Rachel Schneider '12 Named a Truman Scholarship Finalist
In February the Harry S. Truman Scholarship Foundation announced that Honors College junior Rachel Schneider was a finalist in the 2011 Truman Scholarship Competition. Schneider, a Social Work major, received the recognition for her outstanding academic accomplishments and commitment to public service. And indeed she carries a very impressive set of service activities that are centered on her energy and passion for working with and engaging adolescents, particularly those who live in rural areas.
As a Fair Haven, Vermont native, Schneider is familiar with the challenges as well as potential that the adolescents in the town (as well as other rural towns across the state and country) possess. Her commitment to the well-being of her home community influenced Rachel to partner with the Slate Valley Teen Center to organize a summer youth camp, called Summer Teen Thursdays. Schneider then organized and directed the camp, which offered teens a place to hang out and a place where they could become more engaged with their community.
While she has made a significant and positive difference for Fair Haven, she has a passion to work with teens from all over Vermont, in both rural and urban areas. This past winter she jumped at the opportunity to be involved in the start-up of Service Rendered, a Burlington-based nonprofit youth services organization. Like Schneider, the organization embraces the idea of empowering local adolescents to make positive changes to their community. As the Assistant Director of Service Rendered, Schneider worked with local youth and helped establish a "Chill Out Center" in a South Burlington mall this past January. She is now working to establish similar youth community centers across the state.
She is busy as an advocate for at-risk adolescents, but it is not the only service work she does; she also volunteers at H.O. Wheeler elementary school, where she has the opportunity to help recently-arrived refugee and immigrant children learn English, and she has been a volunteer with the local Ronald McDonald House. Her spirituality plays a very influential role in who she is and who she wants to be in her community, and she has taken on a leadership role in a local chapter of SGI-USA, a Buddhist organization.
Schneider is the third UVM student to be a finalist in the Truman Scholarship competition, and the first since 2007 when Kesha Ram '08 received the award. The highly competitive Harry S. Truman Scholarship - approximately 65 are awarded nationwide - provides $30,000 to juniors planning to attend graduate school in preparation for careers in public service. Winners also receive leadership training, graduate school counseling, preferential admission to premier graduate institutions and internship opportunities with federal agencies. Each year UVM is allowed to nominate up to four juniors to participate in the competition.
The campus deadline for the 2012 Truman Scholarship Competition will be November 17, 2011.
Last modified March 31 2011 02:15 PM