This morning, Branson announced the Class of 2023 recipients of the Junior Fellowships and In Pursuit of Science Scholarship. These fellowships are awarded annually to deserving students through a competitive selection process. This year, 13 fellowship and scholarship winners were chosen from 30 applicants. Read about the winning project proposals below:
Raabe Family Fellowship for the Arts
This award was created to honor the dedication and passion of a student to further pursue a project in the visual or performing arts.
Lily will enroll in the Parsons School of Design Fashion Industry Essentials program. She will then design clothes for plus size and queer women and other under represented people in fashion.
Atira will develop her passion for photography by documenting and celebrating the lives of people in Dominica, culminating in an art installation for Branson and the greater Bay Area.
Alexandra will develop her interest in visual art by volunteering at Drawbridge, an art organization for youth experiencing homelessness. She will then facilitate the creation of a mural for Branson, not only as a visual representation for the community, but also for the purpose of investigating the effects of the arts on student wellness and mental health.
In Pursuit of Science Scholarship
Nathan will join a lab to conduct academic research on health policy this summer, specifically learning into food insecurity. Afterwards, he will leverage this learning for action and partner with a nonprofit to plan a community event to help destigmatize food insecurity in youth.
Barney Glazer Fellowship
Finn will use the knowledge gained from his mobile application development class and other online materials to build a scheduling app for Branson students. He will also assist JuanCarlos Arauz in building a website and app to enhance students' experience with diversity, equity, and inclusion education at Branson
Reid Mangels Fellowship
Ivy will be helping conduct research at the Liao Lab, also known as the Cardiac Muscle Research Laboratory (CMRL), at Stanford University. In particular, Ivy will investigate the effects of maternal tobacco exposure on fetal cell regeneration through experiments conducted on mice. Though this lab has produced significant results underscoring the importance of smoking cessation with regards to cardiovascular health and fetal health during pregnancy, the end goal is to solve the mystery of why neonatal mammal hearts can regenerate after heart damage while adult ones cannot regenerate, and to make cardiac regeneration for adults after disease or stroke a possibility.
Jeffery will intern with the UCSF Pediatric Device Consortium (PDC). The UCSF PDC focuses on designing medical devices for children that are high impact. It is funded by the FDA’s Office of Orphan Products Development. Since its founding in 2009, the UCSF PDC has assisted over 100 projects, advanced 10 internally developed medical devices into first-in-human trials, and helped attract $30 million in funding for these technologies. The PDC team consists of clinician innovators, scientists, and entrepreneurs. Through his internship, Jefferey hopes to learn about the process required for developing a unique solution to a clinical problem – from concept to a finalized medical device.
Peter's goal is to partner with the Friends of the Urban Forest to increase membership among Branson students and other teens from around the Bay Area. Peter will then create a Branson club, nurse trees and plant them throughout the Bay Area.
Max will explore the connection between Filipino identity and food culture all over California. He plans to interview Filipino chefs and restaurant-goers in the Bay Area and Los Angeles. He will not only bring his film back to Branson in order to share his exploration with the Branson community, but also share his techniques with the film club in order to inspire others to tell stories about their identities. As Max writes in his proposal, "Everyone has a story to share; it is just about finding your voice to tell it."
Sophie’s project examines and sets out to research Branson's Affinity Spaces program, looking to put it in context of the way that similar programs exist in independent schools across the United States. In doing this, Sophie will build an Affinity Space Network that can bring together students and programs across the country together to learn best practices around affinity spaces, and to address the importance that these spaces have on communities.
Mia is passionate about learning how to transform a soup kitchen into a place that will not only provide food to the unhoused, but will create a sense of belonging and dignity through beautiful whole food, and served in a welcoming place surrounded by local art and culture. The fellowship is divided in two parts. The first will be in Italy where she will be working with “Food for soul” an organization that prepares meals made entirely from food waste and cooked from local chefs. The second part is to bring back what she has learned and experienced to San Francisco and work with the organization 18 reasons to implement a similar program.
Kate's ambitious project will start a sustainable clothing line. She and Adeline Johnson will hand make all clothing for the line, as well as a website that promotes transparency and sustainability; it will share where each product was sourced and who made it, the water usage of purchasing a product, interviews with local, eco-friendly business leaders, as well as a selection of nonprofits aimed at eliminating fast fashion for buyers to donate to. A portion of Kate's proceeds will go to the Ellen Macarthur Foundation, which promotes a circular economy and rethinks how businesses can help mitigate climate change and diversity loss. We look forward to Kate bringing this important topic to Branson's attention.
Hayley Yoslov and Paloma Rincon
Hayley Yoslov and Paloma Rincon's project will set up a summer visual arts program for underserved children between kindergarten and 1st grade. The program will be conducted in both English and Spanish and will provide an opportunity for these students to learn the power of art and how to use various mediums to express themselves.