Claremont, Calif. (February 26, 2014) – Pitzer College student Marcela “Marcy” Jones ’14 won the 2014 Napier Award for Creative Leadership. Part of the Napier Initiative of Pilgrim Place and The Claremont Colleges, the Napier Award includes a $10,000 stipend to support innovative projects focused on social justice.
Jones plans to develop a literacy initiative with children whose families are members of the Huerta del Valle Community Garden, a collaborative urban agricultural project between community members in Ontario, Calif. and Pitzer in Ontario, a justice-oriented, interdisciplinary program in urban studies and community-based research. Jones, who grew up in Ontario, will create a reading project to help children expand their vocabularies and master English. She will collaborate with students from local high schools who can provide ongoing mentorship and help sustain the project over time.
A New Resources student, Jones is an international & intercultural studies major at Pitzer. While interning with Huerta del Valle last spring semester through Pitzer in Ontario, Jones became concerned about the quality of education in a predominantly low-income area where many children don’t speak English at home.
At the awards ceremony on February 22, Jones shared a quote that helps guide her approach to social justice issues: “If we doubted our fears instead of doubting our dreams, imagine how much we would accomplish in life.”
“Marcy is a fearless dreamer,” said Professor and Associate Dean for Global and Local Programs Nigel Boyle, Pitzer’s Napier adviser. “She will truly make a difference in the world and carry forward the Napier Initiative and Pitzer’s commitment to fostering leaders who are dedicated to social justice.”
In addition to the $10,000 stipends, winners of the Napier Award work with mentors from Pilgrim Place whose life work and experience coincides with the student’s interests and aspirations. This year, in addition to Jones, Karen Castro-Ayala of Scripps College and Bianca Shiu and Sharon Jan of Pomona College won Napier Awards.
The Napier Initiative is a partnership between The Claremont Colleges and Pilgrim Place, a senior community for those who have served in religious or charitable organizations. Each of The Claremont Colleges may nominate three seniors who demonstrate outstanding leadership ability and commitment to social justice to be Napier Initiative Fellows. The 2014 Napier Initiative Fellows include Jones, Minji Lee ’14, a double major in English & world literature and psychology, and Romarilyn Ralston ’14, a New Resources student and gender & feminist studies major.
The award is named after Davie and Joy Napier, longtime residents of Pilgrim Place, who were advocates for a just, peaceful and sustainable world.