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Current Scholars


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2018

Hytham Al-Hindi - Class of 2018

Hytham’s first major community engagement was his two summers' involvement as a counselor in a summer camp for kids diagnosed with cancer in the King Hussein Cancer Center, one of the Middle East’s most prominent cancer hospitals. Ever since, he has explored several different facets of community service.

Christopher Chew - Class of 2018

Due to his involvement with his local youth group, Chris developed a strong interest in volunteerism and community outreach. In the summer before his junior year, Chris was given the opportunity to travel with his youth group to San Raimundo, Guatemala with the organization Casas Por Cristo. There he built two houses for the local villages and distributed paperback and audio taped Bibles in both Spanish and English. In addition to constructing the houses, Chris was able to volunteer at Vacation Bible School summer camps teaching English and Bible stories to the students. Because of the strong relationship that Chris's church formed with Casas Por Cristo, Chris was able to return to Guatemala the next year and construct two more houses. These mission trips were amazing eye-opening experiences that allowed Chris to find his true passion for service.

Alexis Cook - Class of 2018

Alexis began exploring volunteer opportunities throughout high school as a way to become a better citizen and live out her Christian faith. Involved in many activities, she volunteered at the local jail on various weeknights to take care of children visiting their incarcerated loved ones. She also served weekly as a third grade Sunday-school teacher. Through the Hand-in-Hand program at her school, she served as a tutor and friend to the mentally handicapped. In all of these experiences, she learned that every human is a viable source of friendship and inspiration- to be met with respect and mutual equality.

Sophie Goddyn - Class of 2018

Sophie’s passion for social justice began in the third grade, writing math problems for the boy who sat next to her in class. He had Down syndrome, and he became one of her closest friends. With the help of her new friend and his family, Sophie began her service endeavors volunteering her first of six years at Bike First!, a camp in which she taught children with disabilities how to ride two-wheel bikes. This program fostered her passion for advocating for those with disabilities.

Josiah Holland - Class of 2018

From the time Josiah was four years old, he recognized a need for advocates of social justice and human rights. Josiah grew up in Togo, Africa, where he witnessed social injustice and the exploitation of neighbors and village friends to national and international corporations. This led him to grow up valuing justice and service directed towards the marginalized of society. Blessed with plenty in comparison to his impoverished neighbors, Josiah gained a deeper understanding of the maxim, “To those whom much is given, much is expected.” Life in Africa taught Josiah to see more than just a need for international service; it also instilled in him the value of community.

Lauren McCabe - Class of 2018

With a passion for helping others throughout her life, Lauren has found many venues to give back to her surrounding community. She has had a specific passion for working with children to help them overcome barriers that might be standing in their way, primarily in education and healthcare.

Faith Noah - Class of 2018

After spending four years at a high school with the motto Serviam—meaning “I will serve”—Faith found ample opportunity to discover the rewards of service throughout her early life. 

Matt OKeefe - Class of 2018

Living in the foster care system, Matthew was well acquainted with poverty early in his life. Despite the obstacles he faced he still continued to succeed, and hoped to one day help those who struggled with poverty.‬ ‪When Matthew attended Boston College High School, in Boston, he was called to be a man for others and cause change in the world. The Revere Food Pantry was the place he could make a difference. Every week, up to 150 families came to the food pantry to receive a few bags of food. This service allowed Matthew to provide for a community he had a passion for.‬‬ ‪

Urvi Patwardhan - Class of 2018

Urvi spent much of her high school career participating in various service opportunities. She found particular interest in volunteering at the Bluegrass Indo-American Civic Society and the Teen Court Program. She also started two initiatives: the Youth Volunteers Across Lexington Unite (Youth VALU) Service Initiative and the Story Cellar Program. 

Daniel Shaykevich - Class of 2018

Daniel's service career began early on, when he joined the Cub Scouts in elementary school and first began to take part in community events. His passion for volunteerism truly blossomed when he entered high school and received exposure to several service based organizations and programs.

2017

Gerard Franks - Class of 2017

Gerard’s desire for community involvement and public service stems from his early involvement in service projects during his high school career. He volunteered at various hospitals and community organizations such as the Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma and Make Promises Happen, a special needs camp. His volunteer opportunities along with life experiences have created a devotion to volunteerism that he continued at Vanderbilt.

Emily Meffert - Class of 2017

Emily’s passion for volunteerism and community outreach was sparked within the first few weeks of high school as she became involved in the oldest and largest international service organization for high school students—Key Club. It was through her experiences in Key Club that volunteerism became a critical part of her role as a high school student and—furthermore—as a citizen.

Abby Morgan - Class of 2017

Growing up attending a small Catholic elementary school, Abby embraced the expectation of serving her community. This took the form of volunteering at a local food pantry with her family until she discovered her own passions for service. During high school, Abby learned that she is passionate about empowering others to be independent through her work with individuals with disabilities at a local non-profit, Stepping Stones, and in raising awareness of human trafficking through school and church organizations.

Nichole Smith - Class of 2017

For as long as she can remember, Nichole has been taught that helping others is a virtue. She took these words to heart, but never truly understood them until she realized the importance of reflecting not only on what she was doing for the communities she served, but also what they were doing for her. While she has had many wonderful service role models in her life, she credits her peers and mentors in the Ingram Scholarship Program especially for inspiring her to think critically and intentionally about her volunteer efforts.

Katy Wyszynski - Class of 2017

Like all first-year students, Katy was torn between two ideas of service: continuing the work she had done in high school or venturing into new projects. After volunteering with various tutoring programs in different parts of Nashville and a nonprofit centered around healthcare delivery, Katy has found her service niche in Vanderbilt and in Nashville.

2016

Alex Bogdon - Class of 2016

Alex has a passion for community involvement and public service, and is honored to further these passions with the help of the Ingram family and Ingram Scholarship Program. Alex has a fascination with government and the opportunity it provides to serve people everyday. Inspired by both his parents, and mentors from Orlando City Government, Alex believes that effective and efficient government can not only improve a community, but also inspire and empower its citizens to do great things.

 

Leah Chisholm - Class of 2016

Throughout her first two years at Vanderbilt, Leah Chisholm has been involved in serving the various minority communities in the Nashville area. As she devoted and committed her time as a tutor and mentor to underprivileged youth and a volunteer interpreter for non-English speakers, she was exposed to both the educational and health disparities among different racial and ethnic backgrounds. She soon developed a desire to learn more about such inequalities so that she could be part of administering a change.

Bridget Claborn - Class of 2016

Throughout her freshman year at Vanderbilt, Bridget nurtured an interest in education reform that followed her from her high school years.  Early on, she volunteered as a tutor alongside several Ingram Scholar peers at various schools and organizations.  At the end of her first semester, she was asked to take on a leadership role with The Afterschool Program (TAP), a tutoring/mentoring program in North Nashville.  Bridget delighted in accepting the position, and in the work that followed.  She served as a program coordinator for Spring and Fall 2013, and was also a part of the summer 2013 staff as an elementary math instructor and co-director.

Nick DeNuzzo - Class of 2016

  

Juan Felipe Diaz Gutierrez - Class of 2016

Throughout his first semester at Vanderbilt University, Juan Felipe explored a plethora of service organizations. He was involved in the building of houses for families in need with Habitat for Humanity and he cooked and visited ex-offenders living at Dismas House. Additionally, he served as a Spanish tutor at Vanderbilt’s School for Science and Engineering and volunteered to pack food at the Second Harvest food bank. The highlight of his semester was becoming an official translator for Kiva, the world’s largest online microfinance company. His involvement with this organization improved his understanding on how microfinancing can be an alternative to break the poverty cycle in developing countries. 

Connor Henderson - Class of 2016

Connor’s motivation for community engagement comes from a sense of personal responsibility. He grew up in an affluent, homogeneous community where many opportunities were presented to him. On a tour in Chicago with a local youth ministry, Connor realized for the first time that not everyone has the same privileges as him. There, he was serving food in a shelter for people who were homeless when a woman walked up to get her food. Her sweatshirt read, “God is so good to me”. He remembers feeling shocked at those words because he didn’t understand why that woman thought she had a reason to be grateful.

Eunice Jun - Class of 2016

Imbued with an enthusiasm to volunteer through KEY Club, a youth organization supported by Kiwanis International, and the audacity to continually ask questions and seek answers through journalism in high school, Eunice has since consistently involved herself in service opportunities that challenge her to think about the individual, people, service, and leadership more deeply.

Kyuhoon Kim - Class of 2016

Currently on a leave of absence serving in the South Korean military.

Rachel King - Class of 2016

Rachel grew up in a home surrounded by family members who fostered her love for others at an early age. It was during her teenage years when Rachel’s passion for public service extended to a wider sphere. At 14 years old she joined a team of visionaries as a founding member of The Center for Family Solutions, a nonprofit in Butler County, Ohio that provides support and counseling services for victims of sexual abuse and domestic violence. A survivor herself, Rachel empowered other teens to share their story by mentoring them and by becoming a spokesperson for the Center through its advocacy awareness campaigns.

Marijke Kylstra - Class of 2016

Marijke is passionate about using service to address issues of inequality and to empower individuals and communities. She is particularly interested in working with issues concerning the needs of diverse populations, the environment, social justice, and sustainable development.

Deya Maldas - Class of 2016

Deya’s drive to serve stemmed from her biyearly visits to her dad’s village in rural India and the realization of her educational privilege. After the acknowledgement of her privilege, she began to ask herself why she received such an advantage. She came to the conclusion that her life of opportunity is one hundred percent attributed to chance. Because of the accidental academic advantage that she has, she wants to serve and create this privilege for others.

Forest Ogunyankin - Class of 2016

Forest entered Vanderbilt University and the Ingram Scholarship Program eager to utilize and expand his passions for children’s healthcare, refugees and youth development. He began teaching science lessons at Vanderbilt Children’s Hospital and Edgehill Middle School through Vanderbilt Student Volunteers for Science (VSVS) within his first weeks on campus, and soon joined Project: Bridges, a student organization that paired him with a Congolese Refugee family that had recently resettled in Nashville.

Caylyn Perry - Class of 2016

During high school, Caylyn realized how easy it was for individuals who were once stable to become in dire need of help. She saw it in her own life, but also in the lives of others hit hard by the economic crisis of 2008. For those who never considered a homeless shelter or a soup kitchen, these resources quickly became their only options as their financial situations and the job market continued to get worse. The generosity of her community to help their fellow neighbors and friends was overwhelming. It was this that inspired her to embrace service in her own life and make it her central focus.

Morgan Pinkleton - Class of 2016

Morgan grew up under the constant influence of her parents to give anything and everything she could to people in need. This began as early as elementary school by helping peers in class, but expanded to include a wide variety of service by the time she was in high school.

Emily Sauder - Class of 2016

After reflecting on her first year in the program, Emily is struck by how grateful she is for the influence Ingram leadership and fellow Scholars have had on her life already. Her service passions and qualities have grown, developed, and expanded tremendously through the unique level of challenge and empowerment the program encourages.

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