Compton Mentor Fellowships

Fellowship Awards in 2005

Jessica Clark – Berea College

Jessica’s Compton year will be spent creating a sustainable craft and job training program for young women of Central Kentucky facing teen pregnancy and motherhood. Through opening a door of opportunity, she hopes to interrupt the cycle of unplanned pregnancy and the poverty that young women often face. The program will incorporate both craft production and job-training workshops that will serve to promote self-reliance, economic self-sufficiency, and job skills.
Jessica’s mentor Jeanne Terry is director of the Parent Resource Center, in Fayette County Kentucky as well as a freelance artist and member of the Kentucky Guild of Artists and Craftsmen.

Rebecca DiBennardo – Vassar College

Over the next year, Rebecca will work with high school students from the city of Poughkeepsie, New York in a peer reproductive health education program. Local doctors, legislators, and community organizers will train teens on topics ranging from healthy adolescent relationships to youth activism. Once they are trained, the peer leaders will give presentations to other teens at community organizations throughout Poughkeepsie and the surrounding area, in both English and Spanish. Rebecca’s mentor, Pauline DeMairo, is director of the TORCH (Teen Outreach Reproductive Challenge) Program for National Abortion Rights Action League (NARAL) Pro Choice and an educational consultant in New York City.

Patricia Feeney – Berea College

Patricia will be based in Boone, North Carolina working to strengthen grassroots efforts for local change and to build a strong regional voice with central Appalachian mining communities. Primarily, Patricia will focus on developing a Citizens' Guide for Water Security in Appalachian Mining Communities that outlines
dimensions of the issue, indexes existing resources in the region, illustrates grassroots efforts, and shares personal narratives of those involved. Patricia’s mentor is Steve Owen of Appalachian Coalition for Just and Sustainable Communities.

Dror Ladin – Vassar College

Dror's fellowship project seeks to develop and implement affirmative action workshops for college-track programs in largely minority-enrolled public high schools in New York City. Towards this end, he will conduct an independent research project among minority groups and women's groups at different national colleges and universities with the aim of understanding how perceptions and misapprehensions of affirmative action have impacted their college careers. Dror will work with the African American Policy Forum
(AAPF) to produce educational materials and a training manual for running affirmative action workshops in high schools. Finally, drawing on his research and the AAPF's expertise, Dror will implement the affirmative action workshops, offering them to college-track programs in New York City public schools. Dror's mentor is Kimberle Crenshaw, a professor of law at UCLA and Columbia Law School and co-founder of the African American Policy Forum, a think-tank that works to bridge the gap between scholarly research and public discourse related to inequality, discrimination and injustice.

Sam Merrett – Oberlin College

Sam will create a biodiesel resource center in Oberlin, Ohio. Using biodiesel offsets the use of petroleum fuels that currently pose environmental, social and economic problems for society. Biodiesel Oberlin (BO) will test a new approach to energy production by recycling a local waste product through the use of a bicycle-powered mixer. This interactive, community-scale biodiesel processor will maximize environmental benefits and will provide social and economic benefits not possible with centralized methods of producing fuel. Sam’s mentor, Ray Holan, is author of “Sliding Home: A Complete Guide to Driving Your Diesel on Straight Vegetable Oil.” He is currently involved in a state-funded co-generation project at Great Lakes Brewing Company in Cleveland.