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Branson Announces Class of 2025 Junior Fellowship Recipients
Branson Communications

On Thursday, January 18, 2024, Branson announced the recipients of the Junior Fellowships and In Pursuit of Science Scholarship from the Class of 2025. These fellowships are awarded annually to deserving students through a competitive selection process. Thirteen fellowship and scholarship winners were selected from a competitive pool of applicants from the junior class. Read more about their projects below:

The Chase Fellowship

Whitney Collet 
Whitney will be using this opportunity to get her junior soccer coaching license so that she can successfully and effectively train young female players in an underprivileged and underrepresented community, as well as providing them with all the equipment needed.

Alexa Warrin
Alexa will create a 10-minute video essay to enter into the National History Day Contest. Then, she will extend the video essay into a long-form documentary on political polarization in the country, incorporating further research and interviews with historians and politicians.   

Camila Urbano and Julia Bouligny
Camila and Julia will work together to create a website with interviews from people all over California. They will not only interview the public but also specific people like Maya Cade, the creator of the Black Film Archives. The second part of their project is to create a 4-week film program for students who might not have an opportunity to learn about film in their schools. 

Tommy Higgins
Tommy was inspired by an immersive he took last year at Branson to search for alternative solutions for homelessness. He will be researching two ideas that are not currently being utilized in the Bay Area. 

The Raabe Family Fellowship for the Arts

McKenzie Kwei
McKenzie will shadow an art therapist from the art recovery team at UCSF, work with individuals with severe illnesses, and study the effects of art and how it can significantly improve a person’s well-being, especially during challenging times. She will then create a collection of art pieces that encapsulate what she learned. 

Phoebe Yates
With the goal of supporting individuals with developmental disabilities, Phoebe will collaborate with The Cedars of Marin and Sweetwater Music Hall to provide an experiential music and mindfulness workshop. This program will enable both the Cedars residents and Branson students and teachers to come together to create music and a stronger bonded community.

The Reid Mangels Fellowship

Ginger Oldmixon
Ginger will create a documentary style video regarding the impacts of tourism on national parks and seashores in California. The video will include interviews, facts, and nature montages to express the impacts extreme tourism has held on national parks/seashores over the years. 

Cyrus Allen
Cyrus will work as an intern with a Research Associate studying PANS (Pediatric Autoimmune Neuropsychiatric syndrome). He will assist with research as well as writing and performing a TED talk about his experience. 

The In Pursuit of Science Scholarship

Ishwar Jayaraman
Ishwar will conduct medical research to help physicians diagnose and treat gastrointestinal diseases. He will work with Dr. Glenn Furuta, a pediatric GI doctor at the University of Colorado, to conduct molecular analysis of the EnteroTracker matrix – a medical device that is swallowed by a patient and collects samples from the patient's digestive tract. 

The Werner F. Chilton Fellowship

Chloe Ryan
Chloe will use her experience with the Knowledge is Power organization to create a new summer reading program for underserved elementary school children in San Rafael. She will work to improve early literacy skills for our local, youth population also by organizing book drives, reading to kids herself, distributing materials, and connecting parents with the literary resources they need. 

Roshan Belani
Roshan is continuing his service learning partnership with Pratham by revising their current English vocational dialogue materials and using AI to create unique dialogue scenarios. He will create a virtual network of student educators who will provide tutoring in English, as well as identifying and implementing appropriate software for more practical and regular English conversation practice. 

Sabine Fuchs
Sabine will seek a diverse group of female and genderqueer-identifying students across a spectrum of race, class, and experience to join the GirlTalk’s staff for two weeks of instruction from GirlTalk staff and adult guest speakers. At the end of the two-week session, the campers will publish their own magazine. 

class of 2025 junior fellowship award winners

Pictured left to right top to bottom: Tommy Higgins, Sabine Fuchs, Ishwar Jayaraman, McKenzie Kwei, Ginger Oldmixon, Camila Urbano, Roshan Belani, Julia Bouligny, Cyrus Allen, Whitney Collet, Phoebe Yates, Alexa Warrin

Not Pictured: Chloe Ryan