Emmanuel Abebrese, a Washington and Lee University sophomore, has won a $10,000 grant from the Davis Projects for Peace 2013. Abebrese, a native of Ghana, will use the award to carry out initiatives at Ashaiman Apostolic Academy Mission School in Ghana.
A biochemistry major who graduated from Freedom High School in Woodbridge, Va., Abebrese developed his successful proposal after spending part of a summer working at the school in Ashaiman as a Holleman Fellow in W&L's Shepherd Poverty Program.
"I spent part of that fellowship teaching creative arts, math and biology at the Apostolic Academy," said Abebrese, who intends to go to medical school and become a medical missionary. "I also spent part of my time at the Noguchi Memorial Institute for Medical Research at the University of Ghana, where I was working on malaria.
"That summer experience helped give me a sense of both health care and education in impoverished communities in Ghana."
With that experience as background, Abebrese wrote a proposal to the Davis Projects for Peace that focused on improving both the physical structure and physical surroundings of the Apostolic School facilities, as well as helping to mentor students and give them online access to better learning resources.
He plans to help the leaders of the school with their expansion project not only with funds from the prize but also by working on the construction himself this summer. In addition, he intends to continue the relationship with the school and its students once he is back at Washington and Lee next academic year by using the Internet and a webcam to maintain contact, to motivate the students and to track their progress.
Abebrese titled his proposal "Equipping Future Leaders," and his goal is to provide necessary resources for advanced learning and self-developing in order to prepare the students for future leadership roles in Ghana.
"Emmanuel's proposal was very well organized and articulated," said Laurent Boetsch, director of international education at Washington and Lee. "It is ambitious in its objectives, and its objectives are meaningful."
This is the sixth consecutive year W&L students have won one of the grants. W&L is one of more than 90 colleges and universities eligible to receive funds from the Davis Projects for Peace because they participate in the Davis program, which provides scholarships to students who attend the United World Colleges, a series of international high schools around the world.
Projects for Peace is part of the Davis United World College Scholars Program, based in Middlebury, Vt. Kathryn Wasserman Davis, a philanthropist and the widow of Shelby Cullom Davis, a businessman and former U.S. ambassador to Switzerland, has put up $1 million in each of the past four years to fund 100 Projects for Peace.
Now 106 years old, Kathryn Wasserman Davis launched the initiative on the occasion of her 100th birthday in 2007, to challenge college students to undertake meaningful and innovative projects. Designed to encourage and support motivated youth to create and implement their ideas for building peace through the world in the 21st century, each of the projects receives $10,000 in funding each year.
Previous W&L Peace Prize winners:
- 2012 — Clean Water for Pampoyo, Bolivia: Dana Fredericks, Class of 2011, Katie Strickland, Class of 2015, Wiley Wasden, Class of 2013, Alexandra Prather, Class of 2014, Thomas Groesbeck, Class of 2014, and Mohammad Amine, Class of 2013.
- 2011 — Benefitting All Children in Korea (BACK), South Korea: Uri Whang, Class of 2013.
- 2010 — The General Development Initiative, Dominican Republic: Cailin Slattery, Class of 2011.
- 2009 — Language Laboratory/Multimedia Center in Argentina: Eduardo Rodriguez, Class of 2009.
- 2008 — Microloans, Job Training, and Community Development in Peru: Andrew McWay, Class of 2008.
- 2007 — Healthy Community Curry Kitchen, Sri Lanka: Ann Gleason, Class of 2007
Jeffery G. Hanna
Executive Director of Communications and Public Affairs