Rosenblatt Summer Fellowship Grant
In the Spring of 1999, the UHS Board of Trustees endowed a fund for public service to award fellowships for civic, community, and cultural projects on an annual basis in honor of Toby Rosenblatt's service and commitment to our school and to our city. The summer fellowship program is established and intended to support the wonderful work that students do In the Community Engagement Program during the school year and provides students with the opportunity to engage in in-depth public service, of their own creation, during the summer months. It also allows students to expand their current service commitment or contribute to the community in new ways. The goal is for students to have even greater positive impact on the environments or population(s) they serve.
Process for application:
- Students who would like to be considered for the grant must submit a completed application to the Community Engagement Office by [2018 due date TBA].
- Finalists will need to secure the support and recommendation of representative of the organization they seek to serve. To that end, every finalist will be required to produce a letter of support that reflects a partnership between the student and the agency sponsoring the project. Finals will also need to provide details of how grant money will be spent.
- At the end of the summer, every grantee will be required to submit a written report about the project and its outcomes to the Community Engagement Office. In addition, depending on the project, there might also be a tangible product that could be shared with various audiences at UHS.
Costs/activities the grant is designed to fund:
- Materials/supplies for an event (i.e. food, t-shirts, awards, facility fees, etc.)
- Materials/supplies for a program (i.e. books, software, educational games, etc.)
- Costs for creating, printing, copying, or mailing posters, flyers, newsletters, etc.
- Fees to pay for a trainer or workshop leader if service is central to the success of the project
While the Rosenblatt Grant is intended to fund a student-proposed service project, students who would otherwise have to work for pay during the summer are encouraged to apply for the grant, using some of the funds as a stipend. This is intended to allow students who must work the ability to develop and complete worthy community service projects that may not otherwise come to fruition due to a lack of time.
The 2016 Rosenblatt Grant was divided and awarded to two different students: Claire Kalikman (Class of 2017) and Parker Snipes (Class of 2017). Claire engaged in a project with the Hamilton House, which is a nonprofit organization aiming to end family homelessness in San Francisco. Hamilton House does important work to provide temporary housing and workshops to help families get back on their feet. Parker used the grant to expand the resources he brought to the restorative justice work he has been engaged in with the Marin Youth Court for the past several years. The Marin Youth Court is an alternative to the traditional juvenile justice system, which focuses on empowering youth to address harm they cause when breaking the law, repairing the relationships impacted by their actions, and facilitates their increased skills to reengage in the community as a more reflective and wise person. Claire and Parker wrote these reflections about the work they did with the support of the Rosenblatt Grant.
This summer I volunteered with them through their Children’s Program and organized their clothing donation system. They receive clothing donations every day, and have residents who need clothes every day, but the resources weren’t being distributed to those people who needed them. When I started, the room where they store clothing donations was quite a mess, making it nearly impossible to find what you need. During my time with Hamilton, I organized the closet and helped facilitate a clothing giveaway. I used part of the Rosenblatt Grant to purchase supplies to organize the closet. I am pleased that I was able to organize and label everything in the closet, so now it will be easier to match families’ needs with the donations. I also used the grant to purchase good quality plus-size women’s clothing. During the clothing giveaway, it was demonstrated that there was need for this specific clothing, but we had almost none. It was hard to tell women that we didn’t have clothes in the right size for them, and I can imagine that it affected their self-confidence. I think the clothes I picked out would be lovely to wear to school or work, and will make women look and feel good.I found this experience rewarding for a number of reasons. First, the service fit my skills and interest. I’m good at organizing and big picture thinking. I think this is an important part of community service, because if you are good at and enjoy what you’re doing, you’re going to find it to be a more fulfilling experience and will probably enjoy it more. Second, I felt good about what I did because, though it wasn’t the most glamorous or exciting, it was what the shelter needed. Finally, I am passionate about fashion and clothes and how they impact people. Like it or not, we are a society that judges people based on appearances, and how you look affects how you perceive yourself. I hope that my work had an impact, however small, on a person’s chance for success during a job interview or sense of self-worth.– Claire Kalikman '17
I’ve been working with Don Carney at Marin County Youth Court over the past few months to determine the best way to apportion the Rosenblatt Grant to fit Youth Court’s needs. Due to the influx of new volunteers into the program, particularly from outreach into public schools, we’ve seen a rise in the number of people wanting to move into leadership roles in the program. The court gives Advocate Trainings every few months, led by senior volunteers, but due to the cost of the materials the YMCA provides for these trainings and the guest speakers we often schedule, participants must pay in order to attend the training. Since many potential advocates are low-income and the cost can be a barrier, a large part of the Grant (about $300) is going to a training subsidy fund to allow greater access to the training. For the remaining chunk, Don and I discussed the options of creating a small restorative justice group in one or two public schools, doing more outreach with posters and bulletin notices, creating a transport fund so that low-income respondents can complete their restorative plans, and redoing the website (to which we no longer have administrative access so we can’t update content). We eventually decided to prioritize the transport fund and website, on the grounds that Youth Court was already engaged in significant outreach (a Youth Court documentary, for example, starred in the Mill Valley Film Festival) and that starting a restorative justice program would be too time and resource intensive. Since finalizing the grant allocation, we’ve been preparing and organizing the content of the next training on October 22, which I’ll be leading along with several fellow volunteers. We’ve also begun working on the content of the website, and have started working with up-and-coming advocates whom we hope will be able to lead the program next year. Our next steps are giving the training and helping the trainees transition into their new role in the court. It’s been a great year so far with Marin County Youth Court, and I’m looking forward to the next few months!
– Parker Snipes '17