This summer Abigail Evans ’14 has been engaged in a unique project centered on hope. Evans has been working for Street Sense – a newspaper written and sold by homeless individuals in Washington, D.C. When she was granted the Centennial Fellowship by the Centennial Center for Leadership in the spring, Evans was excited to spearhead this independent campaign to expand the readership of the street newspaper.
Since late May, Evans has been able to help grow the program that bolsters hope for many of the homeless population in the Washington, D.C. area. Her project, “Seeing Hope,” focuses on giving the writers and vendors “a chance to share their stories to attract more people to the paper,” Evans says. “My project’s goal is to engage a greater number of readers and encourage participation in and support of the street newspaper.”
Using the funds from her Centennial Fellowship, Evans has implemented a 12-week program designed to analyze the societal and individual impact of the 16-page, biweekly newspaper.
“It was clear that there was a need to further understand the specific impact of the program on the Washington, D.C. community, as well as on the individual lives of its vendors,” Evans explains.
The Centennial Fellowship and Cohen Fellowship provide students with an opportunity to deepen their understanding of leadership by implementing a proposed leadership project. Evans was one of two students selected from a talented pool of applicants during a process where students were asked to articulate how their project would hone their leadership development as well as its potential to impact others.
Centennial Fellowships are made possible by the generosity and commitment of those who have donated in honor of the 100th anniversary of William Smith College.
Cohen Fellowships are made possible through the dedication of Trustee Dr. Stephen Cohen ‘67, who wishes to ensure that extraordinary opportunities are made available to Hobart and William Smith students to build upon their leadership skills.
Past fellowship projects include the creation of an education program for a village in Honduras, a conference in China for NGO’s, and a Tae Kwon Do program for children in the Geneva community.
Evans is pursuing an anthropology and sociology double major with a minor in Africana studies. She was recently elected a junior student trustee, has choreographed for the Koshare Dance Collective and served as the community outreach officer on the board this year. Evans has been a part of the William Smith Summits and the Leadership Institute as a home group leader and lived in the Community Service theme house last year. She also works on campus for the Admissions Office and the Dance Department.
“I’ve enjoyed the chance to delve more deeply into my studies of leadership at Street Sense and I’ve been able to put to use the leadership skills learned at Hobart and William Smith through the Centennial Center and the Leadership Institute,” Evans says.
In the photo above, Abby Evans ’14 stands with a Street Sense vendor, Sybil Taylor, in Washington, D.C.