The final sentence in the Middlebury mission statement is: “Through the pursuit of knowledge unconstrained by national or disciplinary boundaries, students who come to Middlebury learn to engage the world.” At the CSE, we take this goal to heart.
Summer grants provide seed funding for teams of Middlebury College students to implement social change projects. In the grant program’s pilot year, 23 groups applied for grants of which five were selected. The projects included developing a composting system in a local high school, training youth changemakers in Mexico, initiating GIS mapping in Rwanda to aid a grassroots health organization, helping street children in Africa, and creating insect-based food products to help at-risk populations in developing countries.
Fellowship recipients become a cohort during their sophomore year at Middlebury College. Over the next two-and-a-half years, they will learn collaboratively and give back to the community. The goals of this program are to extend the cohort’s exposure to opportunity, encourage humility and awareness of the complexities in trying to effect social change, and help students avoid isolated experiences as they learn from failures and successes. The students are expected to integrate social entrepreneurship into academic work, pursue relevant summer experiences, and lead in social entrepreneurship activities on campus and beyond. In the fall of 2012, we welcomed our first cohort of six sophomores to the fellowship program.
Integration of social entrepreneurship in academic classes provides the opportunity in students to engage the theory behind social change along with exploring their own identity and agency.
Held during the academic year, MLab provides a weekly forum to continue the discussion from the speaker series, develop ideas, pitch projects, and consult with peer mentors about available resources and possible next steps.
Curious to know where students participating in these programs go? Explore our map to see where many of the CSE projects take place.