As a first-semester freshman at Vanderbilt, Drew was able to pursue many service endeavors in the Nashville community. Thanks to the incredible opportunities afforded to him by the Ingram Scholarship Program, Drew could continue his high school passion of helping to provide educational opportunities for challenged children. This interest in education and teaching led him to tutor Nashville public school students through Project SHARE and teach English as a second language with Manna Project to Hispanic immigrants. Children’s welfare was again his focus in the summer following his first year at Vanderbilt. Drew had the privilege of being selected as an intern for the Make-A-Wish Foundation of the Mid-South. Working with the development department for Make-A-Wish was truly an inspiring and challenging experience that involved everything from supervising fundraising initiatives to writing grants to creating a video archive of Make-A-Wish’s history.
His sophomore year, Drew continued to pursue education and children when he helped found Maplewood Mentorship, a mentoring and tutoring program in conjunction with Teach for America. Acting as a Mentor Coordinator, he tutored students of Maplewood High School in geometry and algebra, and organized volunteers. Drew also became very involved with Vanderbilt Model United Nations, serving on the executive board and helping to organize the annual VUMUN high school conference, affording Tennessee high school students the opportunity to participate in simulated United Nations activities. During his sophomore year, Drew also participated in a Manna Project International spring break trip to Honduras to volunteer with an orphanage. The summer after sophomore year, Drew undertook his Ingram summer project in the Pacific countries of Fiji and the Republic of the Marshall Islands, again focusing on education, this time regarding environmental concerns. Working alongside a fellow Ingram Scholar and 350.org, Drew organized Climate Change workshops aimed at informing and empowering the Pacific youth about man-made climate change and rising sea levels threatening island nations and compromising the sustainability of the islands’ habitat. The time spent working in the Pacific islands was an eye-opening experience to the desperate need to address the consequences of this imminent global threat.
In his junior year, Drew continued work on this summer project by educating the Vanderbilt community about the rising sea level crisis. He helped organize the “Moving Planet” 350.org Day of Action at Vanderbilt and a fundraising bar night for 350.org. In an effort to continue to educate as many people as possible about the threat of rising sea levels due to climate change, Drew had the privilege of speaking to several different groups in Nashville, including the United Nations Society of Nashville, the Vanderbilt Environmental Economics class, and West End Middle School. During his junior year, Drew also remained focused on teaching and working with children as he continued his involvement with Maplewood Mentorship and the Model UN conference. In the fall, Drew helped organize a “community cook-out” for the students at Maplewood, in which the students were brought to Vanderbilt’s campus to play field games and have a picnic. Drew spent the spring of junior year undertaking a full-time internship for Mental Health America, a non-profit focused on serving those with psychological illnesses. He structured a continuing education program for mental health providers throughout middle Tennessee.
The summer preceding his senior year, Drew was fortunate enough to travel abroad to Alicante, Spain where he studied creative writing. In the second half of the summer, he had the privilege of serving as a Congressional intern in Washington, D.C. for Steve Cohen, 9th District of Tennessee. In his senior year, with the continued support of the generous Ingram program, Drew will remain focused on education, the environment, and international issues, especially as those concerns impact the young and disadvantaged in our communities.