Christianson Grantees Promote Quality Education and Public Health in Latin America

3 minutes

The InterExchange Foundation is providing $7,900 in Christianson Grant funding for two ambitious young women to promote quality education and public health in Latin America.

Tiffany Brown, a Princeton in Latin America Fellow, will spend one year working with Yspaniola, a non-profit organization in the Dominican Republic aiming to address educational inequalities, as well as provide documentation support for Haitian immigrants and Dominicans of Haitian descent. Yspaniola works with residents of Batey Liberdad, a marginalized community, to create programs such as a learning center and a university-scholarship program to better support education advancement.

Tiffany traces her desire to become a language educator to her grandfather, who took the initiative to become literate at the age of 57.

“Just as literacy served to connect my grandfather to the world, I have found that language learning connects people to other people, other cultures, and to the world outside.” — Tiffany

At Yspaniola’s learning center, Tiffany will teach Spanish literacy to young students and design youth development programming. In addition, she will support fundraising and outreach efforts for the university-scholarship initiative, coordinate service-learning trips for international students, and research education and development in the Dominican Republic.

“My goal is to develop creative ways to encourage their participation in community events while also learning about how to best support residents so that they feel empowered to challenge the injustices they face in a way that reflects their community’s goals.” — Tiffany

Tiffany received a Fulbright English Teaching Assistant Fellowship to teach English in Colombia, where she’s been working for the past two years. She heads to the Dominican Republic in August 2016.

Natalie Lerner is taking a semester off from her Public Health studies at Brown University to spend six months in Peru working with Socios En Salud, a Peruvian-run branch of the global NGO Partners in Health.

“The project on which I will be working focuses on mental health disparities, with an eye toward improving mental health outcomes in impoverished communities in Lima.” — Natalie

Natalie will help clinic nurses improve the mental health of tuberculosis patients. She plans to organize a support group and other initiatives to instill mental health resilience.

“I believe that the cross-cultural understanding I gain by living and working in Lima will allow me to become a more aware and empathetic member of the global health community, and that I can, in turn, both perpetuate deeper cross-cultural understanding and fight against problematic or unaware practices among others.” — Natalie

The Christianson Grant

The InterExchange Foundation Christianson Grant is awarded to young Americans who self-arrange a service project abroad. Programs must be at least six months in length and emphasize a work component. Since it’s founding in 2007, the Christianson Grant has supported over 70 young Americans on a variety of projects in over 30 countries.

Ashley Lulling

After earning a M.A. in Diplomacy & International Relations and teaching English in South Korea, Ashley joined InterExchange to promote cross-cultural understanding and help others have amazing experiences abroad.

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