April 27, 2016 | By Chuck Carlson
Dominique Givens, ’19, a member of the first class of Build Albion Fellows, had a word of advice Tuesday evening for the newly announced members of the second class of Fellows.
“It’s interesting,” she said. “But it’s going to be so much fun.”
The new class of eight was introduced in a ceremony April 26 in Upper Baldwin with family, friends and College and community members joining in the celebration.
The Build Albion Fellows program was introduced last year as a way to help local students interested in pursuing a liberal arts education receive that opportunity at Albion College.
Eligible students need to have attended Albion Public Schools for at least three years (preferably grades 6-8), live within the Albion school district and, after being accepted by Albion College, demonstrate high financial need based on the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).
Each applicant went through an interview process; those accepted into the program will receive tuition, room and board in exchange for service to the community that will increasingly align with their career interests over the course of their Albion College experience.
Albion College President Mauri Ditzler told the group that being a part of the local community, and now also the College community, is a huge step toward rebuilding the City of Albion.
“We’re going to ask you to thrive here and make a difference,” he said. “It’s not going to be easy, but you’ve rolled up your sleeves and kept the community moving forward. You are growing up in a community this college was supposed to serve.”
The current Fellows thus far have performed service projects that included repainting street signs, helping in recycling centers, fixing up Holland Park and creating a Little Free Library at Collaboration Corner, at the corner of Michigan Avenue and Monroe Street.
“You all contributed to the betterment of our community over the year,” said Madeline Drury, ’15, recruiting and community programming associate who helps coordinate the Fellows program. “You made an impact both in and out of the classroom.”
President Ditzler added that the new class of Fellows will help shape the future of the College and the community.
“We have big dreams for our town and we have big dreams for our college,” he said. “And you’re going to be a part of that.”
The 2016 Build Albion Fellows, each a member of the College's entering Class of 2020, includes (in alphabetical order):
Christopher Bell: His interests are in exercise science and sports management, and he hopes to compete on the College cross country and track and field teams. An Albion native, he will graduate from Marshall High School.
Ciera Garza: Her academic interests are in psychology and law, and she enjoys mentoring kids. She grew up in Albion and will graduate from Marshall High School.
Marquise Eron Hill: He is interested in sociology and anthropology, and hopes to compete on the College swimming and diving team. He is an Albion native who will graduate from Marshall High School.
Daryus Mastin: He is interested in sociology and business administration. A member of his church’s gospel choir who enjoys working with kids, he grew up in Albion and will graduate from Marshall High School.
Kaitlyn Porter: She is interested in exercise science and psychology. She is an Albion resident who will graduate from Marshall High School.
O’Shea Swinton: He is interested in sociology. He is an Albion native and will graduate from Marshall High School.
Jontaj Wallace: He has interests in secondary education in English and in music. A drum major for the Marshall High School band, he hopes to perform with the College’s British Eighth Marching Band and run cross country. He is a resident of Albion.
Marcus Weatherspoon: The brother of current Fellow MarKeese Boyd, ’19, he is completing his high school studies in Maryland and will be on campus in July. His interests are in accounting and financial literacy, and he hopes to play football and join the business club at Albion.
For more information about the Build Albion Fellows program, please visit www.albion.edu/fellows.