Six Episcopal Academy juniors have been named 2018 Germination Fellows.
The goal of the Philadelphia-based Germination Project is to empower and mentor the next generation of Philadelphia's leaders.
The EA fellows include: Jocelyn Andrews, Michael Bai, Grace Haupt, Daniel Hu, Nikhil Kakarla, and Sameer Saxena.
"I was excited but also surprised," said Jocelyn Andrews. "I know that the 2018 fellowship year was exceptionally competitive. The reality of what I have gained from my experiences as a part of the project thus far exceeded my expectations."
"I was surprised and honored to be counted as part of the project," said Grace Haupt. "The others who were selected impress me daily and make me a better person for it."
"Their cause is something that I found inspiring and wanted to be a part of," shared Michael Bai. "I realized that as a Fellow, I am now in service to Philadelphia in any form possible. It is exciting, if not a tad overwhelming. However, I was up for the challenge."
Selection criteria includes: academic achievement, extracurricular activities, and a rigorous interview.
"I was interviewed by a panel of five of Philadelphia's preeminent professionals, drawn from a number of fields. I was asked detailed questions about bioethical issues and my personal beliefs about social and societal issues," explained Jocelyn.
Over the summer, all 18 Fellows took part in a program at Penn Medicine. The group is now working together on a project designed to revolutionize civic engagement in Philadelphia.
"I simply want to be the best that I can, and I'm hoping that the Germination Project and EA combined can help me reach farther than I can conceive. The Project has also already helped expose me to many influencers in the Philadelphia area, people who can help me get where I want to go," said Grace.
"I am so grateful that members of the Class of 2020 have this unique opportunity to develop their leadership skills so that they can be better community servants. Michael, Jocelyn, Grace, Nikhil, Sameer and Daniel have benefited from the greater appreciation of leadership and community that this program affords," observed Form Dean Kris Aldridge, Hon.
"I hope to become inspired and empowered to bring about positive change to Philadelphia and potentially beyond. In any way, shape, or form, I hope to make a lasting impact, and I think this program can guide me to do that," said Michael.