Ryanne Fujita-Conrads, Sociology, Class of 2012

A recipient of the McGill Lawrence Summer Internship Awards, Fujita-Conrads will be spending the summer in La Manzanilla, Mexico, interning with La Catalina Educational Foundation (LCEF). LCEF is a community-based Mexican non-profit dedicated to providing literacy, education, and professional development services to the people of La Manzanilla. Through a collaborative effort with the community, LCEF offers English and mathematics classes, business training, student scholarships, special needs tutoring, and funding for public school projects. In this way, LCEF works to empower community members through literacy and education to take advantage of newly arising economic opportunities. As an intern, Fujita-Conrads will support this mission by teaching English at the local public school for kindergarten, elementary, and middle school kids, as well as free English classes for adults. She will also be responsible for planning, organizing, and implementing the LCEF kids summer Art and English program. Fujita-Conrads hopes her presence and work in La Manzanilla will be especially helpful in the self-empowerment of young girls, who have a significantly higher high school drop-out rate in La Manzanilla than their male classmates. She writes, “By investing my sociological background and teaching skills in the community of La Manzanilla, I hope to advance the development of lasting social capital, which will not only empower current residents in the community, but also help generations to come.”


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