Nia Slater-Bookhart ’19 and Hannah Brier ’20 have received the John W. Lund Community Achievement Award for their service to children and teens in the Main South neighborhood.
Slater-Bookhart is a student leader with All Kinds of Girls, which cultivates pride, leadership, self-esteem, and self-expression in girls ages 9 to 16. Brier is a founder of Main IDEA at Clark U, which creates art-based curriculum and afterschool programs for students at area schools.
Slater-Bookhart worked with All Kinds of Girls (AKOG) throughout her undergraduate years, joining as a mentor and rising to the position of mentor/administrative coordinator. In her leadership position, she helped expand the program to serve 70 to 80 girls with 30 to 40 Clark mentors. She helped mentors develop an awareness of and appreciation for the wide-ranging strengths of the girls in the AKOG program “while helping build their skills and capacities as culturally relevant and responsive educators and mentors,” she says. “More importantly, I had the great opportunity to be a part of the lives of so many strong and amazing young women who have changed my life in the best way possible. Receiving this award pushes me to continue to pour as much love and care as I can into any community that I am in, and my hope is that others will do the same — it is what our world really needs.”
In her sophomore year, Brier began working with Main IDEA, a Worcester-based nonprofit that makes art-based programs accessible for Main South youth. With support from Maria Connors, Joy Murrietta, and other interns, she created the Main IDEA at Clark U club as a way for Clark students who are passionate about art or education to share their talents and get hands-on experience by teaching youth in the community. In the year and a half since the club’s creation it has flourished, and now operates three afterschool programs at University Park Campus School, Woodland Academy, and Claremont Academy with almost all Clark volunteers. “I recognize that this award is not only mine — the work I have done to receive this I did not do alone,” she says, noting the efforts of all the program’s volunteers. “More importantly, if it weren’t for our energetic, honest, and open-minded students in the programs, Main IDEA at Clark U would not be what it is.”
The Lund Award was named after retired Worcester businessman Jack Lund, and recognizes the contributions made to the Worcester community by faculty, students, or staff members at Clark University. The gift includes a cash prize of $2,845 for each recipient, and recognizes Lund’s affection for Worcester, his appreciation for Clark’s significant level of community involvement, and his belief that change is best made by individuals.