Kate Hamilton ‘15.5 was one of two bright young women from Middlebury College to win the prestigious Truman Fellowship. The Truman Fellowship recognizes college juniors (or senior Febs) who have been outstanding leaders in public service and are interested public service as a career. The fellowship grants up to $30,000 toward graduate study in the U.S. or abroad
Community engagement has been an important part of my life for almost as long as I can remember. Growing up in Washington, D.C. and volunteering for a youth service corps called City Year Young Heroes made me aware of difference and privilege at a very young age. But it was only when I was in high school and volunteering for the Obama campaign in Richmond, VA that I realized that the chasms of prejudice and poverty between us also affect our ability to participate in the democratic process.
Ever since coming to that realization, my primary goal has been to fight disenfranchisement and other barriers to democratic participation. Community Engagement at Middlebury has really helped me pursue that goal on campus by providing invaluable funding and support to MiddVote, which was founded to increase civic participation among Middlebury students. With the help of Community Engagement, MiddVote was able to register nearly 500 Middlebury students to vote this past Fall. Being a part of MiddVote was a very rewarding experience that made me even more excited to devote my career to fight for all citizens’ voting rights.
– Kate Hamilton ‘15.5
Maddie Orcutt’ 16 was one of two bright young women from Middlebury College to win the prestigious Truman Fellowship. The Truman Fellowship recognizes college juniors who have been outstanding leaders in public service and are interested public service as a career. The fellowship grants up to $30,000 toward graduate study in the U.S. or abroad.
“…Part of my evolution at Middlebury has been the realization that activism is also a form of community engagement; I’ve learned a lot about the ways in which our particular identities inform our service as Middlebury students. We all have formative life experiences, both positive and negative, which deeply inform our sense of community. Our identities are intersectional, and oftentimes, Middlebury students carry invisible identities with them every day. Community Engagement is one of the many spaces on this campus which has allowed me to contemplate my sense of community, both within as well as outside of Middlebury.
Currently, I spend a lot of my time thinking about community responses to sexual violence. Although there is currently national concern about sexual assault on college campuses, the reality is that women ages 18-24 are at the highest risk of victimization if they are not attending university. To me, the lack of awareness of the scope of this problem is nothing short of a tragedy. Community Engagement has enabled me to identify who I am and how I fit into this issue, and I’m excited to build upon this knowledge as a Truman Scholar.” -Maddie Orcutt ’16