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Michelle Spada

Class of: 2012
Hometown: Norristown, PA
School: Peabody College of Education & Human Development
Major(s): Human and Organizational Development
Minors(s): Sociology

The Ingram Scholarship Program provided Michelle with incredible opportunities to engage with communities both in Nashville and abroad. In Nashville, Michelle worked closely with Catholic Charities and the Oasis Center. Through Catholic Charities, Michelle mentored young refugee girls from Burundi. She volunteered at the overnight shelter for homeless teenagers at the Oasis Center and mentored formerly- homeless teenagers. At Vanderbilt, Michelle was the Vice President of the Vanderbilt Chapter of Blood:Water Mission, which raised awareness of the need for clean blood and water in African communities. During her junior year, Michelle studied abroad in Shanghai and taught English and geography at a local migrant school. She also served as a consultant for village sanitation projects in rural China.

Michelle was able to pursue three summer projects through the Ingram Scholarship Program. She worked with the Society of Underprivileged People (SOUP) in Allahabad, India which is an organization dedicated to ending child-trafficking. Michelle developed a newsletter, shelter home proposal, and fundraising campaign for the organization. Michelle also worked with the Maasai Girls Education Fund (MGEF) in Kajiado, Kenya. Through education, MGEF aims to empower Maasai girls to bring change to their communities. Michelle developed a self-esteem and mentoring curriculum, newsletter, fundraising campaign, alumni network, and financial management plan for MGEF.  For her third project, Michelle researched services and programs available for children with incarcerated parents in the United States. After learning about different strategies to promote child resilience and prevent inter-generational incarceration, she created a handbook to connect organizations that are working in this field. During the fall of 2011, Michelle served as the Sight Program Intern with Seva Foundation in Berkeley, CA. This organization trains and empowers communities around the world to eliminate avoidable blindness.

Through a Princeton in Africa Fellowship, Michelle is currently working for the International Rescue Committee in Liberia as a Grants Intern.