Supporting Youth-led Initiatives through Second Cohort of Alumni Small Grants

The Stevens Initiative, in collaboration with World Learning, is excited to announce the second cohort of Alumni Small Grant recipients for alumni of The Experiment Digital.  The Experiment Digital is a two-month summer virtual exchange program that helps high-school aged youth become more civically engaged by empowering them to formulate and implement service projects in their communities.

Through these small grants, the Stevens Initiative and World Learning aim to empower Experiment Digital alumni to serve their communities by providing grants of up to $1,000 (USD) to individual alumni and alumni teams that will implement projects focused on creating positive social change. The Stevens Initiative and The Experiment Digital provide alumni grantees with the tools, resources, and support necessary to implement their community projects. Alumni will use the skills developed during their virtual exchanges as they plan and carry out their projects.

The second cohort of alumni grantees includes 15 alumni projects in the United States, Algeria, Iraq, and Yemen, and each project addresses a specific need in that alumnus or alumna’s community. These alumni projects will be implemented from February to October 2021. Once the projects conclude, the Stevens Initiative and World Learning will share more about the outcomes and impacts of these projects in their local communities.

Project Name: Speak Up/Speak Out – Podcast Series

  • Project Leader: Nayantara A.
  • Location: Portland, Oregon, USA
  • Brief Description: The Speak Up/Speak Out podcast series will elevate the stories of Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) youth in Portland through empathetic exchange and discussion. Through this podcast, Nayantara and her team of local youth hope to continue to change misconceptions, share voices to build trust among disparate communities, and showcase the power of storytelling.

Project Name: The Negotiators

  • Project Leader: Yassmin A.
  • Location: Yemen
  • Brief Description: Together with a team of Experiment Digital alumni, Yassmin will launch a weekly seminar series for Yemeni youth passionate about developing their English language skills. In addition to providing a safe space for language learning, The Negotiators program will help youth prepare for international certifications, improve their communication skills, and exchange knowledge with others.

Project Name: Algerian Youth Addressing Homelessness through Civic Engagement

  • Project Leader: Asma C.
  • Location: Algiers, Algeria
  • Brief Description: Working with fellow alumni, Asma’s team hopes to support women and families experiencing homelessness in Algiers. The project is divided into three main components: (1) the creation of an application that connects those in need with community organizations; (2) an awareness campaign to elevate the stories of those experiencing homelessness; and (3) an in-person volunteer effort to collect and distribute clothes, food, and other necessary resources to those in need.

Project Name: Protecting the Environment Together

  • Project Leader: Hln D.
  • Location: Sulaymaniyah, Iraq
  • Brief Description: Recognizing the importance of advancing environmental health, Hln is educating her community about recycling and the impact of climate change, while restoring and preserving green spaces in a local park. Hln and her teammates hope to inspire youth in their community to contribute to creating a better environment for future generations.

Project Name: Community Reads

  • Project Leader: Katherine G.
  • Location: Baltimore, Maryland, USA
  • Brief Description: Responding to growing intolerance in her community, Katherine and her teammates will promote mutual understanding by engaging children in grades K-2 through literature. Community Reads will consist of live online readings of diverse books, monthly comprehension activities, and reading challenge competitions to empower young readers in an inclusive virtual space.

Project Name: Intutorly International

  • Project Leader: Benjamin J.
  • Location: McLean, Virginia, USA
  • Brief Description: Responding to the COVID-19 pandemic, Ben and his team will increase access to English language learning through a virtual language tutoring program. Through this project, Ben and his team will connect young people in the US and the MENA region to develop language proficiency, improve communication skills, and promote mutual understanding.

Project Name: Diverse Books Teach Tolerance

  • Project Leader: Asher K.
  • Location: Scarsdale, New York, USA
  • Brief Description: Asher is motivated to foster mutual understanding and tolerance between people of different backgrounds, identities, and cultures within his community. To accomplish that goal, Asher is planning to introduce and circulate books from diverse perspectives into Little Free Library book sharing kiosks while engaging his community.

Project Name: We Lead Change

  • Project Leader: Ferial Ali K.
  • Location: Constantine, Algeria
  • Brief Description: We Lead Change is a four-month education initiative for 100 high school students in Algeria to develop their soft-skills through trainings and workshops. Motivated to give more students access to youth development opportunities, Ferial hopes to encourage youth to be creative and innovative young leaders prepared to lead change in Algeria.

Project Name: Leaders Across the World

  • Project Leader: Jean L.
  • Location: Vancouver, Washington, USA
  • Brief Description: Working with fellow alumni, Jean’s team will scale their existing youth-led organization to now provide international participants ages 11-18 with leadership opportunities and resources to empower them to confront social justice issues within their local communities. Leaders Across the World will focus on critical topics like climate change, racial justice, and poverty to build participant’s knowledge and leadership skills, and to promote global interconnectivity.

Project Name: The Khana

  • Project Leader: Ibrahim M.
  • Location: Baghdad, Iraq
  • Brief Description: Ibrahim is motivated to make sure that young people in his community have equitable access to employment and professional development opportunities. To accomplish this goal, Ibrahim and his team will leverage their experience sharing opportunities through informal social media channels to create a mobile application. This app will include access to job postings, virtual trainings, and a CV database to be used by job seekers and hiring companies.

Project Name: Female Leaders of the Americas

  • Project Leader: Kristie M.
  • Location: Irvine, California, USA
  • Brief Description: Female Leaders of the Americas (FLOTA) aims to empower the next generation of female leaders in politics, foreign policy, and other relevant fields through a six-month virtual fellowship program. Kristie and her team hope to create a meaningful experience for young women in California and parts of Latin America that fosters learning, growth, and a sense of community.

Project Name: Rising Artists Mentorship Program

  • Project Leader: Alexa N.
  • Location: Cos Cob, Connecticut, USA
  • Brief Description: The Rising Artists Mentorship Program (RAMP) is a virtual arts mentorship program aimed at giving elementary and middle school students access to free education in music, visual arts, theater, and dance. With funding for arts education being cut in her community, Alexa and her team hope to bridge this gap by empowering young children through one-on-one mentoring in a variety of activities in the arts.

Project Name: Art Up Community

  • Project Leader: Awsan S.
  • Location: Yemen
  • Brief Description: Together with a group of fellow alumni, Awsan and his team will lead a program that empowers youth through training and workshops to develop their talents in the arts. The team hopes to cultivate a community of artists with the passion to create a better future through art.

Project Name: The Queen Bees Initiative

  • Project Leader: Hannah T.
  • Location: McLean, Virginia, USA

Brief Description: After observing a gender disparity in representation at the Virginia state level of the National Geographic Bee, Hannah was inspired to start The Queen Bees Initiative, a virtual after-school program for rising 4th to 6th grade girls. Through hands-on geography lessons and cultural activities, Hannah and her teammates hope to spark a love and interest in geography and global affairs for young girls in her community to develop cultural awareness and understanding.

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