2013 VISION Recipients

The recipients of the 2013 Jay Phillips Center VISION Scholarships are Annie Kocha and Sarah Mlsna.

Annie Kocha traveled to Dharamsala, India, to serve with iSPiiCE (Integrated Social Programs in Indian Child Education) volunteer program, which is an intermediary organization that introduces international volunteers to work on sustainable community projects which offer much needed development assistance to rural Indian communities. The projects are twofold in the benefits they deliver and are designed to meet the local communities’ immediate basic needs and also to increase their future prospects and prosperity.  Annie and fellow UST students spent a large portion of their time tutoring children in English. The children tutored, unlike many of their classmates, are from families that cannot afford private English tutors. English remains a valuable skill for persons living in developing countries. It creates more opportunity in the job market.  iSpiice is constantly looking for school supplies, coloring supplies, and children’s reading  and writing materials to use during these English lessons. From Monday April 29th to Friday May 3rd, students can drop off donations at the Dowling, Koch, or Campus Ministry desks. All donations are greatly appreciated!

Sarah Mlsna traveled to Quito, Ecuador, to serve the Working Boys Center, which is a Catholic organization that focuses on providing a means of change for those living in poverty by assisting the families of the working boys to become agents of change, oriented to the construction of a just society.  To date, WBC has helped over 6,000 families or around 30,000 people leave poverty.  Upon her return to St. Thomas, Sarah engaged several student groups (including fellow VISION volunteers) to color pictures for, and write letters to, the children of the Working Boys Center.  Her goal, in addition to providing a small gift for each child, is to demonstrate to the children “that someone half way around the world cares about them.”