Now that graduations are in full swing and summer is upon us, I have a couple minutes to catch-up and reflect on my work form the past five months. First it was an amazing honor to have ‘Ask Me’ be a finalist for a Webby Award. As you can see were were in good company.
I also published three video stories that took me to Florida to profile an undocumented student named Eli Garcia, to southwest Virginia to take a look at Hollins University and then finally to Asheville, North Carolina to experience Warren Willson College – one of only seven work colleges in the country. All were wonderful experiences. You can check them out here:
Bernarda Elizabet (Eli) Garcia, a junior at the University of Central Florida, balances coursework and political activism. Recently Ms. Garcia, an undocumented student, was awarded the Mario Savio Lecture Fund’s Young Activist Award for her work fighting for immigrant rights. The once-shy young woman, working at the Hope CommUnity Center, in Apopka, Fla., has successfully advocated for scholarships for undocumented students. Twenty such awards are now available at Seminole State College of Florida. Her goal is to earn a bachelor’s degree in social work in 2017 and to continue to work with her community on improving the quality of life through immigration reform and education.
A year ago, when Virginia’s Sweet Briar College was enduring a life-and-death struggle, another women’s college nearby was flourishing, despite the challenges that have become common to many single-sex institutions.
“Ninety-eight out of 100 young women taking the SAT nowadays will tell you that they’re not interested in considering a women’s college,” says David W. Strauss, a principal with the Art & Science Group, a consulting firm. “Those that thrive have had to do very specific things and do them at a strategic level in order to thrive.”
Hollins University, in Roanoke, is the oldest undergraduate women’s college in the state and has offered coed graduate programs for more than 50 years. Even though it’s little more than an hour from Sweet Briar, the two institutions are miles apart in many ways. Nancy Oliver Gray, who has been at Hollins’s helm for 11 years, put her university on firm financial ground and believes it’s in a position to succeed in a tough climate.
Here is a temporary link to the Warren Wilson project that is part of our subscription package.