Vanderbilt Wins Strauss Scholarship
Karina Vanderbilt, a senior history major at Occidental College, has been awarded a $10,000 Donald A. Strauss Public Service Scholarship to create a program introducing discussions about food insecurity and other social justice issues at Los Angeles’ Franklin High School.
It feels amazing to win the award,” said Vanderbilt, of Bellingham, Wash. “It is so exciting to see my inspiration on how to generate community dialogue toward ending local food insecurity develop into a tangible project.”
Working with Franklin and Occidental students and community members, Vanderbilt hopes to facilitate a community commitment to end local food insecurity. Occidental students will teach a class at Franklin High and take students on monthly field trips to volunteer at various social justice organizations in the Los Angeles area. At the end of the year, students will work in conjunction with community partners to create proposals on how to address hunger in the Eagle Rock/Highland Park communities. The winning proposal will receive funds from Vanderbilt’s Strauss award so that the Franklin students can initiate their project.
Vanderbilt also plans to use the scholarship funds to buy food for Project EDEN, a food bank run by the Center for Community-Based Learning that also receives support from the Office of Religious and Spiritual Life.
The Newport Beach-based Donald A. Strauss Scholarship Foundation awards at least 14 scholarships a year to students at Occidental and 13 other California colleges and universities, including Caltech, Stanford, UC Berkeley and UCLA. The late Strauss, an Orange County business executive, had a lifelong interest in education and public service.