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Making change through experiential learning

Queen’s graduates receive fellowships to develop community initiatives.

Recipients of Pathy Foundation Fellowship
Jessica Franko, Lauren Di Felice, Stewart Langley, and Julia Weder have all received Pathy Foundation Fellowships. (University Communications.)

Four Queen’s University graduates are recipients of the Pathy Foundation Fellowship, formerly known as the OceanPath Fellowship. The fellowships support the development of community initiatives designed to create and foster sustainable and positive social change in local, national, and international communities.

Lauren Di Felice (Artsci’19) is working on an initiative called “Better Together Kingston,” which assists refugees with integration and empowerment in the Kingston community. The fellowship has allowed her to implement ideas generated from her past community projects as a fourth-year Global Developmental Studies student.

“The initiative emerged from my local work on the Canadian Council for Refugees national campaign. I applied for the fellowship to build on the idea and momentum generated from the campaign,” says Di Felice.

She creates local campaign materials and outreach activities to extend both the scope and influence of her previous work, and to encourage the civic engagement of new Canadians.

Julia Weder (Sci’19) saw the fellowship as a unique post-graduate opportunity to re-establish meaningful connections to another community. Weder chose a place where she felt a deep emotional connection. The Climate Change Youth Group is underway in her onetime home, Haida Gwaii, B.C. Weder works with high school students, fostering their personal and collective empowerment as change-makers.

“With this initiative, I hope to help youth find their role in the climate movement, enhance their critical thinking and leadership skills, and act in the face of the world’s greatest challenges,” Weder says.

For Jessica Franko (Artsci’19), her project is giving her a deeper understanding of development. She works predominantly with women in Maun, Botswana to address global bee health and the financial well-being of families.

“The fellowship is a radical learning opportunity, and challenges you to your core, in the best ways possible,” Franko says.

New this year, project funding will increase from $25,000 to $40,000 per fellowship. While the change is substantial, the fellowship remains focused on supporting new graduates who are designing and implementing community initiatives.

The application deadline for the 2019-2020 Pathy Foundation Fellowship is Nov 14, 2019. Students interested in learning more about the program and its eligibility requirements should contact pathyfellowship@queensu.ca.