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Pilgrim Place grants Napier social justice awards

The Napier Initiative at Pilgrim Place has made two social justice awards of $15,000 to Pomona College seniors Sophia Roe and Alejandro Guerrero.

The awards were announced at a festive banquet on Saturday, March 30, which honored the two recipients as well as nine additional Napier Fellows who had submitted proposals for social justice projects they wished to carry out after graduation.  

As part of the Napier Initiative, each Napier Fellow had an opportunity to develop a mentoring relationship with a Pilgrim Place resident with life long experience in working for social justice, peace making and environmental sustainability.  

Sophia Roe will spend six months working in Pomona with the organization she created, Pomona Employment Partners, a student volunteer group working to support homeless individuals seeking employment.

Her group will work jointly with Pomona social service agencies Hope for Home and Goodwill Industries to prepare individuals for employment by providing assistance with resumes, interviewing experience, and employment training. 

In addition, Pomona Employment Partners will involve student volunteers in English and math tutoring.  Over 20 college students are involved in this effort with the expectation that additional volunteers will join the effort.

Alejandro Guerrero has been meeting regularly with high school students in Pomona to establish a community based, multimedia oral history project. Voces de Cambio will empower youth to uncover the history and culture of their own neighborhoods by interviewing and videoing their neighbors who have been agents of change in Pomona.  

As students learn about the history of individuals who have had an impact in Pomona,  they will understand the importance of taking action on behalf of community issues and problems.

Mr. Guerrero will spend the next year creating this important documentation and encouraging youth and families to become involved in opportunities for community problem solving.  

The Napier Initiative was established nine years ago as a way to honor the legacy of Joy and Davie Napier, long time Pilgrim Place residents whose life of service and inspiration touched countless college students and inspired them to dedicate their lives to serving others.