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Max A Shacknai COVE News


Providing Support for Continued Community-Based Learning

By Contributing Writer on October 12, 2017

Increasing the Impact of One Student’s Study Group Work
This spring we were able to support a student who was asked by the community where she participated in a Colgate study group to return to expand on the work she did in the fall of 2015.

That fall, as part of her community-based learning work during the Santa Fe Study Group, Alia Davis ’18 spent each Tuesday and Thursday at the Keres Children’s Learning Center. KCLC is a Montessori school that focuses learning in Keres, Cochiti Pueblo’s original language, and blends Cochiti’s traditional systems of education with the Montessori model. As part of the work for KCLC, Davis completed a short video that enabled the founders and teachers of the KCLC to express their intentions, goals, and love for the school in their native language and highlighted just some of the beautiful moments the KCLC fosters for their use and to promote to the community. KCLC invited Davis to complete a second film for them with interviews that focus on the parents, community elders, KCLC’s teachers, and Dr. Joseph Suina, one of the founding members, and former governor of the pueblo. Davis returned in May to begin work on the second video, which she will finish up in the fall of 2017.

The Bigger Smiles Project
Oneida Shushe ’19, recipient of the Newman Civic Fellowship this year, had a dream to positively impact her hometown in Albania. When Shushe’s family first moved from Albania to the United States, one of the first differences that stood out to her was the general quality of oral health in individuals here in the United States compared to the really poor oral health of individuals in the village in which she grew up. She didn’t understand why this was the case, but she knew she had to learn more about access to oral health care in Albania and do something to alleviate the problem. She developed the Bigger Smiles Project, empowering residents in her home community to take better care of their health and to begin to recognize the issues of lack of access to dental care in the country. Her vision is to work with Albanian students to hold free dental health resource tables and mini-seminars on the benefits of good oral health, and meet public officials to discuss oral health in the country and devise a sustainable plan that promotes oral health in Albania. She spent the summer, sponsored in part by the COVE, working with an Albanian NGO (Albanian Society in Development), a dentist in the US (Alina Dellanzo, DDS PLLC) and one in Albania (Klinika Dentare AlbdentaL (AlbdentaL Dental Clinic), an Albanian professor and public official (Dr. Jordan Daci), and the network of people to which these individuals have access, executing her Bigger Smiles Project. By involving student activists and linking them to public officials, she hopes to improve the relationship between the public and the government in Albania.

Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids

Tobacco Free Lobby day on Capitol Hill organized by Kayla Robinson ’17.

Tobacco Free Lobby day on Capitol Hill organized by Kayla Robinson ’17.

Having the privilege of bringing together two keen interests of the Shacknai family, we were able to work with the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids to establish a paid summer internship for a student involved in the COVE at TFK in 2015. Kayla Robinson `17 was the second COVE student to hold the internship this summer. Robinson is a sociology major, who aims to seek a full-time position in the common good sector. She is a regular COVE volunteer at a local group home for young women who are facing difficult family circumstances.

Robinson shared her experiences at TFK: “As the Youth Advocacy intern, I joined TFK’s Youth Advocacy team in efforts to plan a four-day symposium to provide training workshops and lobbying opportunities for 25 youth from 20 states across the nation. We hosted a successful and smoothly run event providing young leaders with skills to be change leaders in local tobacco control! I also had the opportunity to join the youth during visits with Senate and House representatives and staff on Capitol Hill as the youth lobbied for legislation to continue to advocate for tighter controls on tobacco. Throughout my time at TFK, I learned so much from sitting in on meetings with the director and staff. I will apply what I have learned about well-operated organizations and events to my future career, and I will treasure the friendships I formed with TFK colleagues.”

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