Compton Mentor Fellowships

Fellowship Awards in 2004


Sara Connarley – Clark University

Sara will work with Catholic AIDS Action (CAA) to develop HIV/AIDS education and prevention outreach programs in the informal settlements in Katutura, Namibia. Sara’s project is centered on an action-oriented research model that incorporates both direct service and research components. She will systematically document her experience searching for understandings and patterns in an effort to develop a resource guide for volunteers and staff members working with HIV/AIDS education programs.

Sara’s mentor, Tinah Rajaal is Regional Director of Catholic AIDS Action at Bernhard Nordkamp Centre, in Katutura. She is a social worker with 20 years of field experience.


Elijah Edwards – Morehouse College

Elijah’s project seeks to increase the involvement of black males in civic activities/community relations. Elijah will undertake a study of community organizations within low and mixed income urban communities that have established community associations with measurable results. The study’s objective is to identify the leading causes of the gap between community leadership and community participation on the part of elders of these community groups and younger African American men. In addition, the project will develop a mentor -training curriculum and participation program in association with established activist organizations, local community associations, and national minority organizations.

Elijah’s mentor, Todd Barnett, is the Gear-Up Network Coordinator for University of Chicago’s Center for School Improvement. Mr. Barnett has played a key role in the development and management of merit and need based scholarship programs for many of the parochial and public educational institutions throughout Cook County.


Leah Goodridge – Vassar College

Over the next year, Leah will work with El Instituto Dominicano de Desarrollo Integral (Dominican Institute for Integral Development) to develop a youth mentoring program for adolescent girls and to organize a series of sex education seminars. According to UNAIDS, “HIV/AIDS is now the leading cause of death among women of reproductive age,” in the Dominican Republic. ‘Reproductive age’ is all too often adolescent age. Through a variety of experience-based activities, that will include: field trips, playwriting on gender issues, leadership dynamics, mentoring, and sex education seminars, Leah will develop a set of self-empowerment tools to assist adolescent girls contribute to their community/society.

Leah’s mentor, David Luther, is the Executive Director of El Instituto Dominicano de Desarrollo Integral, a family planning organization established in 1984. Mr. Luther has served as a journalist, consultant with organizations within the United Nations and a Board Member to family planning initiatives.


Stella Lawson – Berea College

Stella’s project focuses on the establishment of a healthy, sustainable food store and community kitchen in Bayview Hunters Point, San Francisco. She will be working with youth community organizers in the promotion of food security in one of California’s most environmentally polluted communities. In addition, Stella will be involved in on-going work to provide local merchants with incentives to carry healthy, sustainable and culturally appropriate foods thus increasing food access in the community.

Stella’s mentor, Dana Lanza founded Literacy for Environmental Justice (LEJ) at the age of 28 years old, she continues to serve as Executive Director. Dana holds a Masters degree from The California Institute of Integral Studies in Socio-Cultural Anthropology, and a B.A. from Boston College. Her expertise is in organizational development, youth programming, and urban environmental education.


Eden Trenor – Oberlin College

With the intention of revitalizing public spaces, Eden’s project seeks to open a Farmers' Market in her hometown, the small coastal city of Mukilteo, Washington. The market will provide a venue for local food growers and producers to sell directly to consumers; for farmers and consumers to exchange information, particularly regarding the values and practices involved in sustainable, organic and small-scale agriculture. The market will be structured to create increased access and opportunities for low-income families, women and senior residents. Furthermore, the
market will be part of a wider program designed to encourage residents of Mukilteo and the surrounding areas to personally participate and invest in the community.

Eden’s mentor, Jon Hegeman is responsible for establishing the oldest and largest neighborhood outdoor market in Puget Sound, as well as the Fremont, Denver and Berkeley Outdoor Cinemas. He has worked in East London and in numerous other international locations on community development projects.