The People Helping People Award is presented to an MITFCU member who exemplifies compassion, commitment to helping others, and a sense of social justice within the MIT community. This year’s award winner is Corinne Carland.
Carland is a junior at MIT, where she is majoring in chemical engineering. She is an active member of the MIT community, serving as an MIT Freshman Urban Program counselor, an associate adviser to MIT freshmen, and the grant writer/treasurer for Amphibious Achievement.
Carland embodies the characteristics that define MITFCU’s People Helping People Award and her selfless compassion for others extends into all that she does. In fact, rather than receive a $2,000 award for herself in addition to a $2,000 donation to an organization on her behalf, Carland has asked that MIT Federal Credit Union donate the entire $4,000 associated with this award to Amphibious Achievement. MITFCU is pleased to honor this noble request, and is proud to be contributing to such a wonderful organization on behalf of an outstanding individual.
Amphibious Achievement is a dual athletic-academic program founded at MIT whose goal is to “promote success in and out of the water through a combination of aquatic instruction and college preparatory tutoring.” Each Sunday, members of the organization work with groups of urban youth to develop either swimming or rowing skills. Following the athletic portion, staff members then tutor their students in various subjects to promote academic enrichment. All of this takes place in MIT’s athletic facilities and classrooms.
With Carland’s help as the organization’s grant writer/treasurer, Amphibious Achievement has expanded to include 70 members and has amassed $25,000 in grant funding to date. This success has not always been the case, however. The summer after the organization’s pilot semester, Corinne was interning in Washington, D.C., when she got news that Amphibious Achievement’s funding had been threatened. She and the club’s founder worked diligently for six weeks to research grants and improve the financial structure of the organization. Their hard work paid off, and Amphibious Achievement was able to rebound from its scare.
One fellow Amphibious Achievement staff member who nominated Carland for the award said, “Being a good teacher and communicator is the first step to being a successful leader, and Corinne not only exemplifies these traits but also is able to teach the [fellow] mentors leadership and enable their personal growth and success. Corinne’s passion and involvement in Amphibious Achievement is inspiring and has been an integral part of the success of the program.”
To support members investing in their education, and in honor of former staff and volunteers, MIT Federal Credit Union awarded six $1,000 Memorial Scholarships to accomplished students. This year’s winners are Holly Everett, Julia Graham, Kimberly Hallowell, Erika Schaefer, Shruti Sharma and Danielle Slauzis.
Holly Everett graduated from Arlington High School and is currently a freshman at Wesleyan University in Middletown, Conn., where she is majoring in molecular biology and biochemistry. Everett is actively involved in the Wesleyan community, where she participates in Shining Hope for Communities, Wesleyan Students for Disability Rights and North End Action Team (NEAT) Mentoring in Middletown.
Julia Graham hails from Belmont, Mass., and is currently completing her freshman year at Warren Wilson College in Asheville, N.C. She is involved in a number of extracurricular and volunteer activities including the Warren Wilson Chapel Choir, Habitat for Humanity Asheville and Loving Food Resources Food Bank.
Kimberly Hallowell is currently finishing her senior year at Nashua High School South in Nashua, N.H. Hallowell is the captain of the equestrian team and is involved in other sports including volleyball, track and field, and indoor track. While she has not yet selected which college to attend, Hallowell will likely go to Colorado State University in the fall.
Erika Schaefer graduated from Concord Carlisle High School in Concord, Mass., and is now a sophomore at George Mason University in Fairfax, Va., where she is majoring in communication with a concentration in media production and criticism. Schaefer has a strong interest in theater dating back to high school, and she is currently a member of the Mason Improv Association.
Shruti Sharma graduated from Highland Park High School in New Jersey and is currently a freshman at MIT. She is actively involved in undergraduate research and is working on a project relating to robotic prosthesis development for veteran amputees. In addition to her academic pursuits, Sharma plays an active role in the MIT community, where she is the council treasurer for the MIT Undergraduate Association Class of 2015 and event chair for MIT’s chapter of Amnesty International.
Danielle Slauzis graduated from Andover High School and is currently a freshman at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, where she is majoring in biology. Slauzis holds an undergraduate research position where she studies how the song patterns of prairie warbler birds are indicative of their reproductive success. She is also in UMass’ Biology Talent Advancement Program.