lead and exert positive authority while influencing others.
Caliyah said the trip exposed her to things she never thought she would experience at such a young age.
“I’ve definitely changed as a person after this trip,” she said. “I’m more open-minded and have a better ability to approach topics with more cultural awareness. This trip has given the gift of being more empathetic because of the people I encountered.”
Joy Ma and Lina Wang, recipients of the Mary Parker Moncure Vaden Endowment Award, created a summer camp that included activities such as traditional Chinese painting and dumpling making in partnership with The Faison Center. The award, which recognizes girls who demonstrate loyalty, integrity, strength of character and service, provides for special study in a service or leadership-oriented activity.
“The camp was an idea that grew out of our common interest in wanting to share our Asian heritage,” Joy said.
Esha Mittal, a third recipient of the Mary Parker Moncure Vaden Endowment Award, traveled to India to investigate access to safe water. From her travels, Esha learned what a vital impact water has on life and society.
“What people in rural areas need most is access to essential resources,” she said.
All recipients expressed their gratitude for the opportunities to grow, learn more about themselves and serve their communities.
Maria Cobb, Collegiate’s director of development operations, also offered her appreciation to many family members who were on hand for the presentations.
“Collegiate thanks the generous families who understand the value of students leaving their comfort zones to gain a better understanding of themselves, the community and the world as they become good citizens in the widest sense,” she said.